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In this day and age where self-sufficiency is not just a hobby, but an economical way of living, coffee drinkers are looking to ways that they can make use of their homes to grow their own beans.
While coffee trees are generally at their best in high-altitude, tropical climates, where they can grow to 10 or 12 feet high, you can try to grow coffee trees just about anywhere and stand a good chance that they’ll survive. The only certain coffee killer is if your location is ever prone to frost or snow.
To produce the ripest coffee berries, your plants will need substantial amounts of water and fertilizer, and even then you won’t get any fruit for at least 3-5 years. That said, once your tree is mature enough to give fruit, you can expect 50-60 years of good quality bean production to come from it.
While we do call coffee a bean, it really isn’t any such thing. The fruit of the coffee tree is a red or purple thing that contains two seeds – that’s what we call the coffee beans. Some varieties only produce one seed (these are known as peaberry varieties), and the blossom of the tree is similar to jasmine in smell and color. The fruit usually takes about nine months to ripen.
If you want a quality coffee, you should be growing Coffea arabica, but if your sopil is pretty poor, the less tasty but most definitely hardier Coffea robusta.
Problems when growing coffee yourself include the following:
Insect infestation (same as with any fruit-bearing plant, insects love coffee)
Poor pruning habits (if you have too many vertical branches, you’ll produce inferior cherries)
Poor fertilizing (coffee requires sufficient iron and nutrients – far more than most plants)
Over-picking (if you pick all the berries on a branch rather than just the bright red ones, or if you pick berries very late)
Bad fermentation process
Mixing cheap beans with quality beans
Die-back (when the sugars required to make berries leave the leaves and branches dead from the effort)
Coffee trees can be bought from many nurseries, and the seeds to grow the trees can be purchased from many online resellers.
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