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CoFFEE is an open source software for computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) in a digital classroom. Unlike most CSCL envirmonments, CoFFEE is not designed for and indeed does not currently support distance learning, but is rather focused on facilitating group interaction within the classroom.

CoFFEE offers customisable tools for group collaboration, knowledge sharing and representation, such as a threaded discussion forum, a graphical concept mapping tool, dynamic voting and others. It has so far been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and (experimental version) Hebrew and is being used in schools, colleges and universities in the UK, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

CoFFEE is open source and free software released under the Eclipse Public License (EPL). The CoFFEE project is hosted at Sourceforge and offers all the regular tools (SVN, bugtracker, forum etc.) that you might already be familiar with when working with Sourceforge.


Origin of the name

CoFFEE stands for Collaborative Face to Face Educational Environment.


  • Vittorio Scarano (team leader of the CoFFEE developers) got the IBM International Jazz Award 2008 [1] for the proposal to integrate CoFFEE tools into Jazz .

Overview of the Software

The architecture of CoFFEE was first presented in [2], while the technical architecture based on Eclipse was described in [3].

Sessions, Steps and Groups

CoFFEE lessons are called Sessions. A session can be a short part of a whole lesson or span several lessons over a period of several weeks. Such a session is composed of a number of distinct Steps, each with different tools or tool combinations. During the lesson, the teacher can navigates from step to step. A Step may contain a single CoFFEE tool, or a combination of up to 5 different tools.

The activities can be performed by the whole classroom (class step) or by dividing the students in small groups (group step). In the latter case, each group may have a different configuration of tools and perform separately by the other groups. Alternating class steps and group steps appears as a promising direction in research [4]


Around CoFFEE's tools, several other components make it possible to plan, run or participate in a CoFFEE lesson (or session): CoFFEE Discusser is the learner's interface to access the various tools. CoFFEE Controller is the teacher's runtime tool. It allows the teacher to load a lesson plan, run it step by step, manage groups, block and unblock learners and of course access each group's tools (except private workspaces) in order to monitor, facilitate or participate in the discussions. CoFFEE Lesson Planner is a tool that allows the teacher to plan the session ahead of time. Planning a session can begin from editing a pre-configured template to creating everything from scratch in the advanced Session Editor, or specifying the list of learners, their names, password (in case this is required) and group affiliation in the CoFFEE Class Editor. The Replayer allows researchers (but also curious teachers) to play back traces of an entire CoFFEE session.


Collaboration tools

There are two main collaboration tools in CoFFEE: The Threaded Discussion tool and the Graphical tool. In addition, there's a simple tool for turn-based collaborative writing.

The threaded discussion tool allows discussion on several topics to occur simultaneously, each dealing with one 'category' or aspect of a problem under discussion. On every aspect there may be several threads, and every single contribution can be applied a 'type' - e.g. an Argument, a Claim or a Rebuttal. The teacher can configure those types in the Lesson Planner.

The Graphical tool represents the discussion spatially. It too can accept different contribution types, as well as different types of relations between contributions (e.g: 'oppose' or 'support').

The Co-Writer tool allows all the learners in the classroom to write a collaborative text. The teacher assigns writing permission.

Tools for sharing, group awareness and individual work

CoFFEE offers a variety of tools for sharing and awareness (Repository, Positionometer and Presence), communication (Chat and Quick Communication), and individual work (Notes and Personal versions of the Threaded Discussion Tool and Graphical Tool).

The Repository tool provides file sharing functionalities. A repository stores files that can be shared between the teacher and the learners. Learners too can upload files and submit them to the repository. The teacher then decides whether to share them or not.

The Positionometer lets the learners position their opinion about a question, posed by the teacher during the lesson, along a scale that can be configured on a range of 2 to 10 values. Learners can change their position as long as the positionometer is on. They can either do so in private mode (with only the teacher seeing all the votes), shared mode (with all learners seeing each other's shifting positions), or anonymously - i.e. sharing with their peers their opinions, but not their names (although th teacher always knows...)

