Sunday, December 9, 2012

Coffee Plantation

Scientific classification
Kingdom        : Plantae
(unranked)      : Angiosperms
(unranked)      : Eudicots 
(unranked)      : Asterids
Order             : Gentianales
Family             : Rubiaceae 
Subfamily        : Ixoroideae 
Tribe               : Coffeeae 
Genus              : Coffea 
Species            : C. arabica 
Binomial name  : Coffea arabica L.

The coffee tree is a shrub with a straight trunk, which can survive for about 50 to 70 years. The first flowers appear during the third year, but production is only profitable from the fifth year onwards. Of around sixty different species of coffee tree, two alone dominate world trade - the Coffea arabica, or, more simply, Arabica, which represents 75% of production; and the Coffea canephora, which is commonly known by the name of the most widespread variety: Robusta.  Coffee is a brewed beverage with a distinct aroma and flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the Coffea plant. The beans are found in coffee "cherries", which grow on trees .

Coffee producer countries

Coffee cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in

Equatorial Latin America
Southeast Asia
South Asia and

Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world.Coffee is slightly acidic (5.0-5.1 pH) and can have a stimulating effect on humans because of its caffeine content. It is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world. Wild coffee's energizing effect was likely first discovered in the northeast region of Ethiopia. Coffee cultivation first took place in southern Arabia; the earliest credible evidence of coffee drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen.

Coffee berries, which contain the coffee seeds or "beans", are produced by several species of small evergreen bush of the genus Coffea. The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded Coffea arabica, and the "robusta" form of the hardier Coffea canephora. The latter is resistant to the devastating coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix). Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds are then roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. They are then ground and brewed to create coffee.

Health Effects 

Many studies have examined the health effects of coffee, and whether the overall effects of coffee consumption are positive or negative has been widely disputed. The method of brewing coffee has been found to be important in relation to its effects on health. For instance, preparing coffee in a French press leaves more oils in the drink compared with coffee prepared with a paper coffee filter. This might raise the drinker's level of "bad cholesterol."

The Flowers

 The flowers of the coffee tree  are white with 5 or 6 petals. The pistil that emerges from the cupule is tipped with delicate stigmas. The shape and scent resemble those of jasmine, and it is for this reason that the coffee tree was called "Arabian Jasmine" in the 17th century.

The flowers form glomerules, or little tufts made up of 8 to 15 elements, at the base of the leaves. They produce the same number of berries, commonly known as cherries because of their colour.
The flowers last only a few hours and wilt as soon as fertilisation has taken place: however, others quickly replace them. As a result, it is not uncommon to find leaves, flowers and berries on the tree at the same time! One tree can produce over 30,000 flowers in a year.

The leaves of the coffee tree

The coffee tree is an evergreen with spear-shaped leaves, which are green and shiny on the upper side. As with all Rubiaceous plants, the leaves grow in pairs on either side of the stem and they are stipulated - that is to say, the two foliaceous organs are to be found at the base of the leaf stalk. The leaves of the Robusta trees are much larger than those of the Arabica.


The first reference to "coffee" in the English language is in the form chaoua and dates to 1598. In English and other European languages, coffee derives from the Ottoman Turkish kahve, via the Italian caffè. The Turkish word in turn was borrowed from the Arabic: qahwah. Arab lexicographers maintain that qahwah originally referred to a type of wine, and gave its etymology, in turn, to the verb  qaha, signifying "to have no appetite", since this beverage was thought to dull one's hunger. Several alternative etymologies exist that hold that the Arab form may disguise a loanword from an Ethiopian or African source, suggesting Kaffa, the highland in southwestern Ethiopia as one, since the plant is indigenous to that area. However, the term used in that region for the berry and plant is bunn, the native name in Shoa being būn.


The story of Kaldi, the 9th-century Ethiopian goatherder who discovered coffee, did not appear in writing until 1671 and is probably apocryphal. Other accounts attribute the discovery of coffee to Sheik Omar.

According to the ancient chronicle (preserved in the Abd-Al-Kadir manuscript), Omar, who was known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer, was once exiled from Mocha to a desert cave near Ousab. Starving, Omar chewed berries from nearby shrubbery, but found them to be bitter. He tried roasting the beans to improve the flavor, but they became hard. He then tried boiling them to soften the bean, which resulted in a fragrant brown liquid. Upon drinking the liquid Omar was revitalized and sustained for days. As stories of this "miracle drug" reached Mocha, Omar was asked to return and was made a saint.

From Ethiopia, the beverage was introduced into the Arab world through Egypt and Yemen. The earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century, in the Sufi monasteries around Mokha in Yemen. It was here in Arabia that coffee beans were first roasted and brewed, in a similar way to how it is now prepared. By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa.The first coffee smuggled out of the Middle East was by Sufi Baba Budan from Yemen to India in 1670. Before then, all exported coffee was boiled or otherwise sterilised. Portraits of Baba Budan depict him as having smuggled seven coffee beans by strapping them to his chest. The first plants grown from these smuggled seeds were planted in Mysore. Coffee then spread to Italy, and to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia, and to the Americas.

