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Go Green: A Brief History of the Unroasted Bean


Coffee. Can you identify the aroma, the taste, and the texture of deliciously roasted beans? Now imagine the bean before it’s roasted—dense, light in color with a grassy, herbal scent. This is called green coffee. The main difference between the two is density, moisture content, and of course—taste!

Below is a basic history of the coffee bean and how it came to be served as a roasted, brewed luxury.

The discoveries aren’t certain, but it’s thought that the main two families, Arabica and Robusta, were discovered at least 1,000 years ago in separate parts of Africa—Arabica in South Sudan and Ethiopia, and Robusta in West Africa. Of course the seeds weren’t found perfectly roasted like we serve here at Fonté—but people still very quickly discovered the invigorating offerings of the coffee beans. The beans would be harvested from the coffea plant and removed from the cherry, and blended with fat and seeds to create energy bars before traveling; leaves from the plant were boiled with the removed cherry skin for an herbal infusion (with a caffeine kick!).

African slaves likely carried coffee across the Red Sea, making its way into Asia. By the 1400s, Sufis were drinking coffee cherry tea to help them stay alert during prayer. Solely driven by taste, the first roasters appeared in Arabia in the 1500s, where the coffee was lightly roasted on metal and porcelain pans and ground prior to drinking. This method spread to Turkey, Egypt, and North America, and laid the foundation for the coffee we drink today. The Arabs were the first to trade coffee, and within a few hundred years, coffee was a worldly traded commodity. (Below, A map of coffee's world journey from DK's Coffee Obsession.)



Most consumers only see roasted beans, but fresh, green coffee is still exported and imported around the globe. In recent years, the medical world has delcared green coffee to have high amounts of chlorogenic acid, which as been associated with monitoring high blood pressure and regulating blood sugar and metabolism.

Regardless of whatever benefits are out there, we highly recommend consuming your beans perfectly roasted (from us, of course).



Songer & Associates, 2013. Roasting Process. Sourced from

Web MD, 2009. Green Coffee. Sourced from

A. Moldvaer. Coffee Obsession. DK Publishing, 2014.


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