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Since the coffee plant only grows under certain conditions, coffee is grown exclusively in countries around the equator.


Since the coffee plant only grows under certain conditions, coffee is grown exclusively in countries around the equator. Areas for coffee cultivation can be found in Africa, Asia, Oceania, South and Central America. All coffee-growing countries together make up the so-called coffee belt. The largest coffee growing area is Brazil, followed by Vietnam and Colombia. Countries like Ethiopia, Guatemala and Uganda are also known for their coffee growing. Ethiopia is considered the country of origin of coffee. Today there are more than 50 coffee-growing countries around the world.

Growing coffee on the plantation

For large-scale coffee cultivation, the coffee bush is usually propagated by sowing seeds that are around eight weeks old. The grown cuttings are transplanted into individual containers five to six weeks after sowing. Now it is a matter of nurturing and caring for the coffee plants for about eight months in special plant nursery beds until they can finally move to the plantation. Here the plants are regularly pruned and kept at a height of 1.5 to three meters. After 3 to 4 years, the plant reaches its optimal yield, which then lasts for ten to a maximum of 20 years. The coffee plants are harvested once a year. In some coffee-growing areas also twice.

  • Temperature - not too hot, not too cold

The temperature plays a decisive role in the cultivation of coffee. The plant likes it neither too hot nor too cold. For Arabica plants to thrive, the average temperature should be between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius. They do not tolerate temperatures above 30 and below 13 degrees Celsius, not to mention frost. Coffea Robusta is a little more resistant. It can cope better with high temperatures and therefore also grows in the lowlands. Arabica coffee only thrives at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level, where the temperatures are milder. That is why it is also called "highland coffee".

Basically, the cooler it is, the slower the coffee cherries develop on the tree. The slower growth has the advantage that more aromas can develop in the bean, which in turn is beneficial to the taste.

  • Rain - not much, but regular

Coffee plants don't need a lot of water, but they do need water regularly. Continuous rain is poison for the plants, as is prolonged drought. Whereby Coffea Robusta prefers rainy areas. Arabica coffee does not cope well with high amounts of precipitation, and high humidity can also be a problem.

  • Weather - shady and calm

Coffee belongs to the nightshade family. Direct sunlight therefore means stress for the plant, which means that it produces more flowers and consequently more fruit. This means that the soil is quickly depleted and has to be fertilized, which of course is not ideal. Because of this, coffee is often grown on slopes or between other plants. As a result, the coffee bushes not only have more shade, they are also better protected from pests. In addition, the wind has less surface to attack.

  • Soil - healthy and rich in nutrients

Another important factor in growing coffee is the soil. Coffee plants need a lot of nutrients for their growth, and the pH value of the soil should be around 5. So soils of volcanic origin are particularly suitable for growing coffee. This is often the case in Ethiopia, but also in Brazil.

  • Time - quality does not come about overnight

As you can see: Growing coffee is quite laborious, like cultivating grapevines. The ongoing support is also labor-intensive and time-consuming. Coffee plants produce the first crops after 3–4 years. After 6–8 years, the trees will then reach their maximum production capacity. If it exceeds the age limit of 20 years, the quantities produced decrease again. There is usually one coffee harvest a year. In regions that are characterized by a clear difference between dry and rainy seasons, there is then a main and a secondary harvest.

The harvest

When it comes to high-quality coffee, the farmer uses the picking method; each ripe cherry is picked individually by hand. Only in this way can he guarantee the desired quality. This harvesting method takes a lot of time and patience.

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