The coffee plant is an evergreen shrub, classified under the genus Coffea, and part of the botanical family Rubiaceae.  There are several species of Coffea, the finest quality being Arabica, which today represents 59% of the world’s coffee production.
Arabica originated in the highlands of Ethiopia.  It is sensitive to hot and humid conditions, and grows at altitudes of 1.25-1.55 miles.  Arabica grown at higher altitudes is associated with the emergence of higher quality characteristics during roasting.

Flowers and Fruit

Since Coffea grows in tropical and equatorial regions where it is always spring or summer, it’s not a change of climate, but rather the beginning of the rainy season that triggers Arabicaplants to flower, fragrant and white. Eight or nine months after flowering comes the fruit: deep red, shiny and plump like cherries, each containing two Arabica seeds, or beans.
With rain, the fruit flourishes, and a careful harvesting process begins.  Since ripe and unripe fruit can occupy the same plant, precision harvesting is critical.

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