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Coffee Plant

Did you know that coffee beans come from a coffee plant? A coffee plant is usually a bush or small tree that grows to 10-12 feet (although it can grow up to 32 feet) and can produce coffee beans for decades.


Coffee cultivation is found between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The two most common kinds are Arabica and Robusta.

Planting a coffee plantlet

Want to grow your own coffee plants at home? The first thing you’ll need is patience. It takes about 3-4 years before coffee plants mature and begin producing beans. If you have that, here’s what else you will need:

1. A good pot filled with fast draining potting soil.  

2. An average temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Frequent watering which keeps the soil moist but not soggy.

4. An overhead space of 10 feet or occasional pruning if space is not available.

The fruit of the coffee plant will not ripen all at one time, but do pick the berries once they are red and ripe.


The seeds of the coffee plant - coffee beans, roasted and green

The two main species of coffee grown for coffee production are Arabica (Coffea arabica) and Robusta (Coffea canephora).

As the name suggests, Robusta beans are more robust than Arabica and can be grown at a low altitude. 


Robusta is characterised by a strong note, strong body and very little acidity. It is mainly grown in Vietnam, Brazil and Indonesia.


Arabica grows at a higher altitude, usually above 800 m, and up to 2500 m. Arabica is characterised by a fine aroma, less body, and pleasant acidity. Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Central America, Mexico, India and Eastern Africa are among the best-known Arabica producing countries. Arabica accounts for the majority of the world’s production.

Coffee farmers testing fertile grounds for coffee plantlets

As part of our sustainability initiatives, NESCAFÉ distributes coffee plantlets to coffee growing communities all over the world.  We test many varieties of plants to find the best ones for the specific environment in which they will be growing. This helps coffee farmers lower costs and improve profits.


Find out more about our sustainability initiatives.


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