The Presence tool simply lets the learners see who else is in their group. It's also possible to configure it so that it shows who was in a learner's group in a previous step. In that case, those who were not in the learner's group will be coloured differently.

The Chat tool is unique to each group within the classroom and can support group coordination on a meta-task level, e.g. discussions about tool usage, or in combination with turn-taking enabled tools, for group members to discuss a topic while one of them is writing.

With the Quick Communication tool, which is always present in the teacher's CoFFEE Controller and the learner's CoFFEE Discusser, teachers and individual learners can communicate discretely.

The Notes tool is a simple private space to keep notes. The learner can, for example, paste previous contributions into this tool, edit and develop them and copy to the current step.

Personal versions of the collaboration tools

The Graphical tool and Threaded Discussion tool can also be configured for individual use. It's also possible to place, side by side, a personal and a shared version of the same tool, to allow learners to elaborate their contribution for themselves before sharing it with their classmates.

Pedagogical work with CoFFEE

Several studies about CoFFEE-based pedagogical based are found in literature.

The potentials of bringing computer-mediated communication within the face-2-face activities in the classroom are presented in [5].

The learners' appropriation of CoFFEE tools is analyzed in [6] [7] [8]


  1. IBM International Jazz Awards 2008,](see the the list of the winners and the announcement at IBM University Italian website (in italian))
  2. De Chiara, R., Di Matteo, A., Manno, I., Scarano, V. (2007), CoFFEE: Cooperative Face2Face Educational Environment, in Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing (CollaborateCom 2007), New York, USA, November 12-15, 2007. [1]
  3. Manno, I., Belgiorno, F., De Chiara, R,. Di Matteo, A., Erra, U., Malandrino, D., Palmieri, G., Pirozzi, D., Scarano, V. (2007) Collaborative Face2Face Educational Environment (CoFFEE), First International Conference on Eclipse Technologies (Eclipse-IT 2007). [2] in italian
  4. Van Diggelen, W., and Overdijk, M., Small-group Face-to-Face Discussions in the Classroom: A New Direction of CSCL Research, in: C.A. Chinn, G. Erkens, and S. Puntambekar (Eds.), Proceedings of the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference 2007 (Vol. 8, pp. 726-735).
  5. Van Diggelen, W., and Scarano, V., (eds.) (2006), Exploring the potentials of networked-computing support for face-to-face collaborative learning, workshop proceedings Ec-Tel 2006 (October 1st 2006), Utrecht, LEAD project, Utrecht University.
  6. Overdijk, M. & Diggelen, W. van (2007). Tool Appropriation in Face-to-Face Collaborative Learning. In: B. Csapó and C. Csíkos (Eds.), Developing Potentials for Learning: Proceedings of the 12th Biennial Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) Budapest, Hungary.
  7. Overdijk, M. & Diggelen, W. van (2007). Appropriation of a graphical shared workspace: The learner-tool connection. In: C.A. Chinn, G. Erkens, and S. Puntambekar (Eds.), Proceedings of the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference­ 2007 (Vol. 8, pp. 566-568).
  8. Overdijk, M. & Diggelen, W. van (2006). Technology Appropriation in Face-to-Face Collaborative Learning. In: E. Tomadaki and P. Scott (Eds.): Innovative Approaches for Learning and Knowledge Sharing, EC-TEL 2006 Workshops Proceedings, ISSN 1613-0073, p. 89-96.

Other useful material

EduTech wiki entry

van Diggelen,W. & Overdijk, M. (in press, 2008). Grounded design: Design patterns as the link between theory and practice. Computers in Human Behavior.