In 1583, Leonhard Rauwolf, a German physician, gave this description of coffee after returning from a ten-year trip to the Near East: A beverage as black as ink, useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of

the stomach. Its consumers take it in the morning, quite frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each one drinks a cupful. It is composed of water and the fruit from a bush called bunnu. —Léonard Rauwolf, Reise in die Morgenländer (in German) From the Middle East, coffee spread to Italy. The thriving trade between Venice and North Africa, Egypt, and the Middle East brought many goods, including coffee, to the Venetian port. From Venice, it was introduced to the rest of Europe.

The first European coffee house opened in Italy in 1645. The Dutch East India Company was the first to import coffee on a large scale. The Dutch later grew the crop in Java and Ceylon. The first exports of Indonesian coffee from Java to the Netherlands occurred in 1711. Through the efforts of the British East India Company, coffee became popular in England as well. Coffee was introduced in France in 1657, and in Austria and Poland after the 1683 Battle of Vienna, when coffee was captured from supplies of the defeated Turks. When coffee reached North America during the Colonial period, it was initially not as successful as it had been in Europe as alcoholic beverages remained more popular. During the Revolutionary War, the demand for coffee increased so much that dealers had to hoard their scarce supplies and raise prices dramatically; this was also due to the reduced availability of tea from British merchants.

The territory of San Domingo (now Haiti) saw coffee cultivated from 1734, and by 1788 it supplied half the world's coffee. The conditions that the slaves worked in on coffee plantations were a factor in the soon to follow Haitian Revolution. The coffee industry never fully recovered there. Meanwhile, coffee had been introduced to Brazil in 1727, although its cultivation did not gather momentum until independence in 1822.
Coffee has become a vital cash crop for many Third World countries.

Over one hundred million people in developing countries have become dependent on coffee as their primary source of income. It has become the primary export and backbone for African countries like Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, as well as many Central American countries.


The two main species commercially cultivated are Coffea canephora (predominantly a form known as 'robusta') and C. arabica. C. arabica, the most highly regarded species, is native to the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and the Boma Plateau in southeastern Sudan and possibly Mount Marsabit in northern Kenya. C. canephora is native to western and central Subsaharan Africa, from Guinea to the Uganda and southern Sudan. Less popular species are C. liberica, excelsa, stenophylla, mauritiana, and racemosa. All coffee plants are classified in the large family Rubiaceae.

They are evergreen shrubs or small trees that may grow 5 m (15 ft) tall when unpruned.  Green when immature, they ripen to yellow, then crimson, before turning black on drying. Each berry usually contains two seeds, but 5–10% of the berries have only one; these are called peaberries. Berries ripen in seven to nine months. Coffea arabica is predominantly self-pollinating, and as a result the seedlings are generally uniform and vary little from their parents. In contrast, Coffea canephora, C. excelsa, and C. liberica are self-incompatible and require outcrossing. This means that useful forms and hybrids must be propagated vegetatively. Cuttings, grafting, and budding are the usual methods of vegetative propagation. On the other hand, there is great scope for experimentation in search of potential new strains.

Cultivation of Coffee Plants

Coffee plants or trees can grow to 3m in cultivation and require a warm climate and a humus rich fertile soil to do well. However coffee trees do like a little shade. Frost is a problem and plants need protection. Newly planted trees can take up to 4 years to flower and fruit. Attractive white flowers are fragrant and are followed by the berries which take a few months to ripen.

Growing Coffee Plants

The coffee tree or plant, 'coffea arabica' produces coffee beans in early spring, and the red seeds are harvested at this time. Plants can be grown from seed, however it is more usual to purchase young plants as viable seeds are often difficult to obtain.

In warmer climates coffee plants will 'self seed' and as birds love them they can become a problem. Coffee beans are washed and soaked, cleaned and then dried in the sun. After a week or two the outer bean will split to reveal the 'coffee bean'. These are separated and left to dry until hard. Coffees beans are then ready to roast. The traditional method of planting coffee is to place 20 seeds in each hole at the beginning of the rainy season. This method loses about 50% of the seeds' potential, as about half fail to sprout.

A more effective method of growing coffee, used  is to raise seedlings in nurseries that are then planted outside at six to twelve months. Coffee is often intercropped with food crops, such as corn, beans, or rice during the first few years of cultivation as farmers become familiar with its requirements. Of the two main species grown, arabica coffee (from C. arabica) is generally more highly regarded than robusta coffee (from C. canephora); robusta tends to be bitter and have less flavor but better body than arabica. For these reasons, about three-quarters of coffee cultivated worldwide is C. arabica. Robusta strains also contain about 40–50% more caffeine than arabica. For this reason, it is used as an inexpensive substitute for arabica in many commercial coffee blends. Good quality robusta beans are used in traditional Italian espresso blends to provide a full-bodied taste and a better foam head (known as crema). However, Coffea canephora is less susceptible to disease than C. arabica and can be cultivated in lower altitudes and warmer climates where C. arabica will not thrive. The robusta strain was first collected in 1890 from the Lomani River, a tributary of the Congo River, and was conveyed from Zaire to Brussels to Java around 1900.

