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Introduction of the Coffee Types Varieties Uses Plantation Area

Coffee (Coffea species) Introduction of the Coffee Types Varieties Uses Plantation Area

Coffee (Coffea species) is the second important beverage, ranking second among traded commodities. Its dried beans are roasted, ground and brewed to make a stimulating and refreshing beverage. Its use was first discovered in Arabia around mid-15th century. Nearly 80 % of the world’s coffee is produced from Coffea Arabica, 20 % from C. canephora and 1% from C. liberica. Arabica coffee is known for its aroma and low-caffeine content. Robusta coffee characterized by high-caffeine content, is preferred for manufacture of instant coffee. Liberica coffee with a bitter taste is used as filter with other coffees. In Ethiopia, dried coffee berries are used as masticatory since ancient times, ground roasted coffee is also mixed with fat and eaten. Coffee pulp and parchment are used as manures and mulches. In India, they are occasionally fed to cattle. Caffelite, a type of plastic, can be made from coffee beans.

Origin and Distribution of Coffee (Coffea species):

The majority of Coffea species are native to Africa. However, some species of the genus Psilanthus such as travencorensis, P. khasiana and P. wightiana are of Asian origin. The Coffea Arabica is a native of Ethiopia, while Coffea canephora is a native of Central Africa (Congo and Zaire). Coffee was introduced to India in 1600 AD by a Muslim pilgrim, Baba Budan, who brought 7 Arabica seeds from Yemen and raised them at his hermitage on the hills near Chick- magalur in Karnataka. It continued to be a backyard plant until the Europeans during the 18th century began growing it commercially. In the late 1820s, commercial plantations were established in Coorg, Nilgiris, Palani hills and Wynad. By 1869, Indian coffee established itself producing quality coffee in world trade.

Transplanted coffee plants on mountains

 In export arena, Indian coffee has preference due to its height blending quality. Domestic preference is for Arabica coffee which is in contrast to worldwide palate for Robusta coffee

Area and Production of Coffee (Coffea species):

 Coffee is an internationally traded commodity and it is produced in over 50 countries. World coffee output was 56 lakh tones in 1997 from an area of 11.6 million ha. South American countries are the largest producers and exporters of coffee in the world. Together with North Central America, shares 60 % of the global output and the rest are contributed by Africa and Asia. Brazil is the top producer of coffee, contributing nearly one-fifth of the global
production. Vietnam has the highest productivity (1,562 kg/ha), followed by Costa Rica (1,477 kg/ha). Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and India are the key coffee producers in Asia

India is number seven in world production with a total production of 2.4 lakh tonnes from 3.06 lakh ha, sharing approximately 4% of the world production and export (1998-99). Indian productivity is 860 kg/ka. Arabica and Robusta coffee contribute 42% and 58% of the total production respectively. In India, coffee is grown traditionally in the Ghat regions of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Coffee is also grown in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and North-Eastern States like Sikkim which are known as non-traditional areas. Karnataka is the major producer, followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu (Figure 7.2). India exports earning more than 75% of its coffee production, earning Rs.1708 crore (1997-98). 

Botany of Coffee (Coffea species):

Genus Coffea is an important member of the family Rubiaceae. There are about 70 species of Coffea. These species are grouped into 4 sections: Eucoffea, Mascarocoffea, Argocoffea and Paracoffea. Argocoffea is proposed to be excluded from Coffea, since the seeds do not resemble that of Coffea.

Eucoffea includes most of the useful species of the genus. It is further divided into 5 sections, viz., Erythrocoffea, Nanocoffea, Melanocoffea and Mozambicoffea. Only 7 species under the genus Coffea have significance. Coffea Arabica, Coffea canephora (under Eucoffea) and Coffea liberica (Pachy Coffea) are some of the species that found their place into commercial cultivation in India.

The basic genome in the genus Coffea is x = 11. In Eucoffea, all species are diploids with 2n = 22 except C. Arabica (2 n 44) which is a tetraploid.

Types of Coffee (Coffea species):

Types of Coffee (Coffea species)

Arabica Coffee:

The Coffea Arabica is a small tree with dark green leaves. The flower buds are produced during October-March and flowers blossom 9-10 days after the receipt of blossom sharers. Arabica is self-fertile. The fertilized ovary grows into a fruit in 8-9 months.

