Coffee and cultivation

Coffee is the seed of a plant now spread around the world, in the strip that runs close to the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn, although almost certainly his homeland is between the ' East Africa and Arabia.

There are about 80 species of coffee plants between wild and cultivated, but among them only two commercial significance: Coffea Arabica and Coffea canephora, known as ROBUSTA. Of the two species the best known and sought after is the Arabica. It accounts for three quarters of world production. Its beans once processed for export, are small and regular variation in color shades from green to blue verdigris. They give a full-bodied coffee, but also rich in aroma fine and delicate flavor.

The CULTIVATION today is particularly fragmented. Throughout history the cultivation of coffee has gone from large plantations to crops more 'small, often run by small owners. Today there are about five million families in the world grow coffee and depend directly or indirectly by this product.

There are methods of cultivation more 'or less tecnical but the biggest difference in coffee growing is the use of shade trees.

Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Kenya, Vietnam reach very high yields per hectare by cultivating coffee in full sun. Producers who have instead cultivation systems more 'traditional use shade trees. According to recent studies, the trees mitigate the changes in temperature, enriching the soil and defend the soil from erosion. Obviously the choice of cropping system depends on the climatic conditions of the place, its latitude and the varieties of coffee to be cultivated.