Healthy? Check! Check! Check!
King of beverages? Half check. I would have given it a full check, but I don’t know how much you fancy coffee, even with its staggering statistics.
Most consumed beverage in the world? Double-check.
I could go on about the fascinating facts about coffee because they are numerous, and many people love it. There are different kinds of coffee drinkers: the casual drinkers who would check into a café once in a while to grab a cup or two.
The more casual drinkers opt-in for a home-brewed coffee while also frequenting cafés. And then there are the coffee fanatics who are aware of the numerous ways of exploring the world of coffee, from grinding to brewing, adding sugar to taste and creaming; it’s all in their head.
If you are obsessed with improving your coffee preparation skills, then you should move up the ladder and grow your coffee plant from the comfort of your home.
Yes! You Can Grow a Coffee Plant at Home!
Amazing? Yes, it is. But the plant where the coffee seed is gotten from is called a Coffee plant. We would continue to call it the coffee plant, so you don’t get confused. And yes, again, you can grow a coffee plant at home. A little patience and knowledge I’m about to show you would help you achieve this feat.
You would learn how to grow the coffee plant and how to care for the plant. You would also learn how to know when the coffee bean is ripe and ready for harvest. When it is ready to be roasted and ground.
How to Grow a Coffee Plant At Home
Coffee is such a good plant because it can adapt to whatever place you plant it – indoor or outdoor. Except that it doesn’t like direct sunlight, so whether you are growing it indoors or outside, you need to cater for this. Coffee also loves space. If you decide to plant indoors, you must create a lot of room for it to grow and enjoy itself. So, diffused sunlight and a lot of space are the first things you should keep in mind.
The ideal place to grow coffee is in a greenhouse, where you can control the factors that influence its growth, such as light, temperature, and humidity. The coffee plant doesn’t like environments and climates that are not stable. But, we are talking about growing the coffee plant in our house, so if we don’t have a greenhouse lying somewhere in our compound, we will produce it indoors where it is easy to control these factors like it’s a greenhouse.
The first step in growing your coffee plant at home is getting a seedling – a young plant raised from seed – cherries. What you want is fresh coffee cherries or green coffee seeds. It’s essential to be new because an already roasted coffee bean is not viable and wouldn’t germinate. Once you’ve gotten a green coffee bean or extracted a bean from the cherry, you are ready to plant. The species of coffee you should go for is the Arabica coffee plant. It would be best if you either looked for its freshly picked bean or cherries where you can extract the bean from to plant.
The next thing is picking the suitable soil for potting your coffee. Remember, you’re planting indoors. You need soil that is very rich in nutrients and with an ideal pH of 6. The Arabica coffee plant has its natural habitat of tropical mountainous regions with sufficient humidity and water through rainfall. Your plant must also have proper drainage to freely allow water passage because too much waterlogging can choke it to death.
To ensure the growth of your plant, you must care for it like a baby by:
- Watering it just enough to keep the soil moist. Too dry means the plant would struggle to grow, and too wet, or pooling means the plant would be choked.
- Fill a pebble tray with water to control and maintain humidity.
- Please make sure you check its pH every month.
- Fertilize the plant regularly, most especially when the pH says it needs it.
- Pruning – removing some parts of the dead plants, surplus to the plant, or that can’t get sunlight – is to be done regularly.
When you start to notice some growth, you need to report your plant at least twice in its first year: first at about 8 inches and then at about 24 inches. However, a large pot shouldn’t be used for a small plant.
How Long Before Your Coffee Plant Starts to Flower
Did I tell you growing your coffee needs patience and time? I’m sorry for not telling you it takes years for the coffee plant to move from growth to producing fruits. After you have started seeing cherries on your plants, it could take up to a year before they begin to ripen after the plant has started flowering. The Arabica coffee plant would produce white scented star-shaped flowers after something close to 3-4 years.
After its flowering phase, it starts to produce green fruits, and as they mature, they move from green to red and then to darker red color. When the cherries are ripe enough, you pick them and then start to remove the coffee beans. An exciting thing to do to encourage your plant to flower is to reduce the amount of water you give during the winter and increase the amount of water you give it during the summer.