Arebica Coffee Flowers

Robusta Coffee:

The Coffea canephora is a bigger tree than Arabica with broader and larger leaves, which are pale- green. Flowers per clusters are more. Berries are small but higher in number per node ranging from 40 to 60. It is a lowland coffee with wider geographic distribution. It grows under relatively more open and humid conditions than Arabica. Flower buds appear during November-February, precipitation in February-March is ideal for blossoming. The flowers open 7-8 days after receipt of rains. Robusta is highly self-incompatible which is controlled by a single gene with multiple alleles. This leads to high level of heterozygosity 10-11 months and are seedling population. The fruits mature in ready for harvesting 2 months later in than Arabica. The root system of Robusta is rather shallow compared to Arabica.

Tree Coffee:

The Coffea liberica is a large tree bearing big broad, dark green and leathery leaves. The flowers and fruits are larger and take one year to mature. The ripe fruits are yellow to reddish-brown in colour.


An evergreen, glabrous, glossy-leaved shrub or small tree up to 5 m high when unprimed.


The root system consists of a short, stout rarely extending beyond 45 cm; 4-8 axial roots originating as laterals from the tap root, go down vertically to 2-3 m or more. Many lateral roots, 1-2 m long, in a horizontal plane, form the surface plate in the first foot of the soil. Below these are the lower laterals which ramify evenly and more deeply in the soil. Root


The plant shows dimorphic branching, due to different development of 2 buds which occur one above the other in each leaf axil of the central orthotropic stem. Under the dominance of the apical bud, only the upper bud in the leaf axil, accessory or extra axillary bud, grows to produce the lateral or primary branch. The primaries are plagiotropic and arise on the opposite side of each node in succession from the base upward around the stem. The primary branches give rise to secondary laterals which in turn produce tertiary and quaternary branches. are spread out at right angles to the main stem. When the primaries die or cut it back there is no other accessory bud at the node to produce new primaries.

The lower axillary bud normally remains dormant and does not grow until the main stem has been topped or damaged, when it grows out immediately under the primary branch to produce an upright orthotropic vegetative shoot referred as sucker or water shoot. If this young shoot is damaged, a second axillary bud may grow. By topping or bending the vertical growing stem it is possible to induce vertical shoots and is a method of increasing materials for vegetative propagation.

Two types of secondary and tertiary laterals grow on lateral branches. One type arises towards the distal end of the branch just above the axil and hence termed as ‘extra axillary’. The second type called axillary bud is produced in the leaf axil. It is capable of growing into an inflorescence or a lateral shoot. The number of axillary branches exceeds the number of extra axillary types and it provides the main cropping wood of the tree.

Height of coffee plants


Leaves are opposite decussate in suckers, but in plagiotropic branches, successive nodes with leaves lie in one plane. Leaves are dark green when mature; young leaves bronze tipped in var. Arabica; elliptical with acuminate tip; short petioled and margin sometimes undulate Domatia or small cavities on lower surface of leaves at insertion of lateral veins, give slight protuberance on upper surface. Stipules are small, interpetiolar and deltoid with acuminate tip.


The inflorescence is a condensed cyme arising in leaf axils, on short peduncles and subtended by bracts. In Robusta, bracts are leafy and expanded, where- as they are small and scaly in Arabica. Inflorescences of 1-4 flowers each in Arabica and 5-6 flowers each in Robusta are produced per axil. In Arabica, axillary buds are indeterminate and they produce either vegetative shoots or flower buds. In Robusta, floral differentiation is faster than in Arabica and appears to be Four to five determinate.


Flowers are fragrant and white, appear in axillary clusters 2-20 per axil on primary and secondary branches during October-March. Buds remain dormant until stimulated by rain or wetting.

Growth stops before meiosis has taken place and at this stage buds suffer from water’s tress. A sudden increase in water by rain increases water content of flower buds and meiosis takes place. Corolla then rapidly expands and flowers open simultaneously, 8-12 days after wetting. Flowers open in early morning; begin to wither after 2 days and a few days later all floral parts drop away except ovaries. Under adverse conditions, particularly at high temperature, abnormal flowers called ‘star flowers’ occur in which petals remain small, fleshy and stiff and are greenish in colour. The style is exerted and there are no functional stamens and they failing to set fruits.

