Commercial coffee farming is a very old, common and popular business in many countries around the world. Coffee is among the most popular drinks throughout world and commercial production of coffee is profitable.
Coffee is actually a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, the seeds of berries from certain flowering plants in the Coffea genus.
The seeds are separated from the coffee fruit to produce a stable, raw product (unroasted green coffee). And then the seeds are roasted which transforms them into a consumable product (roasted coffee), which is ground into fine particles that are typically steeped in hot water before being filtered out, producing a cup of coffee.
Coffee is darkly colored, bitter, slightly acidic and has a stimulating effect in humans, primarily due to its caffeine content. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world and can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways.
It is usually served hot, although chilled or iced coffee is common. Sugar, sugar substitutes, milk or cream are often used to lessen the bitter taste or enhance the flavor.
It may be served with may different food items such as coffee cake or another sweet dessert, like doughnuts. A commercial establishment that sells prepared coffee beverages is known as a coffeehouse or coffee shop.
Clinical research indicates that moderate coffee consumption is benign or mildly beneficial as a stimulant in healthy adults, with continuing research on whether long-term consumption reduces the risk of some diseases, although some of the long-term studies are of questionable credibility.
World production of green coffee beans was 175,647,000 60 kg bags, led by Brazil with 39% of the total in the year of 2020. Other major coffee producing countries are Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia.
As of 2021, no synthetic coffee products are publicly available but multiple bioeconomy companies have reportedly produced first batches that are highly similar on the molecular level and are close to commercialization.
However, commercial coffee farming is a very good and profitable business. Once a coffee orchard is established, it can produce coffee beans up to 55 to 60 years.
Generally, coffee plants start growing fruits beans/cherries after 3 to 4 years of planting. And commercial coffee farming is an excellent business and you can make high profits under ideal crop practices.
Coffee Nutritional Facts
Brewed coffee from typical grounds prepared with tap water contains 40 mg caffeine per 100 gram and no essential nutrients in significant content.
In espresso, however, likely due to its higher amount of suspended solids, there are significant contents of magnesium, the B vitamins, niacin and riboflavin, and 212 mg of caffeine per 100 grams of grounds.
Health Benefits of Consuming Coffee
Coffee is a very popular beverage and known for it’s ability to fine-tune your focus and boost your energy levels. And in addition to it’s energing effects, coffee has been linked to a long list of potential health benefits.
Here we are trying to list the top health benefits of consuming coffee regularly.
- Consuming coffee regularly can boosts your energy levels. Coffee contains caffeine and it is such a stimulant that has been shown to increase energy levels and decrease fatigue by altering levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Consuming coffee on a regular basis may be linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes over the long term.
- Coffee could support brain health when consumed regularly. Some research suggests that drinking coffee could help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cognitive decline.
- According to a study, people who consumed coffee regularly were more likely to be physically active. And for this reason consuming coffee can help you to lose weight.
- Consuming coffee improves mood and help to lower the risk of depression.
- Regular coffee consumption could be linked to a decreased risk of death from chronic liver disease, along with other conditions, like liver scarring and liver cancer.
- Some research shows that drinking coffee may benefit heart health.
- Regular consumption of coffee could increase longevity and lower the risk of death.
- Coffee could improve physical performance and endurance when consumed before exercising.
These are the top advantages of drinking coffee regularly. Coffee is healthy and good for your health if consume moderate amount.
Advantages of Coffee Farming Business
Large scale or commercial coffee farming is a very easy and simple business. And it is also a great way for making good profits for long time.
We recommend having practical experience before starting commercial coffee farming business. Here we are trying to describe the top advantages of coffee farming business.
- Very high price and demand in the market is the main advantage of commercial coffee farming business.
- Large scale or commercial coffee farming is an old and established business and many people are already doing this for making profits.
- As it is an established business, so you don’t have to worry much about starting and operating this business.
- Initial capital/investment requirement in commercial coffee farming business is relatively high. But you will be able to make money for longer periods once the plants are established.
- Coffee has great demand and value in the market. So, you don’t have to worry much about marketing your products.
- Generally, the coffee plants are very strong and hardy. So, they require relatively less caring and other management.
- Caring the coffee plants is relatively easy and simple.
- Commercial coffee farming is an established business and it is also very profitable. So, it can be a great employment source for the people, especially for the unemployed people.
- You can start small scale coffee production for utilizing your family labor.
- Consuming coffee has numerous health benefits. And you can enjoy fresh coffee if you start your own coffee production business.
How to Start Coffee Farming Business
Starting commercial coffee farming business is just like starting other crop farming business. But it require some knowledge and experience. So, we recommend having practical knowledge or training before starting this business.
Learning from local experts is always a good idea. However, here we are trying to describe more about the steps of starting and operating a successful coffee farming business from planting, caring to harvesting and marketing.
