Have you ever seen arabica coffee tree? The photo on the left side is how arabica coffee tree look like. The coffee plant (Coffea arabica) will flower in the spring with small white flowers and then bear half-inch berries that gradually darken from green to blackish pods. Each of these fruits contains two seeds, which eventually become the coffee beans you use to brew coffee.
Botanical Name : Coffea arabica
Common Name : Coffee plant, Arabian coffee
Plant Type : Evergreen perennial
Mature Size : 6–15 feet tall and wide
Sun Exposure : Bright, indirect light
Soil Type : Rich and moist
Soil pH : 6.0 to 6.5 (slightly acidic)
Bloom Time : Spring
Flower Color : White
Hardiness Zones : 9–11 (USDA)
Native Area : Ethiopia, tropical Africa
Toxicity : Other than the seeds, all plant parts are toxic to humans and animals
In order to thrive, the coffee tree needs a humid and hot climate. It prefers average temperatures between 18 and 22 °C without significant temperature fluctuations. Nutrient-rich, slightly acidic, soils are best suited for cultivation. The evergreen plants can be grown at home under suitable conditions, but rarely produce a significant amount of fruit. Coffee trees yield an average of 2 to 4 kilos of cherries and a good picker can harvest 45 to 90 kilos of coffee cherry per day; this will produce nine to 18 kilos of coffee beans.
Coffee is harvested in one of two ways:
1. Strip Picked – all the cherries are stripped off of the branch at one time, either by machine or by hand.
2. Selectively Picked – only the ripe cherries are harvested and they are picked by hand.
Pickers check the trees every 8 to 10 days and individually pick only the fully ripe cherries. This method is labour intensive and more costly. Selective picking is primarily used for the finer Arabica beans.