Flowers are pentamerous; calyx is small, rudimentary, corolla tubular, anther epipetalous containing 4 pollen sacs. Ovary is inferior and 2-celled (bilocular) with one ovule in each locule. Stigma is bifid.

Coffee Flowers


 Pollination takes place 6 hours after flower opening under bright light and warm windy conditions. Wind, gravity and bees are the agents of pollination. Arabica is self- pollinated while Robusta is cross-pollinated.


 The normal duration of a flower to set into a fruit is 7-9 months. The fruit is a seed. Abortion of one ovule due to non-fertilization leads to the formation of a single-seeded fruit, the pea berry of commerce. Occasionally, 3 or more seeds may be present due to trilocular ovaries or false embryonic. The fruits are oval, elliptic, green when immature and on ripening yellow and then crimson. It has a smooth, tough drupe and normally contains 2 outer skin or excerpt, soft yellowish pulp green, fibrous endocarp (parchment) surrounding seeds. Seeds are or mesocarp and greyishellipsoidal in shape and pressed together by the flattened surface which is deeply grooved and the outer surface is convex. A seed consist mainly of green corneous endosperm and a small embryo near the base and is covered by a thin silvery testa (silver skin). Dried seeds after removal of silver skin provide the coffee beans of commerce.


 In coffee, generally propagation is done through seeds. Of late in Robustas, clonal propagation through rooted cut- tings and grafting is also being practiced.

Collection and Preparation of Seed:

 Healthy and mature fruits three-fourths to fully ripe are harvested from selected plants during November-December in Arabica and in January-February in Robusta. Floats are discarded and sound fruits are pulped, the beans are drained and sieved to remove defective ones. The beans are then mixed with wood ash, evenly spread out to a thickness of about 5 cm and allowed to dry in shade for 5 days. To protect the seeds against microbial infection, the seeds are treated with Bavistin@ 1 g or vita ax@ 0.66 g/kg of seed coffee.

Raising Nursery:

Seeds are sown in raised beds provided with proper drainage, a mixture of soil, compost and sand in a 6:2:1 proportion. The seeds are sown in close rows (1.0-1.5 cm apart) with flat side facing the soil. layer of soil is spread after sowing with paddy straw to ensure even temperature and moisture. The seed-beds are watered daily. Seeds germinate in 40-45 days. The straw mulch is removed after germination. The primary beds are protected from direct sunlight with pandal.

The seeds are transplanted to secondary nursery or polythene bags at the button stage. If tap root is excessively grown, it is nipped off while transplanting. The beds are then mulched and watered at regular intervals. The beds A thin potting mixture should have the same soil as well as composition as that of the germination beds. The plants are manure once in two months with urea dissolved in water or supernatant solution of fermented cow dung slurry.

Coffee Plant Age in Years

Vegetative Propagation:

Vegetative propagation is advocated to multiply a superior clone (especially Robusta) or superior genotype that arises out of breeding in large numbers, for top-working inferior plantations and to impart resistance. Only orthotropic shoots are used for propagation, since plagiotropic branches give squatting type of plants. The production of orthotropic shoots can be increased by grafting the sucker as scion on the root- stock and as they grow, bending them over, pegging down and pruning away primaries so that orthotropic shoots are produced at each node.


Single node green wood (semi-hard wood) cut- tings of 10 cm length with the leaf clipped and 3-6 months old are planted in polythene bags filled with forest soil, sand and cattle manure in a 6:3:1 ratio. The bags with cuttings arranged in a length of size 2 m x 1 m x 0.5 m are prepared under coir mat shade and covered over with a thick polythene sheet (500 gauge) spread over a frame- work of bamboo or iron. About 108 polybags of size 22 cm x 15 cm. with IBA (5,000 ppm) enhances rooting. Collect cuttings during June-July, since it gives maximum rooting. Cuttings root in about 3-4 months. Rooted cuttings are hardened by keeping them under shade for 2 months and then trans- planted to the field. A trench can accommodate Treatment


Seedlings uprooted from the nursery are planted in polythene bags and cleft grafted using scions collected from suckers. Usually Robusta is taken as the rootstock and Arabica as the scion.


Top-working is done to improve inferior trees and rehabilitating old plantations. Old trees are topped to induce sucker growth and cleft grafting is done on the sucker.

