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Alchimia Grow Shop presents Rocalba Coffee Plant seeds, a variety that can be cultivated in open ground in our vegetable garden or in a pot on the terrace or balcony.
Coffee plant (Coffea arabiga) is a perennial bush variety. It is native to central Ethiopia, where it is called Kaffa or Caffa. It is now produced on a large scale in many countries such as Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil, Vietnam, India, Guatemala, Indonesia, Peru, Mexico and Costa Rica.
It can reach sizes of between 3 and 7 metres in height. It is common to prune the central branch to maximise lateral development and prevent a more vertical ramification. It does not flower until after 3-4 years, producing a red drupe fruit with two seeds inside.
In spring the seeds are germinated in a pot or in open ground, burying them at a 1cm depth, and provided with humidity and a temperature between 18-24ºC. The seedlings can take up to 2 months to sprout from the ground. They require a loose, drained substrate rich in compost or worm humus.
It is a plant of tropical origin, so it requires a good amount of light to develop fully but not direct sunlight (filtered light), as well as a temperature of between 28-33ºC. In case of germination in a seedbed, it needs about 6-8 months to reach about 20cm. At this point it can be transplanted into a larger pot or open ground in a 2m x 2m planting frame.
As far as watering is concerned, as it is a tropical plant it needs a substrate always moist. It is highly recommended to use an automatic irrigation system or to control watering very frequently, so that the plant does not dry out. It cannot stand the cold, so in winter must be indoors or protected with thermal blankets without going below 15ºC.
When the plants are filled with deep red coffee fruits, they can be harvested by hand as they ripen. Only the completely red ones, which are soft and tender to the touch should be selected. The fruits are then opened to remove the beans, and soaked for 1-2 days to thoroughly clean them. The beans are then dried in the open air in the shade, stirring once or twice a day to make the task easier (it may take 10-30 days to be ready).