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Growing the Perfect Coffee

Ever consider growing your own coffee? A disclaimer, if you decide to do this patience will be required! However, the “fruits” of your labor are well worth the wait.   Where do I start? Well, you need either the seed or plant. The challenge with growing coffee from a seed is not knowing for certain the age of the seed. Sure, there are plenty of options online and perhaps your local area. If you do get seed, ensure that it is fresh. A side note, if you think that you can take a roasted bean and grow a coffee plant, that will not work.   Buying a Plant   Purchasing a coffee plant is the most practical way to get started. The consensus of coffee aficionados is to start out with coffee arabica variety. These plants can be found at your local nursery, big box home retailers and online.   Now that you have your coffee plant, how should you treat it? How long do I have to wait before I can brew homemade coffee?   Starting Out   You will be happy to know that coffee plants can grow in your house. All they need is bright, indirect light. In the “wild,” coffee plants typically grow under trees. That means they will be fine near a window. Be careful, however, that they do not get direct light as the leaves can burn. Ideally, leave your coffee plant a few feet from a window.   Water   Your coffee plant needs plenty of water. Keep the soil damp to the touch. If you notice the leaves turning brown or drooping, your coffee is too dry. A trick that many of us use on other plants is appropriate for coffee. Take your plant to the kitchen sink. Set it in there, pot included, and water. Let your coffee plant sit in the sink for a while, and then take it back to it’s home. This does two important tasks. It thoroughly waters the plant and drains the excess water.   Nutrients   As with any other plant, coffee needs nutrients. Ensure your soil is rich in these nutrients. As time goes by, find a fertilizer that contains the right balance of micronutrients. If your coffee receives too much fertilizer, the leaves may turn brown on the edges.   With time, your plant will grow, of course! You must transfer it into continually larger pots. After several years, some healthy coffee plants call metal trash cans home as they do get big!   Cherries   Over time, usually months later, you will notice flowering. This is when the “cherries,” or the very small coffee beans, begin to take shape. When the “cherries” are green, the process of maturing into larger fruit is only just beginning.   Approximately six to eight months after seeing cherries, the fruit will turn red. The time to pick them is crucial. Beans should be red, firm to the touch, not easily squashed and yet soft.   With the cherries, you can take out the seeds (typically two) and use them to plant new coffee plants. You can also prepare them to brew a “cup of joe.”   Clean the “cherry”, remove the seeds and let them dry. Remove the paper layer, then roast! Again, patience is the key as this process takes time. The satisfaction you will receive as you watch your coffee plant grow and prosper is well worth the wait!   Let the experts provide you with some of your favorite roasts today!
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