Coffee Plant And Coffee
As everyone knows, coffee comes from roasted coffee seeds
also known as coffee beans which is produced only by the coffee
plant. It is important to grow the plant in the best possible
environment to ensure top grade coffee seeds.
Growing Coffee In The
Coffee is grown on small, evergreen trees in
plantations across South and Central America, Africa and
Asia. Because coffee cultivation is very labour-intensive,
it is particularly suited to developing countries that
depend on farming rather than
Coffee trees are propagated by seeds or
cuttings which are planted in special nursery beds. When the
seedlings are between 8 and 12 months old, they are
transplanted to fields where they are set in wet, fertilised
holes. As they require exactly the right amount of shaded
sunlight, regular watering, fertilising, and pest and weed
control, young coffee trees demand constant care from
It can take up to 5 years for a coffee
tree to begin producing good fruit, and they are often in
decline after only 15 years! Even more surprising, an entire
year’s output from one tree is scarcely enough to produce 500
grams of soluble coffee.
The 2 main types of commercially grown
coffee are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans account for
around 70% of total coffee production, Robusta make up the
rest. Arabica is popularly considered the best coffee but, like
any naturally grown product, it ranges in quality from
excellent to poor. Indeed, some Robusta beans are more
desirable than poor quality Arabica beans.
Picking The Beans
Once coffee trees begin to produce fruit, it
takes about 6-8 months (for Arabica coffee, or 11 months
for Robusta) for the fruit to ripen into red coffee
‘cherries’. These cherries must be harvested regularly –
as they become over-ripe after about 10 to 14 days.
However, as coffee trees are small and grow mainly in
mountainous areas, widespread use of mechanical harvesters
is not possible. As a result, the ripe red coffee
‘cherries’ have to be picked by hand.