- The coffee plant is part of the Rubiacee family. It grows in a narrow subtropical “coffee belt” that stretches around the world
- Coffee plants are fruit-bearing shrubs that grow between 2 to 10 meters tall. The cultivated shrubs are pruned down to between 2 to 4 meters to make harvesting easier and encourage broader growth.
- The plants first produce clusters of white blossoms that smell alot like jasmine. They have a short flowering period. Small green coffee berries appear and ripen to a cherry red as they reach maturity. Within 6-9 months they darken to an almost black colour and are ready to be harvested.
- The soft flesh of the berries contain 2 seeds, or “beans”, each covered with a hard, protective covering.
- The bean size differs from plant species to plant species.
- The most commom commercially grown beans are Arabica, Robusta and Liberica.
- The amount of caffeine in beans varies by species. Robusta is responsible for intensity and strength and contains 2-4.5 percent caffeine; Arabica, responsible for aroma and body contains 1-1.7 percent caffeine.
References: I Love Coffee by Susan Zimmer & Wikipedia