Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. It is prepared from the roasted seeds – commonly referred to as beans – of the coffee plant, and is usually served hot but can also be served cold. A typical 7 fluid ounce (ca. 207 mL) cup of coffee contains 80-140 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the method of preparation. Coffee represents 71% of all the United States caffeine consumption followed by soft drinks and tea. Coffee, along with tea and water, is one of the most frequently-drunk beverages, its volume amounting to about a third that of tap water in North America and Europe. In 2003, coffee was the world's sixth largest agricultural export in terms of value, behind wheat, maize, soybeans, palm oil and sugar.
Coffee plays an important role in many societies throughout the world today. From the coffeehouses of the 16th century, to the modern day cafés, coffee has had a profound impact on the lifestyles of people from all walks of life. When it first appeared in Africa and Yemen, it was commonly used as a type of religious intoxicant. This usage in religious rites among the Sufi branch of Islam led to it being put on trial in Mecca for being a "heretic" substance much as wine was. It was briefly repressed at this point, and was later part of a larger ban in Ottoman Turkey under an edict that led to the death of thousands of people. Its early association in Europe with rebellious political activities led to its banning in England, among other places. In India the Indian Coffee Houses became an icon of the worker's struggle. This restaurant chain is now owned by the workers of ICHs, as a result of the struggle performed by the thrown-out workers from the Coffee Houses of Coffee Board. This struggle was led by famed Communist leader of India A. K. Gopalan. Thus the ICHs became the meeting places of the progressive-minded in India later.