Research Shows The Coffee Bean Evolved to be Addictively Awesome

Besides tasting delicious, smelling delicious, and giving you that much needed boost to make it through Monday, coffee is so awesome because it evolved that way.

Some coffee-loving scientists have uncovered some secrets from the coffee bean that revealed its genomes evolved differently than similar genes in tea and chocolate. Simply put, the coffee bean naturally evolved to be the wonder bean that it is.

Researchers created a diagram of the genome of Coffea canephora, which accounts for about 30 percent of the world’s coffee production, and looked at how it differed from say a fig or tomato. In comparison to other plant species, coffee harbors larger families of genes that relate to the production of alkaloid and flavonoid compounds – these are responsible for coffee’s bitterness and irresistible aroma.

“The coffee genome helps us understand what’s exciting about coffee—other than that it wakes me up in the morning, said Victor Albert, professor of biological sciences at the University at Buffalo. “By looking at which families of genes expanded in the plant, and the relationship between the genome structure of coffee and other species, we were able to learn about coffee’s independent pathway in evolution, including—excitingly—the story of caffeine.”

Now if only other beans can work on catching up with their evolution and try to be a little more exciting like the coffee been. Looking at you, kidney beans.

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