If you have a green thumb or even a bit of a wild streak, you may want to consider growing your own coffee at home.
Growing your own coffee at home will give you total control of your coffee experience from bean to cup.
It really doesn’t get any more authentic than that.
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Not only will you be able to discover all of the work that is involved in making a single cup of coffee, but growing a coffee plant is an interesting conversation piece. Besides that, many people don’t realize that a coffee plant can be quite beautiful when it flowers, and the cherries begin to develop.
Where to Begin Growing your own Coffee
To begin growing your own coffee tree at home, start out with ripe coffee cherries that are freshly harvested. It is best to hand pulp the coffee cherry, wash it well, and ferment it in a closed container until the pulp falls off. Ideally, the coffee bean should be completely dry on the outside and slightly moist on the inside when it is ready to plant.
If you don’t have access to a coffee cherry, which may be the case if you live in the continental US, you can buy green coffee beans from an online retailer. As a word of caution, it’s important that you buy coffee beans from a recent crop and shipment to get the best quality.
Fresh coffee beans need to germinate for 2 1/2 months, but older coffee beans can take as long as 6 months to germinate. It helps to pre-germinate a coffee seed by soaking in water for 24 hours in advance. Once the coffee seed is ready, place it in a small hole in the soil for planting. The best soil to use is lightweight and porous; compost is recommended.
How to Care for Your Coffee Plant
Make sure to water your coffee plant daily. But keep in mind that too much or too little water will kill your plant. Plant the coffee seed in a pot that has the proper drainage so that it can remain moist at all times.
If you think about the fact that coffee producing countries are located close to the equator, it would only make sense that temperature is an essential component for growing your own coffee plant. To successfully grow a coffee plant at home, it is best to keep it at a temperature that is similar to what would be found on a coffee plantation.
Coffee plants grow best in:
- Filtered sunlight.
- Night temperatures in the low to mid 60s.
- Day temperatures at 70°F or higher.
Good luck, and happy growing!