Coffee plants can be found in a variety of different forms. Some as small shrubs and some as big as 30 ft trees. It typically takes a year for a coffee cherry to fully mature. On average, a coffee tree can produce up to 10 pounds of coffee cherries a year.
It has been noted that there may be up to 25 or even 100 different species of coffee plants. In the commercial coffee industry, there are only two main coffee species: Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica- This type of coffee is a fine, mild, aromatic coffee that represents about 70% of the worlds coffee production. These specific coffee trees are expensive to cultivate due to their need for a specific climate to grow properly.
Robusta- This type of coffee only accounts for 30% of the coffee in the world. It is typically used in coffee blends. It is not as prone to disease and is not as picky about climate as the Arabica coffee tree.
Secret: The beans you brew are actually the processed and roasted seeds from a fruit, which is called a coffee cherry. The coffee cherry’s outer skin is called the exocarp. Beneath it is the mesocarp, a thin layer of pulp followed by a slimy layer called the parenchyma. The beans themselves are covered in a paper-like envelope named the endocarp, more commonly referred to as the parchment. Inside the parchment, side-by-side, lie two beans, each covered separately by yet another thin membrane. The biological name for this seed skin is the spermoderm, but it is generally referred to in the coffee trade as the silver skin.