Coffee 101 - The Surprising Plant that Coffee Beans Grow On

Coffee 101 - The Surprising Plant that Coffee Beans Grow On

Surprisingly, coffee beans don't grow on trees as many people believe - they actually grow on a plant! This plant is known as the Coffea plant and is native to tropical regions of the world. While there are many different species of Coffea plants, all of them produce the same small, dark beans that we use to make our favourite cup of coffee. In this blog post, we'll be taking a look at the Coffea plant and exploring the fascinating world of where our coffee beans come from.

Coffee Growing Process 

The coffee plant is a part of the Rubiaceae family

The Rubiaceae family is a large, diverse group of flowering plants native to many areas around the world. It is believed to have originated in the tropical regions of South and Central America. The family includes about 13,500 species of trees, shrubs, vines, and herbs. The coffee plant is one of the most popular members of the Rubiaceae family.

Coffee plants are shrubs or small trees

The coffee plant, scientifically known as Coffea, originates from tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Madagascar, and Reunion Island. There are more than 60 species of coffee plants that grow around the world, each with a unique flavour profile and growing requirements. The two main species used in commercial production are Arabica and Robusta.

Coffee plants are typically shrubs or small trees and reach heights of up to 10 feet when fully grown. They have dark green, glossy leaves and white, fragrant flowers that bloom in clusters. The fruit of the coffee plant is a drupe which contains the coffee beans we use to make our favourite beverage. These beans are picked, processed and then roasted to bring out their flavour and aroma.

They have dark green, glossy leaves

The leaves of the coffee plant are dark green and glossy in appearance, with a distinctive shape and texture. Originating from tropical regions, such as Central and South America, Africa, and parts of Asia, the leaves are traditionally large and oval in shape with a serrated edge. They have a waxy feel to them, and are incredibly hardy, able to withstand periods of drought and extreme temperatures.

White, fragrant flowers bloom in clusters

The white, fragrant flowers of the coffee plant are one of its most distinct characteristics. These flowers bloom in clusters and are a source of fascination for coffee lovers. From their origin in Ethiopia, to the moment they begin to bloom, they provide a unique touch to each cup of coffee.

These flowers have a sweet scent and are generally five-petaled. They are typically white or pale yellow in colour and grow in clusters of two to five. Once the petals drop, the centre of the flower will develop into a green, bean-like pod that is full of coffee beans. As these beans mature, they will turn a bright red, which signals the perfect time for harvest.

The fruit of the coffee plant is a drupe

A drupe is a type of fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell (the pit or stone) with a seed inside. A drupe is also referred to as a stone fruit, due to the hard, stony covering around the seed. In the case of the coffee plant, the drupes contain two seeds that are found within the cherry-like fruit.

Coffee is believed to have originated in Ethiopia and then spread throughout Africa, Asia, South America, Central America and finally to the Caribbean. Coffee beans are actually seeds from the drupes of the coffee plant, and are then dried, roasted and ground before being brewed into the delicious beverage we enjoy today.

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