Do you have a green thumb? Do you like to grow new and different plants for the fun of it? Do you want to show off your creative talents? Try growing coffee beans at home if you’re looking for a novel way to impress friends and family.
The coffee bean is low maintenance, unique for home gardeners, and the perfect way to be in complete control of your morning cup of java. That is if you’re willing to wait four to six years for your first crop to yield fruit.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in a coffee producing area, your coffee growing experience can start with a freshly picked coffee cherry. Pick a fresh, healthy cherry, wash it in clean water and allow it to ferment until the pulp falls away.
You can help this process along by rubbing the cherry in fresh water to remove the pulp. If the coffee bean floats it should be rejected. Use only firm beans that sink to the bottom of the bowl during the rinsing process. Dry the coffee bean in open air until most, but not all, of the moisture is gone.
In the absence of a fresh coffee cherry, green coffee can be purchased from your favorite coffee supplier. Be sure to ask your supplier for the freshest and most recent supply of green beans. Fresh beans can be germinated in about two to two and a half months. Older beans will take longer and may never germinate at all.
To germinate your crop, sow the coffee beans in damp sand or a vermiculite mixture. Water and drain your little project twice a day until germination takes place.
After germination has taken place, transplant the coffee seeds to a loam soil that is well mixed with hummus. Manure or bone meal can be added to fertilize. Place the seed in the soil with the flat side facing downward. A layer of mulch can be placed over the soil until germination occurs to retain moisture. Water the seeds daily, keeping the soil moist but well drained.
After the coffee plant has germinated it can be transplanted in an acidic soil with high nitrogen content. The addition of some sand will help keep the soil porous. Orchid fertilizer will work perfectly with your fledgling coffee plant.
Artificial indoor lighting will work well with the coffee plants. Watering twice a week should be sufficient; again being sure the soil is always moist, but set up to drain well.
It will take two or three years before flowering will take place on your coffee plant. You may also produce your own coffee cherries after this time. Growing your own coffee plant is interesting and fun, but the key word throughout the entire process is patience.
Once the coffee plants begin to produce beans of a high enough quality for you to roast and enjoy yourself, you can count on at least ten good years of coffee bean crops, all in the comfort of your own kitchen.