Pests and Deseases

Over 900 species of insect have been recorded as pests of coffee crops worldwide. Of these, over a third are beetles, and over a quarter are bugs. Some 20 species of nematodes, 9 species of mites, several snails and slugs also attack the crop. Birds and rodents sometimes eat coffee berries but their impact is minor compared to invertebrates. In general, arabica is the more sensitive species to invertebrate predation overall. Each part of the coffee plant is assailed by different animals. Nematodes attack the roots, and borer beetles burrow into stems and woody material, the foliage is attacked by over 100 species of larvae (caterpillars) of butterflies and moths. Mass spraying of insecticides has often proven disastrous, as the predators of the pests are more sensitive than the pests themselves. Instead, integrated pest management has developed, using techniques such as targeted treatment of pest outbreaks, and managing crop environment away from conditions favouring pests. Branches infested with scale are often cut and left on the ground, which promotes scale parasites to not only attack the scale on the fallen branches but in the plant as well.

World production 2010 Top twenty green coffee producers

Rank           Country       Tonnes               Bags x1000
1                   Brazil         2,874,310              48,095
2                  Vietnam      1,105,700              19,467
3                  Indonesia       801,000                9,129
4                  Colombia       514,128                8,523
5                  India              289,600                5,033
6                  Ethiopia         270,000                7,500
7                  Peru              264,605                3,986
8                  Guatemala     257,000                3,950
9                  Mexico          253,800                4,850
10                Honduras       229,368                4,326
11                Uganda          162,000                3,290
12                Ivory Coast    100,000                   982
13                Costa Rica       97,305                1,588
14                El Salvador      97,273                1,859
15                Nicaragua        78,712                1,804
16                Venezuela        72,200                1,205
17         Papua New Guinea 67,200                   870
18                Cambodia        66,584                   608
19                Kenya              42,000                   658
20                Tanzania           40,020                   800 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total   World                   8,359,376            134,241 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In 2010 Brazil was the world leader in production of green coffee, followed by Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia. These taste characteristics are dependent not only on the coffee's growing region, but also on genetic subspecies (varietals) and processing. Varietals are generally known by the region in which they are grown, such as Colombian, Java and Kona.

Ecological effects

Originally, coffee farming was done in the shade of trees that provided a habitat for many animals and insects. Remnant forest trees were used for this purpose, but many species have been planted as well. These include leguminous trees of the genera Acacia, Albizia, Cassia, Erythrina, Gliricidia, Inga, and Leucaena, as well as the nitrogen-fixing non-legume sheoaks of the genus Casuarina, and the silky oak Grevillea robusta. This method is commonly referred to as the traditional shaded method, or "shade-grown". Starting in the 1970s, many farmers switched their production method to sun cultivation, in which coffee is grown in rows under full sun with little or no forest canopy. This causes berries to ripen more rapidly and bushes to produce higher yields, but requires the clearing of trees and increased use of fertilizer and pesticides, which damage the environment and cause health problems. Unshaded coffee plants grown with fertilizer yield the most coffee, although unfertilized shaded crops generally yield more than unfertilized unshaded crops: the response to fertilizer is much greater in full sun.

Although traditional coffee production causes berries to ripen more slowly and produce lower yields, the quality of the coffee is allegedly superior. In addition, the traditional shaded method provides living space for many wildlife species. Proponents of shade cultivation say environmental problems such as deforestation, pesticide pollution, habitat destruction, and soil and water degradation are the side effects of the practices employed in sun cultivation. Shaded coffee cultivation systems show greater biodiversity than full-sun systems, and those more distant from continuous forest compare rather poorly to undisturbed native forest in terms of habitat value for some bird species. Another issue concerning coffee is its use of water. According to New Scientist, using industrial farming practices, it takes about 140 liters of water to grow the coffee beans needed to produce one cup of coffee, and the coffee is often grown in countries where there is a water shortage, such as Ethiopia. By using sustainable agriculture methods, the amount of water usage can be dramatically reduced, while retaining comparable yields.

Coffee grounds may be used for composting or as a mulch. They are especially appreciated by worms and acid-loving plants such as blueberries. Some commercial coffee shops run initiatives to make better use of these grounds, including Starbucks' "Grounds for your Garden" project,and community sponsored initiatives such as "Ground to Ground". Processing Coffee berries and their seeds undergo several processes before they become the familiar roasted coffee. After picking, green coffee is processed by one of two methods—

---------the dry process method, simpler and less labor intensive as the berries can be strip picked, and the wet process method, which incorporates fermentation into the process and yields a mild coffee. Then they are sorted by ripeness and color and most often the flesh of the berry is removed, usually by machine, and the seeds—usually called beans—are fermented to remove the slimy layer of mucilage still present on the bean. When the fermentation is finished, the beans are washed with large quantities of fresh water to remove the fermentation residue, which generates massive amounts of coffee wastewater. Finally, the seeds are dried.

---------The best (but least used) method of drying coffee is using drying tables. In this method, the pulped and fermented coffee is spread thinly on raised beds, which allows the air to pass on all sides of the coffee, and then the coffee is mixed by hand. In this method the drying that takes place is more uniform, and fermentation is less likely. Most African coffee is dried in this manner and certain coffee farms around the world are starting to use this traditional method. Next, the coffee is sorted, and labeled as green coffee.