Soil and Climate:            

Soil should be deep, well-drained, and slightly acidic (4.5-6.5) in reaction and rich in organic matter content. An elevation of 1,000-1,500 m above mean sea level is ideal. Most hilly and forest soils in South India are suitable for its cultivation. The coffee soils in India belong to red and lateritic soil groups. The soils differ in texture from sandy loams to clayey loam with colour varying from light grew to deep red.

The rainfall, temperature and elevation can influence production of coffee much more than soil. Under South Indian conditions, high summer temperature combined with poor sub-soil moisture can be a severe limiting factor whereas at Northern latitude cold winter temperature can be a limiting factor.

Crop Improvement

Germplasm Collections:

The earlier collections made during 1930s totalling 1,462 were of indigenous origin from seeds collected from vigorous, disease-resistant Arabica and Robusta plants from various estates. This included many putative hybrids such as Kents, Coorgs, 5.26 and 5.31 (both Liberica x Arabica origin) and Devamachy hybrid Robusta x Arabica origin)

Collection of exotic Germplasm was started in 1953 and introductions were made from all coffee-growing countries including Ethiopia, the homeland of coffee. Early introduction of Robusta coffee was from Sri Lanka and Indonesia, although later introductions were made from Costa Rica, Uganda, Madagascar and Ivory Coast. The Germplasm collections were maintained in the gene bank of Central 
Coffee Research Institute, Balehonnur. They were:

  • C. Arabica: About 280 varieties, cultivars and selections
  • C. canephora: 21 exotic collections including 3 varieties and one sub-variety
  • Other Species: 18 species belonging to Coffea and closely related genus Psilanthus.
  • Hybrid lines: Coffee lines and hybrid lines showing varying degrees of resistance to leaf rust were introduced from Central Rust Research Centre, Portingal

Hibrido-de-Timor: C. canephora x C. Arabica from Timor Islands was intro- duced, whereas Catimor : Caturra x hybrids-de-Timor: Villa Sarchi x Hibrido-de-Timor and Catimor spontaneous hybrid of a x Catuai (Caturra x Mundo Novo) were also collected.

Interspecific hybrids:

C. Congensis x C. canephora; C. liber ica x C. eugenioides The hybrid resembled Arabica in cup quality and possessed tolerance to drought and rust.


The selections and introductions were further improved by employing pure-line breeding, Intervarietal crossing, back-crossing and interspecific hybridization. The selections were released for cultivation after zonal assessment.

Arabica Varieties:

Selection 1 (S 288): This variety is a derived from S-26 which is supposed to be a progeny of natural cross between C. liberica x C. Arabica. It is resistant to leaf rust race I and II. Though this is a high-yielder with quality similar to Arabica, seed abnormalities are very frequent. However, because of its wide adaptability to varied agro climatic conditions, it is still being cultivated in telraploid hybrid some areas.

Selection 3 (S-795): It is a cross-bred line of S-288 x Kents. Kents is a selection made by Mr Vent, a planter. It 183 COFFEE is resistant to two races of leaf rust and has bold fruits and seeds of good quality. The variety is resistant to race I and Il of leaf rust. It has a yield potential of 700-1,200 kg clean coffee/ha with 75%; A grade and cup quality 5-6.

Selection 5: It is derived from a cross between Devamachy x S-881 (wild Arabica from Rome, Sudan. Devamachy spontaneous hybrid of Robusta x Arabica sported in Coorg. It has small, oblong, leathery leaves and oblong fruits and seeds. It has a yield potential of 900-1, 100 kg clean coffee/ha.

Selection 6: A hybrid between S-274 (Robusta) x Kents. Its plants are larger with Robusta type branching. Fruit is medium to bold with cup quality similar to Arabica. It has a yield potential of 900-1,000 kg clean coffee/ha with high A grade beans.

Selection 7: Derived from San Ramon (a dwarf Arabica variety from Columbia) crosses. San Ramon was crossed with S-1406 to obtain Selection 7.1. Selection 7.2 is a cross between dwarfs of 7.1 x Agaro. This hybrid when crossed with Hybrids-de-Timor, Selection 7.3 was obtained.

Selection 7.3 shows high resistance to leaf rust. Its plants are dwarf.

