Coffee is grown on coffee plants, which are small evergreen shrubs that belong to the genus Coffea. There are several species of coffee plants, but the two most commonly grown for commercial production are Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora, also known as robusta.

Coffea arabica, commonly known as Arabica, is considered to be the superior of the two coffee plant species, producing a milder and more flavorful coffee with less acidity and a higher acidity. It is mostly grown at higher altitudes and require higher temperatures and rainfall than robusta.

Coffea canephora, commonly known as robusta, has a higher caffeine content and a stronger, more bitter flavor than Arabica. It is more resilient to pests and disease, and can be grown at lower altitudes with less rainfall than Arabica.

Coffee plants are grown in areas that are within a certain range of latitude, known as the “coffee belt”, which lies between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The optimal conditions for growing coffee include well-draining soil, consistent rainfall, and temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Coffee plants typically take around 3-4 years to mature and start bearing fruit.

Once the coffee plants are mature, they begin to produce small white flowers that give way to green berries, which will eventually turn red or purple when they are ripe. Each berry contains two seeds, which are the coffee beans. The berries are usually hand-picked when they are fully ripe, although some farms use mechanical harvesters.

After the berries are picked, the beans are extracted from the fruit through a process called “processing.” There are two main types of processing: wet and dry. Wet processing involves removing the skin and pulp from the beans by immersing them in water, while dry processing involves leaving the beans to dry in the sun before removing the skin and pulp. The beans are then sorted and graded according to size and quality, and finally, they are packaged and shipped to roasters around the world to be transformed into the delicious beverage that we know and love.

So the coffee beans go through a long and complicated process before they reach us in the form of a cup of coffee, that process starts with the cultivation of the coffee plant, which is a sensitive and complicated process in itself, but the result is worth it when we enjoy the unique flavors of a good cup of coffee.