Coffee plants Varieties – Arabica & Robusta Coffee

Coffee has traditionally been cultivated in the shade of other trees, which mimics the natural growing conditions of the plants in a forest understory. Some shade-grown coffee is grown on plantations that have been planted with shade trees, which allows farmers to space the plants as desired.

Coffee growing helps reduce soil erosion, is a useful carbon sink (especially plantations grown under shade trees),aids good watershed management, helps to maintain a degree of biodiversity, particularly in system with mixed cropping on small family farms, and can provide a good habitat for many migrant birds. Coffee plant requires hot and humid climate with temperature varying between 15 degree C and 28 degree C and rainfall from 150 to 250 cm. It does not tolerate frost, snowfall, high temperature above 30 degree C and strong sun shine and is generally grown under shady trees. Prolonged drought is also injurious to coffee. The largest coffee -producing region of Karnataka is Kodagu(Coorg) district. Kodagu district of Karnataka produces 33% of the total coffee produced in India. The other main coffee-producing regions of Karnataka are Chikmagalur, Hassan, Shimoga, and Mysore.

Cultivation of coffee is called coffee plantation. coffee production, cultivation of coffee plants, usually done in large commercial operations. The two major species of coffee plants are tropical evergreen shrubs or small trees of African origin.

Arabica coffee

Cauvery:  This coffee is a descendent of a hybrid of Caturra   and Hybrid-de-Timorand is also known as Catomor. A natural mutant  of the Bourbon  variety, Cauvery  coffee  possesses  both the high yield and high quality attributes of Caturra  and the  resistance  of hybrido- de Timor. It is a compact bush with vigorous vegetative growth suitable high density planting.

It is an tall Arabica type coffee variety, The variety is coffee  leaf rust (CLR)  resistant. It is  released  by the Coffee  Board of Indian in 1937, It is a short  internode Arabica variety. Dwarf in stature, segregates to tall by 30%. Suitable for high density planting.

It is one of the first Strains of tall Arabica tap found to be resistant to coffee leaf rust (CLR). It is a Selection of the Bale honnur Coffee Research Station in India and it is believed to have originated as a natural hybrid between C. Arabica and C. Liberica. The resultant S 795 cultivar exhibits rust resistance, high yield, and a good cup profile, making it a highly desirable cultivar.

Robusta coffee

CXR: It is a cross-breed between Coffea congensis and Robusta coffee. The bushes of this coffee plant are more compact, with Smaller and narrower leaves compared to conventional Robusta Coffee plants. Beans of this variety of coffee are bold in size , with Soft and neutral features in the cup, which sets them apart from conventional Robusta coffee.

274 This variety of Coffee is the most widely used coffee across the major Robusta coffee growing regions, and is a Selection that was made from the high yielding old Robusta coffee collection brought to India from Sri Lanka. The bushes of this coffee plant are Strong and can be adapted across regions. The beans of S. 274 coffee are bold, round and greyish in colour after wet processing.

Harvest and storage


 A coffee plant usually starts to produce flowers 3, 4 years after it is planted. Coffee fruits should be picked as and when they become ripe. Arabica takes 8-9 months for fruit development from flowering while robusta takes 10-11 months. The colon of fruit changes from green to red. Further, when gently squeezing the fruit, the beans inside pop out. Under-ripe and over-ripe fruits cause deterioration in quality. The former tends to produce “Immature beans,” and the latter, foxy Coffee. They must be used separately for making Cherry Coffee.


It is advisable to wash and dry the bags used for collecting the harvested fruits. Bags in which fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides are stored should never be used for this purpose. Picking is done by hand. The first picking consists of selective picking of ripe berries often seen in the outer portion of the node and is called fly picking. Thereafter, there will be 4-6 main pickings at 10-15 days intervals and then final harvest. Stripping consists of picking of still remaining green berries on the plant.

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