---------Another way to let the coffee beans dry is to let them sit on a concrete patio and rake over them in the sunlight. Some companies use cylinders to pump in heated air to dry the coffee beans, though this is generally in places where the humidity is very high. Some coffee undergoes a peculiar process, such as kopi luwak. It is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and other related civets, passing through its digestive tract. This process resulted in coffee beans with much less bitterness, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world.


The next step in the process is the roasting of the green coffee. Coffee is usually sold in a roasted state, and with rare exceptions all coffee is roasted before it is consumed. It can be sold roasted by the supplier, or it can be home roasted. The roasting process influences the taste of the beverage by changing the coffee bean both physically and chemically. The bean decreases in weight as moisture is lost and increases in volume, causing it to become less dense. The density of the bean also influences the strength of the coffee and requirements for packaging. The actual roasting begins when the temperature inside the bean reaches approximately 200 °C (392 °F), though different varieties of beans differ in moisture and density and therefore roast at different rates. During roasting, caramelization occurs as intense heat breaks down starches in the bean, changing them to simple sugars that begin to brown, changing the color of the bean. Sucrose is rapidly lost during the roasting process and may disappear entirely in darker roasts. During roasting, aromatic oils and acids weaken, changing the flavor; at 205 °C (401 °F), other oils start to develop. One of these oils is caffeol, created at about 200 °C (392 °F), which is largely responsible for coffee's aroma and flavor. Grading the roasted beans Depending on the color of the roasted beans as perceived by the human eye, they will be labeled as light, medium light, medium, medium dark, dark, or very dark. A more accurate method of discerning the degree of roast involves measuring the reflected light from roasted beans illuminated with a light source in the near infrared spectrum. This elaborate light meter uses a process known as spectroscopy to return a number that consistently indicates the roasted coffee's relative degree of roast or flavor development.

Roast characteristics

The degree of roast has an effect upon coffee flavor and body. Darker roasts are generally bolder because they have less fiber content and a more sugary flavor. Lighter roasts have a more complex and therefore perceived stronger flavor from aromatic oils and acids otherwise destroyed by longer roasting times. A small amount of chaff is produced during roasting from the skin left on the bean after processing Chaff is usually removed from the beans by air movement, though a small amount is added to dark roast coffees to soak up oils on the beans.


Decaffeination may also be part of the processing that coffee seeds undergo. Seeds are decaffeinated when they are still green.

Many methods can remove caffeine from coffee, but all involve either soaking the green beans in hot water (often called the "Swiss water" process) or steaming them, then using a solvent to dissolve caffeine-containing oils. Decaffeination is often done by processing companies, and the extracted caffeine is usually sold to the pharmaceutical industry.


Once roasted, coffee beans must be stored properly to preserve the fresh taste of the bean. Ideally, the container must be airtight and kept in a cool, dry and dark place. In order of importance: air, moisture, heat, and light are the environmental factors responsible for deteriorating flavor in coffee beans. Folded-over bags, a common way consumers often purchase coffee, are generally not ideal for long-term storage because they allow air to enter. A better package contains a one-way valve, which prevents air from entering. In 1931, a method of vacuum packed cans of coffee was introduced, in which the roasted coffee was packed, 99% of the air was removed and the coffee in the can could be stored indefinitely until the can was opened. Today this method is in mass use for coffee in a large part of the world. Brewing Coffee beans must be ground and brewed to create a beverage. The criteria for choosing a method include flavor and economy. Almost all methods of preparing coffee require the beans to be ground and mixed with hot water long enough to extract the flavor, but without overextraction that draws out unnecessary bitter compounds. The spent grounds are removed and the liquid is consumed. There are many variations in the fineness of grind, the ways in which the water extracts the flavor, additional flavorings (sugar, milk, spices), and spent ground separation techniques. The ideal holding temperature is 79 to 85 °C (174 to 185 °F) and the ideal serving temperature is 68 to 79 °C (154 to 174 °F). The roasted coffee beans may be ground at a roastery, in a grocery store, or in the home. Most coffee is roasted and ground at a roastery and sold in packaged form, though roasted coffee beans can be ground at home immediately before consumption. It is also possible, though uncommon, to roast raw beans at home.

Coffee beans may be ground in several ways. A burr grinder uses revolving elements to shear the bean; a blade grinder cuts the beans with blades moving at high speed; and a mortar and pestle crushes the beans. For most brewing methods, a burr grinder is deemed superior because the grind is more even and the grind size can be adjusted. The type of grind is often named after the brewing method for which it is generally used. Turkish grind is the finest grind, while coffee percolator or French press are the coarsest grinds. The most common grinds are between the extremes; a medium grind is used in most common home coffee-brewing machines.

