With a distinct aroma and irresistible flavor, it has commanded the attention of the world. The coffee trade is immense, second only to that of oil in its value. The history of coffee is filled with stories of those who sought to control that trade, who exacted high tariffs on coffee roasters and those who found ways to circumvent those controls.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Arabica coffee species

The two main types grown for export are coffea arabica and coffea robusta. Coffea arabica L. (Rubiaceae) grows naturally as bush or small tree up to 4-6 m tall in the shaded understory of montae rainforest in southwestern and southeastern Ethiopian. Some are also reported in southeastern Sudan and northern Kenya.

The wild Ethiopian population occurs at altitude between 1000 and 2000 m asl with the most suitable range being 1,500 – 1,800 m asl. Coffee tolerates annual rainfall between 900 and 1,300 mm yr, but most appropriate are conditions above 1,300 mm yr with an optimum at 1,600 -1,800 mm yr.
The natural extent of Coffea arabica does not overlap with any species of Coffea. Geographically closest are C. eugenioides Moore occurring in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Western Kenya, Tanzania and C. canephora Pierre ranging from Uganda to central and West Africa.

Today, 80% of the world’s coffee comes from the coffea arabica plant. Brazil is the top producer, supplying about 30% of the world’s coffee. About 85% of Brazil’s plantations grow coffee arabica.
Arabica coffee species
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