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Dec 20, 2016
Category: General
Posted by: alvin

The proposed gateway to a planned interoceanic canal shows little sign of activity but locals say Chinese experts have visited recently and work will start soon.

Oct 29, 2016
Category: General
Posted by: alvin

EU and 24 countries sign long-awaited agreement to protect 1.1m sq km of water in Southern Ocean, ensuring that fewer younger fish will be caught

Jul 29, 2016
Category: General
Posted by: alvin
The Utila Ferry War is Over.
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A Tree Grows... for Years

It takes 5 years for a coffee tree to mature. A day's wage for many of those who harvest the beans on the hillsides of South America? Equal to about the price of a tall latte in the U.S., says Mark Pendergrast, author of the book Uncommon Grounds. Some 125 million people worldwide depend on the coffee harvest for income.

That's a Bunch of Beans

The average yield from one coffee tree is equal to about a roasted pound of coffee. Over 50 species of coffee are grown around the world, and only two, Arabica and Robusta, are commonly used in commercial coffee production. Here, a worker checks on organic coffee beans at a small processing plant in Marcala, in Honduras.







Birth of the Coffee House
The very first coffee house in Europe is said to have opened in Venice in 1683, though coffee was available in Europe as early as 1608, mostly for the well-to-do. In this image, a group of costumed tourists enjoy a hot drink in Cafe Floriana in Saint Mark's square during the carnival in Venice, Italy.







Marketing Muscle
Advertising played a major role in growing the American coffee market. In 1952, a campaign by the Pan American Coffee Bureau helped institutionalize the coffee break in America, while the invented Juan Valdez in a 1960 ad campaign caused name recognition for Colombia coffee to zoom within months of its introduction, says Mark Pendergrast in the book Uncommon Grounds.







Coffee and Military Might
No surprise the expression "a cup of Joe" to denote coffee was coined during World War II, when American servicemen (aka G.I. Joes) were identified as big coffee drinkers. Here, soldiers from the Second Infantry Division enjoy a coffee break during a military exercise north of Seoul. (And when it comes to coffee cups: Starbucks uses 2.3 billion paper cups each year.) Now thats a bunch garbage.







A Company That's Cooking
Seattle -- Starbucks's corporate home, founded over 40 years ago -- has the most coffee shops per capita in the U.S., about 35 shops per 100,000 people. Americans down some 450 million cups of coffee a day, which adds up to 150-plus cups a year, so it's no wonder Starbucks had revenues of $11.7B in 2011 alone and today has about 137,000 employees, or "partners."







It's Both Food and Fuel
The second most traded commodity after oil, coffee can also fuel a car ("Back to the Future" wasn't far off). A "Coffee Car" built by British engineers reached a top speed of 77.5 miles an hour, averaging 66.5 m.p.h. The team discovered that the grounds produced by coffee shops could be dried out, turned into pellets, and cooked in a gasifier, creating a synthetic gas of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. Someone should tell Starbucks about this....