Vegetarian Means Vegan, Right?

Actually vegetarians tend to differ from what Vegans consider themselves to be. The exact reasons for why, evade me at the moment.

I eat plenty of vegetables but also enjoy eggs so I think this means I may be a vegetarian but I am not a vegan because eggs are not on their menu. I need to watch my calories and weight.

Veganism, if I may, seems to be more like a religion than just a healthy eating regime. I think the term is applied to not only eggs but even to wearing things that may have once been alive, like leather.

I have no feelings on this one way or another and think our life choices are just that, our life choices.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coffee Beans

By Marc Warren

Each coffee tree produces very few beans that can be harvested. Also, the coffee tree can only be found in very tropical climates which mean that it can only be found in countries close to the equator. That being said, the coffee tree grows in more than 70 different countries.

The fruit that comes from this tree is not what is actually used to make coffee. The beans are found in the middle of the fruit. Really, then, though we call it a bean it is in actuality the seed of the fruit.

There are usually 2 seeds inside each fruit. That is the case with most types of this tree with the exception of the peaberry. The seeds are surrounded by a somewhat slimy white substance which is the meat of the fruit. All this from a tree that can grow to between 20 and 50 feet tall.

In a band around the equator from approximately 25 degrees north or south, comes the overwhelming majority of the world's coffee output. Temperatures of between 60F (15C) and 70F (21C) are best as is rainfall of six inches per month or more.

Loamy, good-draining soil is needed and also helpful is high humidity - plenty of mist and cloud at the high elevations, over 3000 ft (915m) for the good stuff. At these elevations the oxygen content is lower, so the trees take longer to mature.

Some coffee trees are more resilient and less particular than others and this makes the larger producers of coffee. These types, like the canephora or robusta, do not require the high altitudes. Naturally the pickier the tree the better bean it produces. If you want the finest cup of gourmet coffee, like the arabica, you will have to go to the high altitudes.

Some fruit trees thrive on intense sun. Coffee trees do not fall in this category. Providing shade and shelter for them helps protect the trees from windy conditions and filters the suns rays allowing the tree to grow and produce at its best.

The process from reaping from your tree is a long one. From its beginning to the point where the tree will produce fruit is a period of about 5 years. Once it begins to produce you will only get about 2 pounds of coffee from each tree.

There is nothing easy or mindless about the harvesting of coffee beans. Everything is done by hand and it takes a keen eye and knowledge of what you're doing to separate the good beans from the bad. From one tree you can harvest about 2000 beans, and it is a tedious task.

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