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The coffee tree is a rubiaceous plant. It grows in the tropics in wet climates in temperatures which range from 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. The fruit of the coffee tree (drupe) look like a small cherry. Initially they are green in colour and acquire, as they ripen, a reddish hue. The two seeds growing inside these cherries mature into coffee beans.


Did you know there are three coffee species?


  • Arábica: Originating in Ethiopia, arabica was the best-known and the most highly-prized coffee tree in ancient times. It is grown mainly in the higher elevations in Central America and Brazil. Arabicas are valued in the world because they display a heavier body, a more complex flavour, and a more pronounced and vibrant acidity than lower-grown coffees. 

  • Robusta: This species typically grows at lower elevations in countries like Africa, Indochina and Brazil. Robustas produce a small, round, yellowish bean, and are more disease resistant than the arabica species. Robusta beans originate from Zaire and are noted for their harsh, dirty flavour and abundant cream. 

  • Libérica: A minority species. Some of its varieties are highly regarded in Nordic countries.