Coffee plants can be grown on a wide range of soil types. They can be grown on sandy loam soil with good organic matter to virgin soils on steep mountain slopes or almost flat lands.
One thing you must consider is the water balance of soil, as this can play a vital role in coffee production. If you are willing to start commercial coffee farming, then you should conduct a soil testing.
If any soil nutrient deficiencies are noticed, then you should supplement those nutrients before starting a coffee garden. Ideal pH level of the land should be between 5.0 and 6.0 for maximum production.
This is a very important part of commercial coffee farming business. You must have to prepare the land very well by giving 4 to 5 ploghings and harrowing to bring the soil to fine tilth stage.
Remove any stones, debris and weeds from previous crop while preparing the land. And try to add as much organic contents as you can while preparing the land.
Ideal climatic conditions for growing coffee plants are related to temperature and rainfall. Temperatures in the range of 23°C and 28°C with rainfall incidence in the range of 60 to 80 inches are ideal for best growth of the plants.
Cold temperatures closer to freezing conditions are not suitable for coffee farming. Providing irrigation facilities is required where the rainfall is less than 40 inches. Relative humidity for Arabica ranges 70–80% while for Robusta it ranges 80–90%.
Coffee crop is propagated by both seeds and cuttings. Selection of quality seeds is very important in coffee farming business.
Generally, it takes about 30 to 40 days for germination after sowing in the field or nursery beds. And then the seedlings should be uprooted and transplanted into polythene bags in nursery beds at a spacing of 25cm.
Coffee Arabica trees are self-pollinating and usually, Arabica varieties will produce true type plants from seed propagation.
You should select high yielding and disease free good quality cuttings in vegetative propagation.
If you can’t produce the seedlings of your own, then you can purchase the seeds or cuttings form your local suppliers. If you are planning to by from nurseries, make sure to choose certified and high-quality nurseries for coffee planting materials.
Planting method and distance vary from variety to variety and it mainly depends on topography and soil fertility. Generally, 2m x 3m spacing is followed for Coffee Arabica, and 3m x 3m is followed for Coffee Robusta.
Straight row planting with an east to west orientation is preferred layout for growing coffee plants.
The coffee plants are usually planted during the spring season or just before the rainy season as this crop require moist soil conditions and cool climate for better establishment and growth.
For better growth of the seedling, the space between the rows should be between 15cm and 20cm. And within the rows, coffee seeds should be placed at 3cm to 5cm distance with 0.5cm to 1cm depth flat side down.
After growing the seedlings in nursery bags, 6 to 7 months old seedlings having about 20 to 25cm height should be transported and transplanted in the main field.
Prepare the pits before transplanting the seedlings. It will be better if you dig the pit 3 months before transplanting the seedlings in the main field. Ideal pit size is 50cm x 50cm x 50cm.
Coffee plants are generally strong and very hardy. So you don’t have to worry much about caring the plants. Although, taking good care of the plants will ensure good growth and better production
Timely application of fertilizers and manures ensure good growth of the plants and maximum coffee production. Add adequate organic fertilizers while preparing the soil. Contact a local expert for having better recommendations about subsequent fertilization.
Actually, the frequency of watering or irrigation for commercial coffee farming depends on the type of soil, moisture level and also plant age and climate.
Many irrigation methods available to choose from such as drip irrigation, microjet, basin and sprinkler irrigation. Among all these methods, drip irrigation is the best method for best utilization of water and fertilizers.
Under irrigated conditions, each coffee plant require around 50 to 55 mm water and this should be applied before transplanting. Subsequent irrigation of 25mm should be provided at 8 to 10 days interval.
Overwatering can result in plant rot and fungal diseases in the coffee plants. So, avoid too much wetness but ensure moist soil. The thumb rule is to provide 2 irrigation in a week in dry climatic conditions, and 1 irrigation per week in the cool winter season.
Mulching helps to control weeds and retain moisture into the soil. And organic mulching also enrich the soil, moderate of excessive soil temperature and improves soil texture. Use organic materials for mulching.
Weeds consume nutrients from the soil, so it’s important to control/remove them. Weed control can be done during the initial years. And chemical weedicides (such as Dalapon) can be used for controlling grasses.
Pruning of coffee plants include removal of dried, dead branches and any unhealthy branches. Pruning includes part of pole pruning and this may be done once in 4 years to bring back to good shape and control unwanted shoots. Ensure this task is done immediately after harvesting.
Blooming and maturing
Blooming is the time when coffee plants bloom with white flowers which last for about 3–4 days (termed “evanescent” period) before they mature into seeds. When coffee plantations are in full bloom it is a delightful sight to watch.