Iannaccone, A. Tateo, L. Mollo, M. Marsico, G. (In press, 2008) L’identité professionnelle des enseignants face aux changement, Travail & Formation en Education;

Ligorio, M.B. Tateo, L. (2008) “Just for passion”: dialogical and narrative construction of teachers’ professional identity and educational practices. European Journal Of School Psychology, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 115-142;

Overdijk, M. & van Diggelen, W. (2008). Appropriation of a shared workspace: Organizing principles and their application. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 3, 165-192. Akkerman, S., Overdijk, M., Admiraal, W. & Simons, R.J. (2007). Beyond Imprisonment of Meaning: Technology that Facilitates Redefining. Computers in Human Behavior, 23, pp. 2998-3011.

Dyke, G., Girardot, J.J., Lund, K., Corbel, A., (2007) Analysing Face to Face Computer-mediated Interactions EARLI'07 , Budapest, Hungary.

Akkerman, S., Overdijk, M., Admiraal, W. & Simons, R.J. (2007). Beyond Imprisonment of Meaning: Technology that Facilitates Redefining. Computers in Human Behavior, 23, pp. 2998-3011.

Ligorio, M.B., Tateo, L., Manno, I., De Chiara R. and Iannaccone, A. (2007), COFFEE: a software to blend face-to-face and written communication in collaborative problem solving-based scenarios, in Summer School "Building Knowledge for deep Understanding" at the institute for knowledge innovation and technology, Toronto, Canada, August 7-10, 2007.

Dumez-Féroc, I. & Baker, M. (2006). Des dispositifs de communication multicanaux au service de l'apprentissage collaboratif en classe : le projet LEAD. Actes du colloque JOCAIR 2006 (Colloque international : Premières Journées Communication et Apprentissage Instrumentés en Réseau), Université d'Amiens (France), 6 - 8 juillet 2006.

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:




roasted coffee beans
coffee (beverage)


From Italian caffè < Turkish kahve < Arabic قهوة (qahwa), coffee). Some Ethiopians claim a derivation from Kaffa, an ancient province of Ethiopia where coffee is said to have originated, but this etymology is highly improbable as it fails to explain the initial shift to the Arabic ‘qahwa’. At the same time, qahwa refers only to coffee in liquid form. When it is dry, either as beans or ground, Arabs call coffee بن (bunn). That word comes from ቡና (buna), the Amharic word for coffee.

Many sources state that the Arabic term meant ‘a brew’, especially wine.




countable and uncountable; plural coffees

coffee (countable and uncountable; plural coffees)

  1. A beverage made by infusing the beans of the coffee plant in hot water.
  2. A serving of the beverage coffee
    We’d like three coffees on this table please
  3. The seeds of the plant used to make coffee, misnamed ‘beans’ due to their shape.
  4. A tropical plant of the genus Coffea.
  5. (color/colour) A pale brown colour, like that of milk coffee.
    coffee colour:    



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


coffee (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. (color/colour) Of a pale brown colour, like that of milk coffee.


Derived terms

See also

External links

Simple English

File:A small cup of
A cup of coffee

Coffee is a plant and the name of the drink that is made from this plant. The coffee plant is a bush or tree that can grow up to ten metres (about 32 feet) high, but is usually cut shorter. Coffee plants originally grew in Africa, and now also grow in South America, Central America and Southeast Asia. They are an important crop for the economies of many countries.

The drink is made from the seeds of the coffee plant, called coffee beans. Coffee is usually served hot, and is a popular drink in many countries. Coffee contains a chemical called caffeine, a mild drug that keeps people awake.

To make a drink from coffee beans, the beans must first be specially prepared by roasting. The beans are usually roasted a short time after they are picked. This dries them out, makes them last longer, and makes them ready to be packed. Before the beans are made into a drink, they are ground (crushed into tiny pieces in a coffee mill). When the ground coffee is placed into boiling water, the flavour and dark brown colour of the beans goes into the water. Making coffee is called brewing coffee. There are several different ways that coffee can be brewed.