Coffee may be brewed by several methods: boiled, steeped, or pressurized. Brewing coffee by boiling was the earliest method, and Turkish coffee is an example of this method. It is prepared by grinding or pounding the beans to a fine powder, then adding it to water and bringing it to the boil for no more than an instant in a pot called a cezve or, in Greek, a bríki. This produces a strong coffee with a layer of foam on the surface and sediment (which is not meant for drinking) settling on the bottom of the cup. Coffee percolators and automatic coffeemakers brew coffee using gravity. In an automatic coffeemaker hot water drips onto coffee grounds held in a coffee filter made of paper, plastic, or perforated metal, allowing the water to seep through the ground coffee while extracting its oils and essences. The liquid drips through the coffee and the filter into a carafe or pot, and the spent grounds are retained in the filter. In a percolator, boiling water is forced into a chamber above a filter by steam pressure created by boiling. The water then seeps through the grounds, and the process is repeated until terminated by removing from the heat, by an internal timer, or by a thermostat that turns off the heater when the entire pot reaches a certain temperature. Coffee may be brewed by steeping in a device such as a French press .

Ground coffee and hot water are combined in a cylindrical vessel and left to brew for a few minutes. A circular filter which fits tightly in the cylinder fixed to a plunger is then pushed down from the top to force the grounds to the bottom. Because the coffee grounds are in direct contact with the water, all the coffee oils remain in the beverage, making it stronger and leaving more sediment than in coffee made by an automatic coffee machine. The coffee is poured from the container; the filter retains the grounds at the bottom. 95% of the caffeine is released from the coffee beans within the first minute of brewing. The espresso method forces hot pressurized and vaporized water through ground coffee. As a result of brewing under high pressure (ideally between 9–10 atm), the espresso beverage is more concentrated (as much as 10 to 15 times the quantity of coffee to water as gravity-brewing methods can produce) and has a more complex physical and chemical constitution. A well-prepared espresso has a reddish-brown foam called crema that floats on the surface. Other pressurized water methods include the moka pot and vacuum coffee maker.

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground beans in cold water for several hours, then filtering them. This results in a brew lower in acidity than most hot-brewing methods. Serving Once brewed, coffee may be served in a variety of ways. Drip-brewed, percolated, or French-pressed coffee may be served as white coffee with a dairy product such as milk or cream, or dairy substitute, or as black coffee with no such addition. It may be sweetened with sugar or artificial sweetener. When served cold, it is called iced coffee. 

Coffee can also be incorporated with alcohol in beverages—it is combined with whiskey in Irish coffee, and forms the base of alcoholic coffee liqueurs such as Kahlúa, and Tia Maria. Coffee is also sometimes used in the brewing process of darker beers, such as a stout or porter.

Instant coffee

A number of products are sold for the convenience of consumers who do not want to prepare their own coffee. Instant coffee is dried into soluble powder or freeze-dried into granules that can be quickly dissolved in hot water. Originally invented in 1907, it rapidly gained in popularity in many countries in the post-war period, with Nescafé being the most popular product.

Many consumers determined that the convenience in preparing a cup of instant coffee more than made up for a perceived inferior taste. Paralleling (and complementing) the rapid rise of instant coffee was the coffee vending machine, invented in 1947 and multiplying rapidly through the 1950s. Canned coffee has been popular in Asian countries for many years, particularly in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Vending machines typically sell varieties of flavored canned coffee, much like brewed or percolated coffee, available both hot and cold. Japanese convenience stores and groceries also have a wide availability of bottled coffee drinks, which are typically lightly sweetened and pre-blended with milk. Bottled coffee drinks are also consumed in the United States. Liquid coffee concentrates are sometimes used in large institutional situations where coffee needs to be produced for thousands of people at the same time. It is described as having a flavor about as good as low-grade robusta coffee, and costs about 10¢ a cup to produce. The machines can process up to 500 cups an hour, or 1,000 if the water is preheated. Sale and distribution Coffee ingestion on average is about a third of that of tap water in North America and Europe. Behind petroleum, coffee is the second most traded product in the world.

Brazil remains the largest coffee exporting nation, but Vietnam tripled its exports between 1995 and 1999 and became a major producer of robusta beans. Indonesia is the third-largest coffee exporter overall and the largest producer of washed arabica coffee. Organic Honduran coffee is a rapidly growing emerging commodity owing to the Honduran climate and rich soil. Commodity Coffee is bought and sold by roasters, investors and price speculators as a tradable commodity in commodity markets.

Health and pharmacology Scientific studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and an array of medical conditions. Findings have been contradictory as to whether coffee has any specific health benefits, and results are similarly conflicting regarding the potentially harmful effects of coffee consumption. Variations in findings can be at least partially resolved by considering the method of preparation. Coffee prepared using paper filters removes oily components called diterpenes that are present in unfiltered coffee.

Two types of diterpenes are present in coffee: kahweol and cafestol, both of which have been associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease via elevation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in blood. Metal filters, on the other hand, do not remove the oily components of coffee. In addition to differences in methods of preparation, conflicting data regarding serving size could partially explain differences between beneficial/harmful effects of coffee consumption. Coffee consumption has been shown to have minimal or no impact, positive or negative, on cancer development; researchers involved in an ongoing 22-year study by the Harvard School of Public Health state that "the overall balance of risks and benefits are on the side of benefits."Studies suggest coffee consumption reduces the risk of being affected by Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, cirrhosis of the liver, and gout.