Selection 8: It is derived through pure-line selection of Hibrido-de-Timor (HDT). It shows the highest resistance to leaf rust. It produces drooping branches, bears moderately bold fruits with quality similar to Arabica.

Selection 9: Cross-bread line of Hibrido-de-Timor x is a Tafarikela; its plants are drought hardy. Bean is medium to bold. Nearly 70% of the plants in the progeny are resistant to rust.

Selection 10 (Caturra crosses): Caturra is a dwaft type in Arabica. Some crosses of Caturra with S 795, Cioccie and Hibrido-de-Timor show resistance to many races of rust.

Selection 11: Progeny of C. liberica x C. eugenoides. Its plants show field resistance to rust and drought hardiness.

Arebica Coffee Fruits


It is derived from Catimor lines which is a cross between Caturra and Hibrido-de-Timor. The plants are dwarf and highly suitable for high-density planting. It shows high degree of synchronized flowering, fruit set and fruit ripening. It shows a high yield potential of 1,000- 2,000 kg clean coffee/ha. It produces more A grade coffee with superior cup quality.

Robusta Varieties:

Coffea canephora was introduced to India after the appearance of leaf rust in Arabica. Now, it has become popular as the cultivated species of coffee. Robusta coffee is highly cross-pollinated and high-yielding selections were recommended for cultivation.

Sel-1R (S-274): This is a single plant progeny giving 1,400-2,500 kg clean coffee/ha. It can come up even at lower elevations and shows high resistance to leaf rust. Growth is vigorous but with shallow root system. Its fruits are bold giving 43% a grade coffee.

Sel-2R (S-270): This also is a single plant progeny selection Robusta giving high yield but fruits are not as bold as in Sel-1R.

Sel-3 R: An interspecific hybrid between C. congensis and C. canephora with back crossed to C. canephora. C congensis is a native of Congo in Africa, showing compact plant size, better quality and lower caffeine content. The hybrid showed bush size of congensis, fruits as in Robusta with low-caffeine content and quality of congensis. A dwarf mutant of this hybrid population has been recently spotted in Wynad.


Tissue Culture:

The major constraints of coffee production where tissue culture techniques can offer solutions are development of resistance through genetic engineering for fungal diseases particularly leaf rust, introduction of Bt gene for control of berry and stem borers, use of embryo rescue for interspecific crosses from resistant species and development of tools for quality improvement for uniform maturity, short maturation cycles, high soluble solids, large bean size and density, better aroma and less caffeine content.

Protocols for micro propagation from nodal and apical meristems and somatic embryogenesis and successful regeneration of plantlets from leaf and integument tissue have been perfected. High frequency somatic embryogenesis has been obtained in 1/2 MS with 4% sucrose. Synthetic seed technology for encapsulating embryos in sodium alginate has been developed. Another culture technique has been successfully employed for callus induction and plantlet regeneration in interspecific hybrid between C. congensis x C. canephora. Work is going on to develop Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system using leaf disc procedure and on protoplast isolation and culture from embryogenic calli of C. Arabica and C x R hybrid. Protoplasts have been isolated and cultured from embryogenic calli of Cauvery and C x R cultivars. Cryopreservation of zygotic and somatic embryos has been reported.

Embryo Culture:

Zyogotic embryo culture in MS medium with 3% sucrose source, ABA (1 mg/liter) for 30 days for embryo maturation followed by sub-culturing in media containing BAP or Kinetin and successful plantlet regeneration has been reported. The most useful and popular application of zygotic embryo culture in rescuing incompatible crosses are feasible in coffee. Plants are successfully regenerated from the embryo cultures of 3 interspecific crosses involving C. canephora as one of the parents and 3 indigenous wild species, viz., C. bengalensis, C. travencoren-sis and C. wightiana.


Selection of Site:

Location with well-distributed rainfall and good stand of evergreen trees is ideal for its cultivation. A perennial source of water supply is an essential requirement. Soils rich in humus with gentle slopes pro- viding good drainage should be preferred. Coffee is an evergreen plant requiring maintenance of soil moisture during dry months. Plants cannot withstand waterlog ging also. Location at an elevation above 1,000 m is ideal. Southern and Western aspects generally suffer from longer exposure to cause injury to plants. Therefore wind belts consisting of tall trees like silver oak and tree coffee should be raised.

