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Coffea Arabica is the variety whose beans are most commonly sold by coffee companies. Arabica has been cultivated in the Middle East since the sixth century, and evidence suggests that it was originally native to Ethiopia. As one of the world’s most popular commodities, it is grown commercially throughout South America. Commercial growth focuses on quick production and larger beans and so plants are placed in full sun and watered extensively. Naturally, though, coffee grows in a semi-shaded area, which is said to produce a higher quality, although smaller bean. Growing your own coffee allows you to control this factor and potentially produce a higher quality, more organic coffee. Coffee makes an excellent houseplant that is relatively easy to grow and requires low maintenance once established. Room temperature (65-70 degrees F) is ideal. It has attractive, dark green, glossy leaves. After two to three years, plants will begin blossoming white flowers and producing dark red cherries containing two beans each. Occasionally, berries will only contain a single bean, and these beans are said to have a distinct flavor. Outdoors plants can reach ten to thirty feet in height if left untrimmed. Plants are capable of producing up to two pounds of coffee beans per year. Indoor plants will not grow nearly as large and can easily be controlled by pruning. New plants can be propagated by taking cuttings as you prune.

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