A longitudinal study in 2009 showed that those who consumed a moderate amount of coffee or tea (3–5 cups per day) at midlife were less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease in late-life compared with those who drank little coffee or avoided it altogether. It increases the risk of acid reflux and associated diseases. Most of coffee's beneficial effects against type 2 diabetes are not due to its caffeine content, as the positive effects of consumption are greater in those who drink decaffeinated coffee.

A study from the Republic of China (Taiwan) offered an answer as to why coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The authors reported that two major components of coffee—caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid—significantly suppressed the formation of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hlAPP) in their laboratory. The presence of antioxidants in coffee has been shown to prevent free radicals from causing cell damage. A recent study showed that roast coffee, high in lipophilic antioxidants and chlorogenic acid lactones, protected primary neuronal cell cultures against hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death. In a healthy liver, caffeine is mostly broken down by the hepatic microsomal enzymatic system. The resulting metabolites are mostly paraxanthines—theobromine and theophylline—and a small amount of unchanged caffeine is excreted by urine. Therefore, the metabolism of caffeine depends on the state of this enzymatic system of the liver. Elderly individuals with a depleted enzymatic system do not tolerate coffee with caffeine. They are recommended to take decaffeinated coffee, and this only if their stomach is healthy, because both decaffeinated coffee and coffee with caffeine cause heartburn. Moderate amounts of coffee (50–100 mg of caffeine or 5–10 g of coffee powder a day) are well tolerated by most elderly people. In many individuals, excessive amounts of coffee can cause very unpleasant, even life-threatening adverse effects.

Health Benefits

The benefits of coffee on abnormal liver biochemistry, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma have been reported, but there is a lack of satisfactory explanation. A possible opposite, if not antagonistic, role of coffee and Mediterranean diet with regard to weight and insulin resistance is envisaged in the natural history of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Coffee consumption can lead to iron deficiency anemia in mothers and infants. Coffee also interferes with the absorption of supplemental iron. Interference with iron absorption is due to the polyphenols present in coffee. Four major classes were identified: flavan-3-ols (monomers and procyanidins), hydroxycinnamic acids, flavonols and anthocyanidins. Although the inhibition of iron absorption can cause an iron deficiency, iron is considered a carcinogen in relation to the liver. Polyphenols contained in coffee are therefore associated with decreasing the risk of liver cancer development.

American scientists  have suggested that the smell of coffee can restore appetite and refresh olfactory receptors. They suggests that people can regain their appetite after cooking by smelling coffee beans, and that this method can also be used for research animals. More than 1,000 chemicals have been reported in roasted coffee; more than half of those tested  are rodent carcinogens at maximum tolerated dose, but because animal cancer tests build in enormous safety factors, these chemicals should not be considered true risks. Coffee's negative health effects are often blamed on its caffeine content. Instant coffee has a much greater amount of acrylamide than brewed coffee.

Research suggests that drinking caffeinated coffee can cause a temporary increase in the stiffening of arterial walls. Caffeinated coffee is not recommended for everybody. It may aggravate pre-existing conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, migraines, arrhythmias, and cause sleep disturbances. Very high doses of caffeine may cause problems for some conditions such as anxiety disorders. Coffee is no longer thought to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease. One study suggests that it may have a mixed effect on short-term memory, by improving it when the information to be recalled is related to the current train of thought but making it more difficult to recall unrelated information. Caffeine has been associated with its ability to act as an antidepressant.

Caffeine can cause anxiety symptoms in normal individuals, especially in vulnerable patients, like those with pre-existing anxiety disorders.

America had its first coffeehouse in Boston, in 1676.

Indian coffee has a unique historic flavour too! It all began with a long, arduous journey around four hundred years ago... when the legendary saint Bababudan brought seven magical beans from distant Yemen and planted them in the Chandragiri hills of Karnataka. The sensations of aroma, flavour, body and acidity that you enjoy with each coffee experience is rooted in these mystical beginnings. It is often said, the Indian coffee grower pours his life into the crop. Is it any wonder then that India has consistently produced and exported a remarkable variety of high-quality coffees for over one hundred and fifty years!

Growing Conditions

India cultivates all of its coffee under a well-defined two-tier mixed shade canopy, comprising evergreen leguminous trees. Nearly 50 different types of shade trees are found in coffee plantations. Shade trees prevent soil erosion on a sloping terrain; they enrich the soil by recycling nutrients from deeper layers, protect the coffee plant from seasonal fluctuations in temperature, and play host to diverse flora and fauna. Coffee plantations in India are essential spice worlds too: a wide variety of spices and fruit crops like pepper, cardamom, vanilla, orange and banana grow alongside coffee plants. India’s coffee growing regions have diverse climatic conditions, which are well suited for cultivation of different varieties of coffee. Some regions with high elevations are ideally suited for growing Arabicas of mild quality while those with warm humid conditions are best suited for Robustas.

