The coffee genus has 120 different species, however, Coffea arabica is the most commonly cultivated variety, and today accounts for 60% of the world’s coffee production. Arabica is actually a hybrid between two sub-saharan species. It was hybridized sometime before the 12th century, from where it was first recorded as a favorite beverage among Islamic scholars in Arabia. From there, coffee drinking spread to the Mediterranean and Europe, and the rest of the world soon followed. Today, it is the world’s third most consumed non-alcoholic beverage, after water and tea. The plant itself is a handsome perennial shrub with bright red berries, whose roasted seeds become the familiar bean.
Growth Form/Defining Characteristics: Glossy-leaf shrub, red berries, grows up to 6’ under good conditions but can also be grown as a house plant
Light: bright indirect light
Water: Generous water
Soil: Rich loam, standard potting soil
Hardiness: zone 9-10