The coffee plant grows in the belt between the Tropics, mainly in three large areas: Central and South America, Central Africa and the area between India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Papua-New Guinea. Arabica is grown above 900 metres altitude, where the temperature ranges 20-25 degrees.
Robusta, instead, can grow also at sea level between 24 and 26 degrees, in drier and more torrid climates.
The ideal soil is soft, but volcanic soil is also good. As long exposure to the sun and wind should be avoided, the so-called “shade trees” are used to protect the coffee plants.
From the flowering to the ripe fruit Robusta takes 9 – 11 months and Arabica 6 – 8 months.
The most painstaking and costly system of harvesting is picking.
This means going over the plants time after time picking only the bright red cherries. This system is used in Arabica producing countries.
The stripping system is used in countries where the rainfall is confined to one or more periods of the year. With this system the ripe cherries are stripped with the unripe and over-ripe.