Important Varieties

Kents: Kents is the earliest variety of Arabica, selected by an English planter of the same name during the 1920s. This variety remained popular with the planting community till the 1940s, because it was less susceptible to rust. Today, it is grown in a few areas but it is still known for its exceptional cup quality.

S.795: This is by far the most popular Arabica selection released during the 1940s with high yields, bold beans, superior quality and relative tolerance to leaf rust. This selection was developed using ‘Kents’ Arabica, known for its high quality. Even today, the S.795 is a favourite with the planters and is a widely cultivated Arabica variety. S.795 has a balanced cup with subtle flavour notes of Mocca.

Cauvery: Popularly known as Catimor, Cauvery is a descendant of a cross between ‘Caturra’ and ‘Hybrido-de-Timor’. Caturra is a natural mutant of the famous Bourbon variety. Thus, Cauvery inherited the high yielding and superior quality attributes of Caturra and the resistance of ‘Hybrido-de-Timor’.

Sln.9: Selection 9 is a derivative of a cross between an Ethiopian Arabica collection, ‘Tafarikela’, and ‘Hybrido-de-Timor’. Sln.9 has inherited all the superior cup quality traits of Tafarikela. This variety has won the Fine Cup Award for best Arabica at the ‘Flavour of India - Cupping Competition 2002’ organised by Coffee Board of India.

The Arabica and Robusta Coffee Plant Coffee Plant Overview

The coffee plant is a woody perennial evergreen dicotyledon that belongs to the Rubiaceae family. Because it grows to a relatively large height, it is more accurately described as a coffee tree. It has a main vertical trunk (orthotropic) and primary, secondary, and tertiary horizontal branches (plagiotropic).

The Difference Between Arabica and Robusta Coffee Beans

Arabica and Robusta coffee plants are both grown on the Sandalkad Estate. The estate has approximately 150 acres of Arabica plants and 75 acres of Robusta plants. Arabica (from Ethiopia, known from prehistoric times) beans do best at altitudes of 3,000 to 6,500 feet where the slower growing process concentrates their flavors. They have a much more refined flavor and contain about 1 percent caffeine by weight. Because of its delicate nature, it yields only 1 to 1.5 pounds of green coffee per year. This is the coffee that specialty roasters search for. It accounts for about 75% of the world production. Because the arabica tree is susceptible to disease, frost, and drought, it requires very careful cultivation with just the right climatic conditions.


Seedling- The first coffee plant of economic importance was Coffea Arabica. It grows to the height of 7-8 meters but the cultivated plants are cut to the height of 2-4 meters to get more width. Coffea arabica is a species of Coffea originally indigenous to the mountains of Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, hence its name, and also from the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and southeastern Sudan. It is also known as the "coffee shrub of Arabia", "mountain coffee" or "arabica coffee". Coffea arabica is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated, being grown in southwest Arabia for well over 1,000 years. It is said to produce better coffee than the other major commercially grown coffee species, Coffea canephora (robusta), but tastes vary. C. arabica contains less caffeine than any other commercially cultivated species of coffee. Wild plants grow to between 9 and 12 m (29 and 39 ft) tall, and have an open branching system; the leaves are opposite, simple elliptic-ovate to oblong, 6–12 cm (2.4–4.8 in) long and 4–8 cm (1.6–3.2 in) broad, glossy dark green. The flowers are white, 10–15 mm in diameter and grow in axillary clusters. The fruit is a drupe (though commonly called a "berry") 10–15 mm in diameter, maturing bright red to purple and typically contains two seeds (the coffee The white coffee flower has five petals and the fragrant flowers smell like jasmine. The coffee berries are cherry-sized and green at first, turning dark red later on. They are edible and sweet, but the coffee producing part is the beans inside. The ripening takes eight months. The coffee tree starts flowering at 2-4 years old and it can simultaneously have flowers and berries in all stages of development.


Harvest the berries when they are quite ripe - a reddy-purple colour. • Throw your cherries into an ordinary clean plastic bucket. Then start mashing the cherries to get the pulp off. This should expose each cherry's two beans inside a silvery casing. Sometimes you might need to manually squash some of the cherries to pop the beans out (or set these aside and soak for an hour and retry). • Add a little water to cover them and a bit of sugar, then put the bucket in a shady spot and leave to ferment for a few days. • Sift the fermented mixture, isolating the encased beans. The first skin around the bean is usually very slippery after sitting in water fermenting. A good way to remove this skin is by rubbing it with an abrasive washing up pad. Or dry for a few hours and peel off with fingers. After you've completed this process for all beans wash them and dry in the shade for 1-2 weeks. • Break off the second casing in whatever way you get success (this is usually the longest step and hulling machines can be purchased). You can physically peel off the second silvery skin with fingernails or by bending the bean. Or rub the bean pod against particle board. Letting the beans really dry out should make it easier to remove the skin. • Roast the beans in a medium oven for around 5-6 minutes until you hear the first crack, then reduce the heat for another 5 or 6 minutes until you hear the second crack, then remove the roasted beans from the oven and cool quickly. Or keep checking on their colour until it is golden brown for a light roast or dark for a strong brew (always roast slightly less than you want as they continue to cook outside the oven until cooled). You can then store the beans in a cool dark place before grinding. Please pick every berry, or net the plant, as birds may spread the coffee plant into the bush via the berries. Self pollinating = only need one plant to fruit. limited stock: maximum of 5 plants per customer please