Having an enormous expanse of land where you can waltz in, pick cherries, extract coffee beans, roast, and make coffee from without running out is such a great thought, fantastic even. But we all don’t have that much land and workforce to own a big coffee field. I know you might be wondering, ‘How many coffee trees do I need to grow my own special and unique coffee?’
Well, interestingly, coffee plants can produce up to 2000 amounts of cherries. That’s approximately 4000 coffee beans each year. This amount of bean can give you about one and a half or two pounds of coffee after roasting. Do you want to know how many cups of coffee this amount can provide you?
A rough estimate of the number of coffee plants you need to have a year’s supply of coffee is 20 plants. 20 coffee plants would give you 40,000 cherries and close to 80,000 coffee beans which are about 24 pounds of coffee. Don’t mind my calculations, you can also learn how to know the number of coffee cups you are getting from a pound of coffee bean.
Helpful Tips for Growing Your Coffee Plant
- Enjoy the process of growing and not just the harvest: the coffee plant takes a long while before it pays you back for all the care you’ve given it. So if you don’t enjoy the process, you’d have to wait a long while to enjoy the spoils. A plant can only produce just enough. Learning to enjoy the process and the new things you see every day like watching your child grow is a very great feeling.
- Keep Your Kids and Pets Away From the Plant: coffee is interestingly sweet, but the other parts of the plants are toxic and can be harmful to children and pets. Ingesting any part of the tree, like the leaves can make them sick and it may result in some more health issues.
- Check Your Coffee Plant for Signs or Symptoms of Diseases: treat your plant like you would a toddler. Check for any abnormalities on the plants, because like every other plant, they can also be infected by diseases and this can hinder their growth or kill them if the plants are not treated.
- Keep Pests Away from Your Coffee Plant: pests can carry the pathogens that can infect your plants or bore into the roots, and leaves, and stems of your plants, limiting the way they receive their nutrients which could eventually lead to stunted growth. You don’t want to start using toxic methods to get rid of pests as they can be harmful to your plant. Start organically and then move to other types, but make sure you’re using them mildly.
- Learn How to Grow, Harvest, Roast, Grind, and Brew Coffee: we have learned how to grow our coffee plants, the next thing to know about is how to properly harvest, roast the coffee bean, grinding it, and how to brew it right. There are different ways of brewing, learn each one, explore, enjoy yourself, and enjoy the coffee you have grown. You get to learn more about coffee when you explore, and it means you might start tutoring your friends on how it should be done.
- Remember the botanical name for coffee is Coffea arabica: different types of shrubs are similar to Coffea arabica and the closest is the Gumocladus dioicus commonly known as the Kentucky coffee. It is so similar that it also produces brown pods that have also been roasted, grounded, and brewed into a drink. It is, however, totally different from the common coffee we all love.
What Other Things Should You Know?
- Watering your plant: you should water your plant regularly but not every day. Seems technical that way, but what it means is that you should have a schedule. The soil of the plant should be moist not pooled out, so once a week is enough. You should also switch things up during summer and winter. More during summer and less during winter.
- Pruning your coffee plant: you should be careful when cutting some parts of your plants. Coffee plants interestingly are resilient and can adjust themselves even when you over prune. But still, be careful while you prune so you don’t damage some vital parts. When pruning, cut the stems at a 45-degree angle, just a bit above the axil of the leaf.
- What is your expected yield: a coffee plant can produce just enough coffee after the years of germination and growth. one coffee plant would give you 2000 cherries from which you can get up to 4000 coffee bean which when roasted would give you about one and a half pound to two bags.
- The tallness of your coffee plant: whether you are planting in a farmyard or your backyard, you need to cater to the growth of your coffee plant, and it is important to know how long or tall they can grow. Coffee trees can grow up to 6 feet tall and be as wide as 3 feet.
These are the things that you need to know when you want to grow your coffee plant. Let us know what you think about it. Will you be trying it out? Let’s know how the process is going.