There are very few items more precious than coffee beans. Roasted and ground, they make a delicious drink with an enticing aroma. Filled with caffeine, these beans provide a source of energy in the fast-paced modern world. For centuries, growers have worked hard to cultivate coffee in many different lands. Wherever they built new plantations and farms, coffee was a popular crop to plant. Many seeds did not flourish because coffee requires a tropical climate.
Wherever coffee flourished, entire economies could be built on trading the beans. Over the centuries, plants from new areas were recognized as having distinct flavors. Because many coffee plants were grown on tropical islands, the amount of coffee was limited. Many of these bean sources became highly sought and prices rose as they were classified as specialty coffees. In today's market, blends are often used as a way to combine the less available but high quality beans with others that are less expensive.