Coffee : The Plant
THE COFFEE PLANT
While there are several different coffee species, Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta are the most common varieties of the coffee plant today.
Coffea, that is the coffee plant (Rubiacee family), that originates from the Arabian Peninsula, is now present in the whole equatorial zone. There are approximately seventy different species, among which Arabic Coffea and Coffea Canephora (including the Robusta variety) are the most common with Arabica coffee accounts for 75% of the world’s production while Robusta is 20%.
The Arabica variety
Has a deep aroma and a light and intense taste. It contains a minimum level of caffeine.
The Robusta variety
Is a vigorous species with a strong and full-bodied taste and has a higher caffeine content.
The coffee tree grow to heights of 10 meters if not pruned, but for a production tree these are maintain at reasonable for easy harvesting. The plant has oval leaves and white perfumed flowers joined in a bunch. The fruit is similar to a berry and has two seeds.
The elliptical leaves of the coffee tree are shiny, dark green and waxy. The coffee bean leaf area index is between 7 and 8 for a high-yielding coffee. The coffee plant has become a major source of oxygen in much of the world. Each hectare of coffee produces 86lbs of oxygen per day, which is about half the production of the same area in a rain forest (source : Anacafe).