The time period between blooming and maturing of the fruit varies appreciably with the variety and the climate; for the Arabica, it is about seven months, and for the Robusta, about nine months. The fruit is gathered by hand when it is fully ripe and red-purple in colour.
Pests & Diseases
Like many other commercial crops, the coffee plants are also susceptible to many pests and diseases problem.
Common pests or insects of the coffee plants are antestia stink bug, black coffee stem borer, coffeeberry moth, grey coffee snout beetle, leafminer, mealybug, white stem borer, veriegated coffee bug etc.
And common diseases of the coffee plants are american leaf spot, armillaria mellea, coffee leaf rust, coffee berry disease, cercospora spot, rosellinia bunodes, tracheomycosis wilt, root rot etc.
Contact your local department of horticulture for learning more about the prevention methods of pests and diseases of coffee plants.
Coffee beans/cherries start bearing from the 3rd year onward after transplanting in the main field. But you can expect good yield from the 5th year. But the most important and pleasuring part is, the coffee plantation continues to yield up to 50 to 55 years.
Generally, you can pick ripe berries of the coffee plant during the month of October to February. But it is recommended to pick well-ripened and formed coffee berries during the month of December.
After harvesting the crop, there are some post-harvesting tasks which are drying the fruits, grading the fruits, storage and transportation of the final produce.
It’s very difficult to tell the exact number. Because it depends on many factors such as climate, soil type, varieties, rainfall/irrigation and good garden management practices. But under ideal conditions you can expect 400 to 700 kg/ha for Coffee Arabica, and between 350 and 750 kg/ha in Coffee Robusta.
This is the most important part of commercial coffee farming business. You will be able to make huge profits if your marketing strategies are good. So, we recommend determining your marketing strategies before starting this business.
These are the common ways and steps for starting and operating a successful coffee farming business. Hope this detailed guide about coffee production has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!
Interesting Facts about Coffee Farming
Here are some of the best coffee farming facts, from the plant itself to its impact on the global economy.
- Coffee plants belong to the Rubiaceae family and are native to tropical regions of Africa.
- The two most commercially grown species of coffee plants are Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta.
- Coffee plants can grow up to 30 feet tall, but they are usually kept pruned to around 6 feet for ease of cultivation.
- Coffee plants require specific growing conditions, including temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and well-drained soil.
- Coffee plants take between 3 and 5 years to mature and begin producing coffee beans.
- Coffee beans are actually the seeds of the coffee fruit, which is called a cherry.
- The process of harvesting coffee beans is highly labor-intensive and is usually done by hand.
- Coffee beans are typically roasted to bring out their unique flavor and aroma.
- There are many different roast levels for coffee beans, including light, medium, and dark.
- The country of Ethiopia is often considered the birthplace of coffee, and coffee cultivation has been practiced there for over 1,000 years.
- Coffee cultivation spread from Ethiopia to Yemen and other parts of the Middle East in the 15th century.
- Coffee was introduced to Europe in the 17th century and quickly became a popular beverage.
- Brazil is currently the world’s largest producer of coffee, followed by Vietnam and Colombia.
- Coffee is a highly traded commodity and is one of the world’s most valuable crops.
- Coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water.
- The caffeine in coffee is a natural stimulant that can improve cognitive function and increase alertness.
- Coffee has been linked to numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and liver disease.
- Coffee cultivation can have a significant impact on the environment, as it often requires the clearing of forests and the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
- Many coffee farmers are turning to sustainable and organic farming practices to reduce their environmental impact.
- Fair trade coffee is a movement that aims to ensure that coffee farmers receive fair prices for their crops and are treated ethically.
- Coffee tourism is becoming increasingly popular, with many coffee farms offering tours and tastings for visitors.
- Coffee competitions, such as the World Barista Championship and the Cup of Excellence, highlight the best coffee beans and brewing methods from around the world.
- Coffee roasting is both an art and a science, with roasters experimenting with different roast levels and techniques to achieve the perfect flavor profile.
- Specialty coffee is a term used to describe high-quality coffee beans that are carefully sourced and roasted to bring out their unique flavors.
- Coffee can be brewed in a variety of ways, including drip, espresso, French press, and pour-over.
- Coffee has played a significant role in the social and cultural history of many countries, including Italy, Brazil, and Ethiopia.
- The coffee industry employs millions of people around the world, from farmers to roasters to baristas.
- The coffee market is highly competitive, with companies constantly innovating and creating new products to meet changing consumer tastes.
- Coffee has a rich and diverse flavor profile, with notes of fruit, chocolate, nuts, and spices often present in different varieties of beans and roasts.
Best Coffee Farming Tips
Now we will explore the best tips for coffee farming, including soil preparation, planting, pruning, harvesting, and post-harvest processing.