Coffee types

[[File:|thumb|right | Coffee trees in Brazil]]

There are two main types of coffee plant. The Coffea Arabica, the most common. Most of the world's coffee is made from Arabica beans,[1] and the Coffea Robusta, which is easier to grow in places where Arabica will not grow.

Robusta is cheaper and has more caffeine than Arabica[2] and it is used in many commercial coffee products. But Robusta tastes bitter and acidic, so people only drink it with other things. Better quality Robustas are in some espresso blends.

In the past, people gave names to new Arabica coffees from the port they came from. The two oldest Arabica coffees are "Mocha" and "Java". Today, names are more specific. They tell us the country, region, and sometimes even the property where they come from.

Preparing coffee

[[File:|thumb|Coffee fruit (beans)]]

File:Unroasted coffee .jpg
Coffee beans before roasting
File:Roasted coffee
Coffee beans after roasting


Some sorts of coffee taste better if the beans are "aged". This means that after they are picked, the beans are kept from three to eight years. This "aging" gives the coffee a less acidic taste.[3] Coffee that has been aged is often mixed or "blended" with other coffee that is not aged.


"Roasting" is one of the important stages in making coffee beans into coffee. When a coffee bean is roasted, it grows nearly two times bigger and changes from green to yellow to brown.

The length of time that the coffee beans are roasted makes the coffee taste different. Some types of coffee, such as Mocha and Java, are roasted for a short time. It is easy to tell from the flavour where the coffee is from. When coffee is roasted for a long time, it is harder to tell the different types apart. Green coffee beans can be bought and roasted at home in the oven.


Before the coffee is made into a drink, it is "ground" in a small grinding machine called a "coffee mill". The coffee mill breaks the beans into very small pieces. Coffee is turned into a drink in several different ways. For some ways of making coffee, such as "espresso" it is best to have the coffee ground into fine powder but for other types of coffee-making, such as "filtered coffee", the coffee is in larger pieces to stop it going through the filter. Finely ground coffee makes a stronger taste.


Coffee is made into a drink by putting the coffee into boiling water. This is called "brewing" coffee. There are many ways to brew coffee. Four of the most popular are:

  • Boiling: The coffee and the water are put into a pot on top of the stove and boiled slowly together. This way of making coffee has been used for hundreds of years. It is the way that coffee is usually made in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Greece.[4]
  • Pressure: The boiling water is forced through the ground coffee by a machine. This type of coffee is called Espresso and the machine is called an "Espresso machine" or "Coffee system". Espresso machines are often found in cafes and restaurants. Espresso is a very strong coffee that can be used to make other coffee drinks. [5]
  • Gravity: Filtered coffee is made by gravity because the boiling water falls from a machine onto the coffee. The coffee grounds are held in a paper or metal "filter" that the water can run through, but the little coffee pieces cannot. The water becomes coloured and flavoured as it runs through the coffee and into a coffee pot.[6]
  • Steeping: Boiling water is poured onto the coffee and it is allowed to stand for a little while, until the water has taken the colour and flavour. This is often done in a cafetière, which is a tall glass or coffee pot which has a special filter inside that can be pushed down when the coffee is ready so that the person does not drink the coffee grounds. Another way of steeping coffee is to have coffee grounds in a small satchel or packet, the right size to make one cup of coffee. The packet is placed in the cup and water poured over it. Then the packet is removed.[7]

How people drink their coffee

[[File:|thumb|Coffee can be drunk with food]]

