What are the two main coffee trees?

Coffea is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. Coffea species are shrubs or small trees native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. The seeds of some species, called coffee beans, are used to flavor various beverages and products. Fruits, like seeds, contain a large amount of caffeine and have a distinctive sweet taste and are often juiced.

The plant is one of the most valuable and widely traded commodity crops in the world and is an important export product of several countries, including those in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa. The fruit and leaves also contain caffeine and can be used to prepare coffee, cherry tea and coffee leaf tea. It has a main vertical trunk (orthotropic) and horizontal primary, secondary and tertiary (plagiotropic) branches. This or similar techniques may allow for several improvements in coffee production, such as better information for farmers about the susceptibility of their coffee plants to pests and diseases, a professional coffee seed system, and transparency and traceability for buyers of unroasted green coffee.

A cup of Arabica coffee is aromatic and tasty, with notes that can be described as floral, fruity, citrus, earthy, buttery, chocolate, caramel, honey or sugar. During planting, the main vertical roots are often cut to promote the growth of horizontal roots, which then have better access to water and added nutrients in the topsoil. This area provides the rich, often volcanic soils, regular rainfall, and sunshine that coffee needs to thrive. In fact, the term “coffee bean” is misleading; the beans we roast to make coffee are actually seeds.

After the coffee cherries are harvested, the beans are extracted from the fruit and are finally roasted. Approximately 6 weeks after the flowers are pollinated, the coffee cherry will develop where the flowers were located. With a glorious smell, Arabica flowers appear only after a couple of years and produce ellipsoidal fruits, within which there are two flat seeds known as coffee beans. This was the type of bean that started the entire history of coffee in Ethiopia, and it still grows better at higher elevations.

The most commonly cultivated coffee species grow best at high elevations, but they don't tolerate freezing temperatures. Each type of coffee has its own specific maturation and harvest process, depending on the time it takes to achieve the highest quality of flavor. According to the International Coffee Organization, more than 60 percent of the world's coffee production comes from Arabica farmers. While Robusta coffee beans are more robust than Arabica plants, they produce a lower tasting beverage with a higher caffeine content.

Gay Miniuk
Gay Miniuk

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