Every morning I stand over the coffee pot anxiously awaiting that BEEEEP that lets me know I can pour my first cup of the sweet elixir of life, and I know I’m not alone. Thousands of early rising gardeners live for that first cup in the morning but I would bet that not many of them have given a lot of thought to growing coffee at home.
One of the most apparent reasons that more people don’t grow their own coffee is a time consideration. You see, a coffee tree will not reach its full yield for up to six years, and that’s only when the conditions are favorable. On the plus side, coffee trees are fairly easy to grow and don’t require a great deal of attention. When planting a coffee tree in a pot, any good quality potting mix will do well. Just make sure that you have adequate drainage and that you keep the soil moist but not wet. A potted coffee tree can thrive in filtered sunlight in an environment where the nighttime temperatures don’t go below 60 F degrees. Warm, sunny days are ideal, so if you do grow your coffee tree in a container indoors, you will want to relocate it to the outdoors for the summer.
When planted in the ground or a container that is large enough, a coffee tree will grow to about 10 feet in height. When ripe, the coffee berries will turn bright red. It is important that you wait for the berries to ripen to this stage as they will too continue to ripen if they are picked too early. Each berry contains two beans encased in a sweet pulp.