Preparation of Land:

Clean felling is not recommended when the land is cleared for planting coffee. Selective retention of desired species of wild shade trees without too much overcrowding gives the best results. The problem of soil erosion is more on steep slopes with good overhead shade; Such fields should be protected with a lower canopy of Dadap and silver oak and a top canopy of Ficus species. In steep areas, terracing and contour planting may be adopted.

Pits and Planting:

Spacing of Arabica coffee at 2-2.5 m and Robusta at 2.5-5 m, either way, is the best on flat lands with square system of planting. For San Ramon and other dwarfs, 1.2 m x 1.2 m spacing could be adopted.     

Pits of 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm size are dug after a first few summer showers. In poor soil 250 g compost or farmyard manure in every pit can be added at the time of filling. Disease-free and vigorous seedlings with stunted and twisted roots are discarded. Seedlings (16-18 months), uprooted from the secondary nursery with and without ball of earth are June. Ball and bag plants are generally planted in September-October. A hole is made in the centre of the pit after leveling the soil. The seedling is placed in the hole without twisting the roots and the hole is then filled. The soil around seedlings is packed high above the ground prevent water stagnation around the collar. The seedlings are staked to prevent wind damage.

Planting Shade Trees:

Dadap is commonly used as a lower canopy shade. Stem cuttings of 2 m length are planted for every 2 plants of coffee. Silver oaks and dadaps are planted during June when South-West monsoon commences. During dry season, stems of young dadaps either painted with dilute lime solution or wrapped with agave leaves to protect from sun-scorch.

Training and Pruning:

Training leads to strong framework and promotes production of bearing wood. Usually plants are trained on single stem. As soon as plants reach 75 cm for Arabica and 105-120 cm for Robusta the growing apex is removed. Arabica takes 9-12 months and Robusta 18-24 months to reach the topping height. Topping restricts vertical growth, facilitates lateral spreading and increases the bearing area. Low-topping (60-70 cm) is recommended in areas of severe wind exposure. All vertical sprouts are removed during April-May. The age for raising the  trees is determined by the fertility of soil and preading habit of the plant. The height at 135-150 cm is maintained permanently.

The multiple-stem system which is practiced in other coffee-growing countries is not common in India. This method is adopted in replanted fields. When old coffee plants are to be gradually replaced, plants are stumped and converted into multiple stem to exploit the maximum potential until the new plants system, plants and 2 suckers are yield. In this are cut back when grown to about 50 cm come to permitted to grow. Two stems develop. Simultaneously, small crop is obtained on skirt (lower primary branches). When suckers come to full production capacity, the skirt is removed.

Pruning is a thinning process which not only induces better productive efficiency in the plant but also helps in crop regulation and prevents overbearing. The type and frequency of pruning depend upon the type of vegetative growth, aspect, incidence of pests and diseases and pat- tern of blossom shower. Centering and de-suckering should be carried out for 5 or 6 years after planting. Removal of dead and whippy wood is essential during early years mature plants need to be given medium to severe pruning once in 4 years.

Rejuvenation of old stands of coffee can be carried out by collar pruning and raising of new framework from a sucker arising from the collar. In hard pruning, plants are cut at 5-10 cm above the ground level and one leader shoot is allowed. Removal of lateral shoots to regulate shade is done in medium pruning. Light pruning involves removal of suckers.

Soil Management:

Generally no tillage is required once coffee is established and grown under good shade. In new clearings, field is given a thorough digging to a depth of about 35-45 cm. Digging is done towards the end of monsoon. Or steep slopes, this may be confined to renovation pits or trenches across the slope once in 4 or 5 years. In established coffee fields, scuffling or soil stirring is done towards the beginning of the dry period. It controls weeds and conserves soil moisture. Renovation trenches and pits are dug in a staggered manner between rows of coffee along the con- tour. Trenches are 50 cm wide, 25 cm deep and of convenient length. Mulching in young clearings helps maintain soil temperature and conserves soil moisture. Weeds are controlled manually or by using herbicides like gramaxone at 1.25 liters in 450 liters of water/ha.


 Soil moisture is a major factor limiting production, particularly in areas of low rainfall and long drought periods. Sprinkler irrigation is employed against failure of good blossom or backing showers. It is necessary to irrigate coffee at 20-25 days during November-April. To maintain soil moisture for continuous vegetative growth, an irrigation of 40 mm is adequate.

