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If you ever wonder why one bean makes it to your local specialty shop and another does not, read on.

For a tree grown in over 70 countries, from Indonesia to Brazil, it's curious how narrow a range of conditions is required to produce quality 'beans' and how relatively small the total output is.

From its origins over two thousand years ago, coffee bean processing has grown to a worldwide market whose output as a commodity has a dollar value second only to petroleum.