Coffea is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family, which includes shrubs and small trees native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. The seeds of some species, known as coffee beans, are used to flavor various beverages and products. The fruits of these plants contain a large amount of caffeine and have a distinctive sweet taste, and are often juiced. Coffee is one of the most valuable and widely traded commodity crops in the world, and is an important export product for many countries, including those in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. The leaves and fruits can be used to make coffee, cherry tea, and coffee leaf tea.
The plant has a main vertical trunk (orthotropic) and horizontal primary, secondary, and tertiary (plagiotropic) branches. This technique can be used to improve coffee production in several ways. For example, it can provide farmers with better information about the susceptibility of their coffee plants to pests and diseases, create a professional coffee seed system, and increase 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, citrusy, earthy, buttery, chocolatey, caramelly, honey-like or sugary. 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 soils (often volcanic), 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 harvesting the coffee cherries, the beans are extracted from the fruit and then roasted.
Approximately 6 weeks after pollination, the flowers will develop into coffee cherries. Arabica flowers have a glorious smell and produce ellipsoidal fruits containing 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 best at higher elevations. The two most commonly cultivated coffee species grow best at high elevations but don't tolerate freezing temperatures. Each type of coffee has its own specific maturation and harvest process depending on how long it takes to achieve the highest quality flavor.
According to the International Coffee Organization, more than 60 percent of the world's coffee production comes from Arabica farmers. Robusta coffee beans are more robust than Arabica plants but produce a lower tasting beverage with a higher caffeine content.