In our previous post we touched upon the fundamentals of the botany of coffee and in this post we will dive deeper on the coffee cherries themselves and continue with the botany journey
What are the fruits and seeds grown on coffee trees?
The fruits grown on coffee trees are called coffee cherries, which are oval-shaped.
After the coffee flowers fall off, the size of a coffee cherry is similar to a piece of match. After six to eight months of growing, it grows larger gradually.
The sizes of coffee cherries differ according to different cultivation environments and characteristics of cultivars. The size of Arabica coffee cherry is around 1.5cm to 2cm, and the cross-section diameter is around 1cm to 1.5cm. On the other hand, the size of Canephora/Robusta coffee cherry is comparatively smaller than that of Arabica coffee cherry.
The ripening process of coffee cherry is shown when its colour becoming red (colour depends on different varietals e.g. Yellow Bourbon turns into yellow after ripening). When the coffee cherry has fully ripened, the pulp becomes soft, it is not thick but it tastes very sweet. The outer skin of coffee cherry together with its pulp is known as Cascara, which contains a lot of health benefits.
After removing the pulp, you will see the green bean is covered by several layers: mucilage/pectin, parchment and silver skin. Also, two green beans are usually grown together in one coffee cherry.