|| Coffee beans raw in stainless steel bin prior to being custom roasted . Coffee is a widely consumed stimulant beverage prepared from roasted seeds , commonly called coffee beans , of the coffee plant . Coffee was first consumed in the 9th century , when it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia . From there , it spread to Egypt and Yemen , and by the 15th century had reached Armenia , Persia , Turkey , and northern Africa . From the Muslim world , coffee spread to Italy , then to the rest of Europe and the Americas . Today , coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide . Coffee berries , which contain the coffee bean , are produced by several species of small evergreen bush of the genus Coffea . The two most commonly grown species are Coffea canephora ( also known as Coffea robusta ) and Coffea arabica . These are cultivated in Latin America , Southeast Asia , and Africa . Once ripe , coffee berries are picked , processed , and dried . The seeds are then roasted , undergoing several physical and chemical changes . They are roasted to varying degrees , depending on the desired flavor . They are then ground and brewed to create coffee . Coffee can be prepared and presented by a variety of methods . Coffee has played an important role in many societies throughout modern history . In Africa and Yemen , it was used in religious ceremonies . As a result , the Ethiopian Church banned its consumption until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia . [ 4 ] It was banned in Ottoman Turkey in the 17th century for political reasons , and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe . Coffee is an important export commodity . In 2004 , coffee was the top agricultural export for 12 countries , [ 5 ] and in 2005 , it was the worlds seventh largest legal agricultural export by value . [ 6 ] Some controversy is associated with coffee cultivation and its impact on the environment . Many studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and certain medical conditions ; whether the effect ?