Coffea Canephora, or Coffea robusta, is a coffee plant that is most commonly known to grow Robusta coffee beans. The canephora beans are associated with producing coffee beans that are very bitter and have a low acidic rate. As a result of their high bitterness level the coffee beans cannot be used in every brew. The canephora beans are primarily used for espresso, traditional instant coffee (Waka uses only 100% Arabica beans), or as a filler for lower-grade ground coffee blends as they produce a strong flavor of coffee.
HOW IS IT GROWN?
Part of the Rubiaceae family, the Canephora plant is known to have a shallow root system, which causes it to grow into either a tree or as a shrub with a height limit of 10 meters. The plant itself produces two main types of beans, Robusta and Nganda beans. Since the flowers on the plant grow in an irregular pattern, it can take up to 11 months for the cherries to start ripening. As the Robusta plant is less susceptible to diseases and pests, they do not need as much pesticides and herbicides that their coffee counterpart Arabica beans need.
ORIGINS OF COFFEA CANEPHORA
The Coffea Canephora originated in the northern forests of Ethiopia and now grows indigenously throughout western and central sub-Saharan Africa (Liberia - Tanzania - Angola). Since the original discovery of the Coffea plant, it has naturalized and made its way to other hot places around the world, like Vietnam, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and the Lesser Antilles.
CULTIVATION OF ROBUSTA BEANS
As a result of its strong taste, Robusta coffee beans produce about 40% of the world’s coffee production. They are easier to care for than Arabica beans which causes them to result in having a greater crop yield as well. Since the amount of crops that are grown each year are at a significant large amount, the beans are cheaper to produce, making them efficient to sell to more vendors. Not only do the Robusta beans have a strong taste of coffee, they get their strength from the high level of caffeine that is found within them as well.