Cattura leaves at Kula Ace Hardware and Nursery, Maui - Credit: Forest & Kim Starr - Plants of Hawaii - Image licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, permitting sharing and adaptation with attribution.


Coffea Arabica

Family: Rubiaceae


First introduced to Europe in 1583, the Arabica coffee tree, which grows to nearly 30 feet high, produces a crop of white tubular flowers, which are followed by cherry-like red fruits. Removal of the fleshy, edible and sweet-tasting outer layer of these reveals a pair of seeds- the coffee beans. Only after roasting do these produce the distinctive coffee aroma, containing 1-2% caffeine.

Place of origin

This species is native to Northeast Tropical Africa, especially the highlands of Southern Ethiopia, where it occurs at altitudes between 1000 to 2000m. Over 120 species of coffea have been described, but only 2 others, C.Liberuca (from West Africa), and C.Robusta (from the Congo), are of economic importance.

Did you know?

Coffee is the world’s favorite drink, there most commercial crop-plant, and the second most valuable international commodity after crude oil.Coffea Arabica is now cultivated across the Tropics of Asia,( principally Java), to central Latin America, with almost 40% of the world’s production coming from Brazil. Arabica has many medicinal properties such as it helps to ease stomach problems and is a diuretic and stimulant.