"Flat white" coffee is often decorated.
  • Black coffee is coffee with no milk in it.
  • White coffee is coffee with milk in it.
  • Café au lait is coffee made with a lot of hot milk. It is often sweet.
  • Espresso is very strong coffee. It is often called a "short black".
  • Cappuccino is espresso with frothed milk (milk mixed with air). A well-made cappuccino should be made of strong coffee. When the frothy milk is poured gently into the coffee cup, it should be white on top and have a ring of darker coffee around the edge, like the ring of hair on the head of a monk. Cappuccino coffee sometimes has cocoa sprinkled on top.
  • Flat white is made like a cappuccino but with a very thin layer of foam. If the foam is added carefully, it can be made into patterns of hearts, leaves or feathers.
  • Latte is espresso with hot milk.
  • Americano is espresso with a lot of hot water. It is weaker than espresso, and tastes different.
  • Irish coffee is coffee with whiskey and with cream on the top.
  • Iced coffee is espresso in a tall glass with crushed ice, cold milk and ice cream.
  • Vietnamese style coffee (Cafe Sua Da) is filtered coffee poured over ice into a glass with sweet condensed milk (thick milk which has had the water removed).
  • Baby-cino is a little espresso cup filled with frothed milk, sprinkled with cocoa and served with a spoon. There is no coffee in a baby-cino. They are made to keep babies happy while their mothers are drinking coffee.

Instant coffee

"Instant coffee" is a very quick way to make a cup of coffee to drink. It is made in a factory and sold in jars or packets. First, strong coffee is made using ground coffee and boiling water. Then, the coffee grounds are filtered out. The coffee liquid is dried out until nothing is left except granules (little crunchy pieces), or fine powder. This is then put into jars or packets. As soon as a spoonful of "instant coffee" is added to boiling water, it dissolves in the water to make coffee to drink. The taste can be very different from fresh coffee. Part of the reason for the different taste is that Robusta coffee beans are usually used for making instant coffee. Robusta coffee beans do not cost as much as Arabica.

When people drink coffee

File:Aix- café des deux garç
A coffee shop in France

The United States buys the most coffee; Germany is next. People in Sweden drink the most coffee for each person. In Canada, the United States and Europe, some restaurants sell mainly coffee; they are referred to as "cafés" or "coffeehouses". Cafés often sell food, but the type of food is different from one country to another.

In some countries, for example, those in northern Europe, people like having coffee parties. At these parties, people have coffee and cake.

In many countries, people drink coffee at work; in the United States and England, for example, people drink it in the morning. In other countries, such as Mexico, people drink it in the evening to help them stay awake.

Health problems

Coffee contains the drug caffeine. Caffeine is a mild stimulant which helps to keep people awake. Caffeine, like many drugs, can be addictive and can cause health problems.[8]

Some studies have looked at the health risks of coffee. In February 2003, there was a study in Denmark of 18,478 women to find out if coffee had an effect on pregnancy and birth. It was found that if a woman drank between four and seven cups of coffee a day, it did not seem to make a big change to the number of babies that were born dead, (stillborn). But the women in the study who drank eight or more cups of coffee a day had three times as much chance of having a stillborn baby.[9][10]

For this, and other reasons, some people drink coffee substitutes instead.


  1. "Botanical Aspects". International Coffee Organization. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  2. Reynolds, Richard. "Robusta's Rehab". Coffee Geek. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  3. "Coffee Aging". Ring Surf. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
  4. Ukers, William Harrison (January 1, 1993). All about Coffee. Gale Research; 2d ed edition. pp. 725. ISBN 978-0810340923. 
  5. Rothstein, Scott. "Brewing Techniques". Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  6. Levy, Joel (November 2002). Really Useful: The Origins of Everyday Things. Firefly Books. pp. 1948. ISBN 978-1552976227. 
  7. Davids, Kenneth (1991). Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying. 101 Productions. pp. 128. ISBN 978-1564265005.,M1. 
  8. James, JE; KP Stirling (September 1983). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Caffeine: A summary of some of the known and suspected deleterious effects of habitual use"]. British Journal of Addiction 78 (3): 251-8. PMID 6354232. 
  9. "Big coffee drinkers 'double risk of stillbirth', Daily Telegraph". 21 February 2003. 
  10. "Maternal consumption of coffee during pregnancy and stillbirth and infant death in first year of life: prospective study, British Medical Journal". 22 February 2003. 

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Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 13, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Coffee, which are similar to those in the above article.

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