Soil Acidity and Liming:

Heavy rainfall brings about leaching of calcium and magnesium leading to soil acidity. Continuous use of acid- forming fertilizers also makes the soil acidic. Based on soil analysis data liming is necessary. Lime and dolomite are commonly used as liming materials. It is desirable to apply lime when there is sufficient moisture in the soil and there should be a gap of at least one month between lime and fertilizer application. It is applied by broadcasting in between rows of coffee and incorporated into the oil by light digging or forking.


Coffee, a berries and producing fresh wood for succeeding crop at the same time. The basic fertilizer requirement for coffee perennial crop, has dual function of maturing is given in Table 7.3. The most common and efficient method of fertilizer application is placement in the dri-circle. The leaf mulch beneath the coffee is swept towards the base and fertilizers applied in a broad circular band about 30 cm away from the stem. They are then incorporated into the soil with a fork or stick and covered by mulch. Application of non- sulphur fertilizers causes deficiency of sulphur and continuous use of ammonium sulphate makes the soil acidic.

Cherry Coffee:

Ripe berries are spread out evenly to a thickness of about 8 cm on drying grounds, preferably tiled or concrete floors. It should be stirred and ridged at intervals. This has to be heaped and covered with plastic in the evening and spread out in the morning. Cherry is dry when a fistful of cherries produce a rattling sound when shaken. Also when samples record the same weight on 2 consecutive weighing, drying is complete. Drying takes about 12-15 days. Optimum moisture content for safe storage is 10.5% in Arabica and 11.0% in Robusta. Cherry is bagged in clean gunnies.


Stores should be well-ventilated and dry. Bags containing beans should be stored on raised wooden platforms. Labels with identity of estate, parchment and cherry should be attached to the bag before dispatch to curing works


Curing is done in curing houses established by licensed curers. It refers to processes like hulling (removal of fruit wall and parchment), grading and sorting (removal of discolored beans and foreign matter). The classification of grades of Indian coffee is as PB, A, B, AB and C based on size of beans and percentage of imperfections.

Quality Evaluation:

Characteristics such as moisture content, colour, size, evenness of shape, presence/absence of defective/unripe beans/stones/odour of raw bean judged in evaluating coffee. Bluish-green to greyish-green without any hue of brown is associated with good visual raw quality in Arabica parchment. In Robusta unwashed coffee, golden-brown colour is associated with good visual of raw appearance. The planter is paid on the basis of visual assessment of the sample. Premium or extra payment on the basis of cup quality has also been introduced to make the planter aware of quality of coffee.

For a season, a fair average quality (FAQ) sample is prepared for the principal types and grades of coffee. This helps to assess the value of the produce according to the quality, which determines the price for marketing including export.

The liquor qualities of the Coffee Board. Intrinsic qualities of coffee such as flavor, aroma, body and acidity are assessed by the cup tasting unit are unveiled for exploitation in blending. The first step in evaluating the quality of a produce is to examine the physical appearance of the sample. The next step is to judge the roasted beans and aroma of the grind. The final step is to taste the brew for assessing liquor quality.


Coffee beans after curing are roasted and ground to get coffee powder. Coffees from different regions differ in quality and hence Arabica is known for judicious blending aroma and Robusta for strength. Chicorium intybus is used n additive. It improves colour, odour and taste of coffee. This combination is known as ‘French coffee’.

Specialty Coffees:

Flavored Coffee:

Coffee is flavored with flavor of cardamom, cinnamon, lemon and saffron. The most highest antioxidant blend.

Decaffeinated Coffee:

Green beans are extracted with solvents like ethyl acetate to reduce caffeine content to less than 0.1 %.

Instant Coffee (soluble coffee):

The concentrates of coffee are extracted in hot water at 90-150° C, for 3 times, in steel vessels. The coffee extract is spray dried/freeze dried.


Earlier marketing of coffee was India Government; free marketing through free sale quota (FSQ) instead of internal sale quota (ISQ) is permitted. For small growers 100% FSQ is allowed, while for large growers 70% FSQ and 30% to Coffee Board of India. Through Coffee Board of Due to liberalization of policies of Indian.

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