There are more than 40 species of coffee, but only four of these are commercially cultivated in
coffee producing countries. These are:
1. Arabica -considered the best quality coffee because of its excellent flavor and aroma.
– This grows in cool places with an elevation of 1,200 – 1,800 above sea level
The shrub is rounded and smaller than Robusta Liberica and Execelsa trees. The
lateral branches are opposite in arrangement, horizontal and in pairs. The leaves are
dark glossy green on the upper surface and light green underneath, about 1 – 14 cm
long and about 56 cm wide, oval or elliptical, short at the base and somewhat
– Flowers are fragrant, white or creamy with short red peduncles.
Berries are oblong ellipsoid, about 1.5 cm long green when immature and turning red
or yellow depending on maturity.
-This variety bears fruit within 2-3 years from planting. However, its weakness is its
susceptibility to coffee rust and its exacting in soil and climatic requirements.
-A well managed farm with full grown trees can yield about a metric ton of dried beans
2. Robusta – is high yielding and more resistant to pet and diseases. When grown in areas
with an elevation of from 600-1,200 meters above sea level, maximum production can be
-The plant is umbrella-shaped (with semi-round canopy). The leaves are thinner than
those of Excelsa, and may vary in shape- oval with obtuse base, apex with a culminate
tip, and the margin is wavy with prominent venation.
-The flowers are white with 4-6 petals.
-The berries are smaller than those of Arabica and closely clustered, blood red when
ripe, some solid red and others with stripes of dark or light red.
– The pulp and parchment are thin. Bearing starts on its third year from transplanting.
-One hectare could yield more than a metric ton green beans on the seventh (7th) year
3. Liberica – is locally known as “Kapeng Brako”
-The tree is upright with straight trunk, weedy and grows as high as 9 meters. The
leaves are thicker than those of Excelsa, twice as long as those of Arabica and leathery
in texture, about 20 cm long and 10 cm broad with a narrower base.
-The berries are largest among the four varieties round or oval, borne singly or small in
cluster and with thick and firm pulp. They are dark red when ripe.
–This specie is tolerant to drought and can grow in a wider type of soil.
– It begins bearing fruits 4-5 years after transplanting.
4. Excelsa- trees are similar to that of Liberica except that the internodes are shorter. Older
leaves are smoother, thinner and more round with smooth edges, while the young leaves are
usually bigger than those of Arabica, but smaller than Liberica’s.
Berries are ovoid, little bit compressed with a flat form and borne in heavy cluster. This
variety could be grown on sea level to 600 meters above sea level.
– Bearing fruits starts 4-5 years after transplanting.
SOIL & CLIMATE REQUIREMENTS
Coffee is hardly plant and can grow anywhere in the Philippines, but best at elevation of 60
-1000 meters above sea level.
Land should be flat and gently sloping for good drainage. For sloping land: gradient must
be 10-15% for short slopes; 35 gradient for long slopes.
Coffee likes loamy, rich soil, rich in potash, calcium and magnesium and plenty of humus.
A pH of 4.5 -5.6 is favorable. About 1 1/2 meters deep surface soil with good water holding
capability is good; it prefers volcanic origin and virgin forests. Heavy clay soils should be
avoided for coffee.
It needs air movement of light breeze and a good distribution of rainfall.
Coffee wants 13 hours daylight length. Beyond this, it will not flower.