Did you know that botanically coffee is a shrub? It is part of the Rubiaceae family.
The Journey of a Coffee Bean
A coffee bean starts in a large planted bed, in a shaded nursery. Once the seedlings sprout they are then removed and placed within carefully selected pots with soil containing nutrients for them to develop. At this stage the coffee will be shaded from bright sunlight and watered on a regular basis until they have grown sufficiently and are healthy enough to be planted directly into the ground.
The best time to plant the shrubs is during the wet season, this ensures that the coffee gets sufficient water in the early days and that the soil is in the best condition to allow the roots of the shrub to develop and get firmly established.
Did you know …?
- Most coffee plantations are found along the equator between the tropics of Cancer (approx. 25° North) and Capricorn (approx. 30° South) in an area known as the coffee belt.
- Depending on the height of the coffee it will be classified in various forms; higher grown coffee is believed to be better in quality and flavour and therefore is more expensive.
- The Coffee shrub can take up to 4 ½ years to bear fruit.
- There are 73 classified species of coffee, however only three are grown commercially, they are Aribica, Robusta and Liberica.
Arabica is probably the most well-known of the coffee species. Arabica trees grow between 3.7M and 6M tall and generally grow on hillsides in shaded areas to control the amount of sunlight it is exposed to. It contains approximately half the caffeine of Robusta.