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Coffea arabica (Arabica coffee)

Coffee is one of the world's favourite drinks, one of the most important commercial crop-plants, and the second most valuable international commodity; Arabica coffee is considered to produce the finest coffee beans.
Coffea arabica berries

Coffea arabica, growing in Cameroon.

Species information

Scientific name: 

Coffea arabica L.

Common name: 

Arabica coffee, Arabica, coffee

Conservation status: 

Vulnerable (provisional assessment).


Humid, evergreen forest.

Key Uses: 

Food and drink.

Known hazards: 

Although recent research shows that there are many positive health benefits from consumption in moderation, much research is being undertaken to investigate the numerous compounds found in coffee and how these affect quality and human health.


Genus: Coffea

About this species

Coffee is the world’s favourite drink, the most important commercial crop-plant, and the second most valuable international commodity after oil. Worldwide there are about 20 million coffee farming families; around 100 million people depend on coffee for their livelihoods. Its export value alone is immense (US $ 15.4 billion in 2009/10) and as such it plays a crucial role in the economies of several tropical countries.

Coffee is made from the roasted seeds of the genus Coffea, and is brought from plant to cup via a complex process. The glossy red fruits are picked, the fleshy outer part of the berry removed and then their pale-coloured seeds (beans) are sent to mills to remove the hard outer layer encasing the seeds. At this stage the beans are either exported, or they are blended with others from the region before exportation. The complicated process of roasting usually occurs in the country where the beverage is consumed.


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