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Baseline Coffea arabica from Old Earth


Coffee in its most basic form is a beverage brewed from the berries of the coffea plant. Coffee, in its numerous varieties, has long been one of the most common beverages consumed by bionts in the Terragen Sphere, surpassed perhaps only by tea. Over the millennia, coffee has been bred into a myriad of different strains and genetically engineered into an ever-widening array of species.


Native to the African continent on Old Earth, the process of coffee brewing was discovered relatively late in the Agricultural Age and appears to have been first recorded in the region of Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula in the 1400s AD. Thereafter, coffee spread throughout the Middle East. Later, with the rise of globalization, it spread to the Europeans and their growing colonial empires, becoming an important cash crop in many tropical areas.

For several hundred years most coffee was either of the arabica or the more caffeinated robusta varieties, but in the 21st century AD genetically modified new forms began to arise. Some of these new variants were bred for hardiness and the ability to cope with the rising global temperatures. Others were simply designed for more marketable tastes.

During the Great Expulsion and the Dark Age that followed, coffee was considered a luxury in some habitats where valuable agricultural space was reserved for more needed staples. With the advent of the First Federation and the accompanying stability, coffee production exploded throughout many areas of the Solar System and beyond. In the Current Era, some form of coffee can usually be found in most systems. Indeed, many habitats, settlements, or even worlds have a signature "house blend" created specifically for that location. These run the gamut from traditional edible varieties; similar tasting but chemically altered equivalents needed for certain tweaks, neogens, and xenosophonts; and narcogram coffee for use through DNI to name just a few. In a likely example of nominative determinism, the planet New Java hosts what is widely thought to be the single largest repository of coffee types in the Interstellar Coffee Heritage and Research Institute.


While coffee varieties and coffee derived species number in the millions a few popular types are listed below.

Oily Joe: A coffee scented lubricant imbibed by vecs on Trip. Usually made available alongside more standard coffee types for their biont coworkers.

Khalid: A bitter tasting coffee popular on many worlds throughout the Stellar Umma.

Kelffee: A plant derived largely from a mix of kelp and coffee. Suitable for cultivation on planets with shallow seas or marine habitats. First developed on Pacifica.

Tashamocha: A chocolate tasting coffee species originally from Negsoa.

Coffijuana: One of a variety of coffee and marijuana derived plants.

Charonian Kudzu: A common vine-like plant producing coffee beans. Often used to line walls and ceilings on low gravity worlds or orbitals.

Coffhots: An edible coffee bean containing varying levels of capsaicin giving it a distinctive "hot" sensation. Normally consumed raw without need for roasting or brewing.

Cheeryffee: A gengineered fruit identified by sweet and mild coffee flavored flesh with a denser but edible pit containing most of the caffeine.

Coffee Beast: A gengineered animal resembling a cross between a large terrestrial wombat and a goat. Designed to produce a latte (coffee with milk) tasting liquid from its udders. Believed to have originated in the Zoeific Biopolity during the Age of Expansion. Now found throughout much of the Terragen Sphere.

Coffee Cactus: A family of succulent derived species usually with an edible coffee flavored "pear" and bean core for roasting. Suitable for cultivation on arid worlds. Very popular on the planet Sand.

Mocha-maple: A short stumpy plant, largely a hybrid from the maple tree and the coffee plant. It produces coffee flavored caffeinated or decaffeinated syrup depending on variety.

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Development Notes
Text by MacGregor
Initially published on 17 April 2017.