The first step in successful coffee farming is soil preparation. The soil must be well-drained and fertile, with a pH level of between 6.0 and 6.5.
It’s important to conduct a soil test to determine the nutrient levels in the soil and amend it accordingly. Adding organic matter such as compost or manure can improve soil quality and increase nutrient levels.
When planting coffee trees, it’s important to choose a variety that is well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions. Coffee trees should be planted at a spacing of 6-8 feet apart to allow for adequate sunlight and air circulation. Trees should be planted in well-drained soil and at a depth of around 2-3 inches.
Pruning is an important part of coffee farming and helps to promote healthy growth and fruit production. It’s important to prune coffee trees regularly to remove dead or diseased branches, as well as any branches that are blocking sunlight. Pruning can also help to regulate the size and shape of the tree.
Coffee trees require regular watering to ensure healthy growth and fruit production. The amount of water required will vary depending on the local climate and soil conditions.
In general, coffee trees should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can result in stunted growth and reduced fruit production.
Fertilizing is an important part of coffee farming and can help to increase yield and improve coffee bean quality. Organic fertilizers such as compost, manure, or coffee pulp can help to increase soil nutrient levels and promote healthy growth. It’s important to avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to nutrient imbalances and reduced fruit production.
Pest and Disease Control
Pest and disease control is an important part of coffee farming and can help to protect crops from damage and reduce yield losses.
Common coffee pests include coffee berry borers, coffee leaf rust, and nematodes. It’s important to monitor crops regularly for signs of pests and disease and to take appropriate measures to control them.
Harvesting is one of the most important parts of coffee farming, as it determines the quality and quantity of coffee beans produced. Coffee beans are typically harvested by hand, with only ripe cherries being picked.
It’s important to harvest cherries when they are at peak ripeness, as underripe or overripe cherries can affect the quality of the coffee beans.
Post-harvest processing is an important part of coffee farming and can help to improve the quality and flavor of coffee beans. There are two main processing methods: wet processing and dry processing.
Wet processing involves removing the outer layer of the cherry before drying, while dry processing involves drying the entire cherry. The choice of processing method will depend on local conditions and the desired flavor profile of the coffee.
Quality control is an important part of coffee farming and can help to ensure that the coffee beans produced are of high quality. It’s important to conduct regular cupping tests to evaluate the flavor, aroma, and overall quality of the coffee beans. This can help to identify any issues with the farming process and make adjustments to improve coffee bean quality.
Marketing and Sales
Marketing and sales are also important aspects of coffee farming. It’s important to have a solid understanding of the market demand for coffee and to develop a strong brand identity to stand out from competitors.
Building relationships with buyers and distributors can also help to ensure a steady stream of sales and a reliable source of income for the coffee farm.
Sustainable Farming Practices
Sustainable farming practices are becoming increasingly important in the coffee industry, as consumers and buyers place greater emphasis on ethical and environmentally-friendly production methods. Using organic and natural fertilizers, conserving water, and using renewable energy sources are all ways to promote sustainability in coffee farming.
Regular maintenance of the coffee farm is important to ensure healthy growth and production. This includes weeding, pruning, and replanting as necessary. Maintaining good soil health through regular soil testing, fertilization, and composting is also essential for long-term success.
Equipment and Tools
Having the right equipment and tools is important for efficient and effective coffee farming. This includes pruning shears, machetes, and harvest bags, as well as larger equipment such as irrigation systems and processing machines.
It’s important to invest in quality equipment that will last for many years and perform well under the demands of coffee farming.
Keeping accurate records of farming practices and production can help to identify areas for improvement and track progress over time. This can include records of soil tests, fertilization schedules, pest and disease control measures, and harvest yields.
This information can be used to make informed decisions and improve the overall quality and profitability of the coffee farm.
Education and Training
Continuing education and training is important for staying up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in coffee farming.
This can include attending workshops and seminars, networking with other coffee farmers, and participating in online communities and forums. Education and training can help to improve farming practices and increase the overall success of the coffee farm.
Diversification can help to reduce the risks associated with coffee farming and increase the overall profitability of the farm. This can include growing other crops alongside coffee, such as fruit trees or vegetables, or offering agritourism opportunities to visitors. Diversification can also help to build a resilient and sustainable farming business.
Engaging with the local community can help to build a strong network of support and increase the visibility of the coffee farm. This can include partnering with local businesses or organizations, participating in community events, and offering educational opportunities to visitors.
Building a strong community network can help to increase sales and promote the success of the coffee farm.
Innovation and Adaptation
Innovation and adaptation are essential for success in the ever-changing coffee industry. This can include experimenting with new varieties of coffee, exploring new processing methods, or adopting new technology to improve farming practices. Staying open to new ideas and opportunities can help to increase the competitiveness and profitability of the coffee farm.