Key Facts about Coffee Plant
Coffee is prepared from the roasted seeds called as Coffee beans. Coffee is grown in more than 70 countries of the world. Due to Caffeine, it gives stimulating effects. It originated in Ethiopia and its cultivation expanded from the Arab world to other parts of the world.
About Coffee Plant
Taxonomically, Coffee plant belongs to Rubiaceae family. The plant is an evergreen shrub. The flowers bloom simultaneously and are followed by oval berries of about 1.5 cm. The berries are Green when immature, ripen to yellow and get crimson before they get black on drying. Berries ripen in seven to nine months. Coffee is generally propagated by vegetative methods just to maintain the new strains. Cuttings, grafting, and budding are the usual methods of vegetative propagation. However, Coffee can be grown by seeds as well. The traditional method of planting coffee is to put 20 seeds in each hole at the beginning of the rainy season, out of which half are eliminated naturally.
- Coffee needs hot and humid climate with temperature varying between 15°C and 28°C. It is generally grown under shady trees.
- Strong sun shine, high temperature above 30°C, frost and snowfall are harmful for coffee cultivation.
- Dry weather is necessary at the time of ripening of berries
- Rainfall between 150 to 250 cm is favourable for coffee cultivation.
- Well drained, rich friable loamy soil with humus and minerals are ideal for coffee cultivation.
- Coffee also needs cheap and skilled labour.
There are more than 100 species of coffee but only a few are grown commercially. In our country Coffea robusta (or Coffea canephora) and Coffea arabica are grown.
Robusta Coffee or Coffea canephora is mostly grown in Africa and Brazil but also grown in South Asia and South East Asia. On the account of this coffee only, Vietnam has become one of the largest producers and exporter of coffee in the world. Though, it is considered inferior to Coffea arabica, it requires lesser care. It has twice amount of caffeine than Arabica.
Coffea arabica is indigenous to Ethiopia and Arab world. It is also known as Coffee Shrub of Arabia and is believed to be the first variety of Coffee to be cultivated. It naturally contains little caffeine.
Coffea liberica is a species that originated in Liberia. The plant grows up to 9 meters and produces larger cherries. Its variety Baraco is a major crop in Philippines.
Coffea charrieriana is a coffee that is free of caffeine. It is found in Cameroon.
Mocha Coffee or Cafe mocha is derived from Coffea Arabica. This name derived from the Mocha town of Yemen. Yemen was the largest producer and exporter of Mocha Coffee in some 15th and 16th century.