Not only do Arabica Coffee plants produce great tasting coffee beans, but they also make great houseplants! They are beautiful and lush, with glamorous, glossy, elliptical, dark green leaves. The coffee tree is actually a variety of a tropical evergreen shrub native to the tropical regions of southern Africa and Asia. It was first brought to the United States in 1813 and became the most popular variety due to its less bitter taste than other types of beans.
Arabica Coffee plants are relatively low maintenance. They need bright, indirect light and moist, well drained soil. The ideal temperature range for coffee plants is 64-70°F. They do prefer humidity, so if your home is dry, give them a daily misting. While they are slow growers, in a small indoor container, these plants can eventually reach 4-6’ tall.
Another fun fact about Arabica Coffee plants is that they naturally purify the air! Having them in your home can help to remove toxins from the air you breathe. Coffee plants have been proven to remove chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.
With a little bit of patience, you can even harvest its fruit to make your own coffee. After 3-4 years, sweetly scented, star-shaped white flowers bloom in axillary clusters. Once this plant flowers, it produces deep red, shiny and plum like “cherries”, a process that takes several months. Inside each ripened fruit are 2 seeds (or beans) that when properly roasted can be ground and made into coffee.
When the fruits, or “cherries”, of your plant have ripened to red and are slightly soft to the touch, you can pick them off the plant by hand. You then need to separate the inner coffee beans from the fruit by pulping the cherries in a bowl of water. Once the inner beans are separated, lay them out on wire mesh and dry them until the skins can be flaked off easily. The drying process can take several days or even weeks. When the beans are completely dry, you can use a grinder or mill to grind the beans into fresh, ready to brew coffee. Just keep in mind, other than the berries, all parts of the plant are toxic to humans and pets if ingested.
What are you waiting for? Get your Arabica Coffee plant today!