It’s a new day, and a new month. We thought we’d start with something that seems to get many people started. Indeed, when was conceived, at the breakfast table on New Years Day, a cup of coffee was present.

We’d bet that most Americans, and certainly most Canadians, would recognize a maple tree, along with the sweet syrup created from its sap, even though most of us don’t eat maple syrup all the time. On the other hand, we’d bet that most American coffee drinkers wouldn’t recognize a coffee tree if they were to happen upon one, which isn’t likely in the U.S., or in Canada.

From the Knowledge Bank at the National Coffee Association, we learned that the coffee tree is capable of growing to 30 feet tall, though cultivated specimens are generally pruned to be shorter, presumably to ease harvest. Though they can vary in color from purple to yellow, the leaves of the coffee tree are predominantly dark-green and waxy, growing in opposite pairs with a size range between 1 and 40 centimeters. Fragrant, white blossoms grow along the tree’s branches, taking about a year to reach maturity as fruit referred to as a “cherries.”

The NCA indicates that there are between 25 and 100 different species of coffee, with Coffea arabica first described by Carolus Linneaus in Species Plantarum in 1753. As we said earlier, you might not expect to find a coffee plant growing in North America, but it is capable of growing in a variety of climates, with the condition that there are not extreme temperature fluctuations, as the plant has a continuous fruiting cycle, with the cherries having a long period to maturity.

Mr. FamilyTrivium is the coffee drinker in our household and likes his coffee black, or with heavy cream. He is not overly picky about his beans, so long as they they don’t produce a sour drink. He has one or two cups in the morning, then drinks water for the rest of day. How do you take your coffee? Feel free to share in the comments.