If you're an adult in the 21st century, you have likely heard of Coffee, the dark and mysteriously energizing liquid that is an important part of most people's daily routine. However, do you know where coffee comes from, or more importantly, how it is grown? Most people refer to coffee as a bean, when, in actuality, it is a seed that grows inside of a fruit.
Can you guess what that fruit is? The fruit that houses and nourishes these marvelous seeds, is... yup you guessed it, coffee cherries.
These cherries are sweet and honey-like, much like a typical cherry, but smaller and with less pulp. The plant itself is much like a large bush, sometimes reaching 8-12 feet in height, if not properly maintained. The bushes produce blossoms that eventually turn into green berries and ripen over the course of 4-6 months turning into bright red coffee cherries.
The voluptuous red cherries are then hand picked and processed. How they are processed differs widely depending on the preferences of the farmer; sometimes the cherry is washed before being laid out to dry in the sun and other times the seeds are immediately extracted using a depulping process. Eventually, the seeds are roasted, becoming what we have come to call coffee beans!
But what happens to the cherry? Well, the cherry is usually discarded in waste dumps and in some circumstances they are placed in compost piles.
Why don’t people consume it? Well, that question has the simplest of answers. It is because most don’t know it exists and especially don’t know of it’s incredible collection of health properties.
These cherries have some of the highest, if not the highest, antioxidant concentrations among fruits and superfoods. One study found that they have 80 times the amount of antioxidants as a blueberry! Talk about a super fruit!
They are also shown to raise BDNF levels in the brain. BDNF stands for Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that is responsible for all around brain health, including long and short term memory, mood, and focus.
Delicious and nutritious, Coffee cherries are also versatile and can be consumed in smoothies, made into a tea, and used for baking. Intrigued? Perhaps, it is time for you to experience the magic of coffee cherries!