Care: It is happy with part shade such as that provided by a bush of some sort planted alongside, but can grow in full sun. Protect from frost. There is a viable coffee plantation at Berry in NSW, 100km south of Sydney, but this is as far south as its grown commercially. Try planting a little deeper than originally (with just sand in the top layer) to encourage more root growth. Robusta, as its name suggests, is more robust and has higher yields, but its seeds are smaller. It's predominantly used in instant coffee. Arabica coffee plants are more prone to pests, but they produce larger seeds, and the beans are more expensive. Robusta (from Congo, discovered in 1898) beans come from a high yield plant that is resistant to disease. It does best at lower elevations and has harsh flavors. It contains about 2 percent caffeine. It bears more coffee cherries than the arabica plant. It yields 2 to 3 pounds of green coffee a year. This plant is used for the lower grades of coffee that are sold in the market. Although generally not found in gourmet shops, robusta beans are often used in the processing of soluble (instant) coffees and popular commercial blends. Liberica (from Western Africa, of no great importance in coffee trade) is the third recognized commercial variety, it is also hardy and low-altitude. It is a minor crop of coffee from Africa and is similar to robusta.  Coffea arabica, known as Arabica coffee, accounts for 75-80 percent of the world's production. Coffea canephora, known as Robusta coffee, accounts for about 20 percent and differs from the Arabica coffees in terms of taste. While Robusta coffee beans are more robust than the Arabica plants, but produces an inferior tasting beverage with a higher caffeine content. Both the Robusta and Arabica coffee plant can grow to heights of 10 meters if not pruned, but producing countries will maintain the coffee plant at a height reasonable for easy harvesting.

Coffee Plant Growth and Development

Three to four years after the coffee is planted, sweetly smelling flowers grow in clusters in the axils of the coffee leaves. Fruit is produced only in the new tissue. The Coffea Arabica coffee plant is self-pollinating, whereas the Robusta coffee plant depends on cross pollination. About 6-8 weeks after each coffee flower is fertilized, cell division occurs and the coffee fruit remains as a pin head for a period that is dependent upon the climate.

The ovaries will then develop into drupes in a rapid growth period that takes about 15 weeks after flowering. During this time the integument takes on the shape of the final coffee bean. After the rapid growth period the integument and parchment are fully grown and will not increase in size. The endosperm remains small until about 12 weeks after flowering. At this time it will suppress, consume, and replace the integument. The remnants of the integument are what make up the silverskin. The endosperm will have completely filled the cavity made by the integument nineteen weeks after flowing. The endosperm is now white and moist, but will gain dry matter during the next several months. During this time the endosperm attracts more than seventy percent of the total photsynthesates produced by the tree. The mesocarps will expand to form the sweet pulp that surrounds the coffee bean. The coffee cherry will change color from green to red about thirty to thirty-five weeks after flowing.

Coffee Plant Root System

The roots of the coffee tree can extend 20-25 km in total length (Malavolta, 195) and the absorbing surface of a tree ranges from 400 to 500 m2 (Nutman). There are main vertical roots, tap roots, and lateral roots which grow parallel to the ground. The tap roots extend no further than 30-45 cm below the soil surface. Four to eight axial roots may be encountered which often originate horizontally but point downward. The lateral roots can extend 2 m from the trunk. About 80-90% of the feeder root is in the first 20 cm of soil and is 60-90 cm away from the trunk of the coffee tree (Mavolta, 195-196). However, Nutman states that the greatest root concentration is in the 30 to 60 cm depth. The roots systems are heavily affected by the type of soil and the mineral content of the soil. To be thick and strong, the coffee roots need an extensive supply of nitrogen, calcium and magnesium. During planting the main vertical roots are often clipped to promote growth of the the horizontal roots, which then have better access to water and added nutrients in the top soil. Coffee Leaves 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 (Malavolta, 195). The coffee plant has become a major source of oxygen in much of the world. Each hectare of coffee produces 86 lbs of oxygen per day, which is about half the production of the same area in a rain forest.

Coorg produces more coffee — both arabica and robusta, the two main varieties of beans grown for consumption — than anywhere else in India. Each plantation takes a different approach to brewing coffee. At Mr. Poovanna’s Palace Estate, which opened to guests in 2004, the house coffee comes entirely from robusta beans, yielding a bold, almost smoky cup (which, with its depth of flavor, shattered my prejudices against robusta, generally regarded as the lower-quality bean). At Honey Valley, Mr. Chengappa serves a blend of the two varieties, aiming to balance the body of the robusta with the more delicate flavors of the arabica.

Coorg is part of the Western Ghats, the chain of mountains extending parallel to India’s Arabian Sea coast, from Gujarat south to Kerala, an area rich in biodiversity.  Along the forest floor, cardamom plants and orange trees occasionally appears.  

When one plants a whole cherry one can get 2 plants, since there are 2 seeds in a cherry. The bean softens and expands to for the first leaves At 4 months .


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