Shade, heat and humidity. Coffee grows well in the Tropics, with an annual average temperature of 25°C
Coffee plants thrive in these areas. Different species of coffee plant grow at various altitudes between 200 and 2,000 metres. Of the 80 species, only two are commonly used in commercial production: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta, also known as Coffea Canephora.
Coffea Arabica grows at altitudes of 600m above sea level, which is why it is known as “highland” coffee. The beans of this variety are considered some of the finest, partly because they take a long time to ripen (up to 11 months).
Arabica has a very aromatic flavour with a bitter note and contains less caffeine than the other species. Its refined aroma makes it very popular with connoisseurs. Coffea Arabica is found in 70% of all coffees and in all blends, including Lavazza’s finest and most sophisticated.
Coffea Robusta, the other pleasant-tasting coffee species, grows well at lower altitudes than Arabica, between 200 and 600m above sea level. It is used in the remaining 30% of the world’s coffee production. Its main characteristic is its caffeine content: twice as high as that of Arabica. This is why it is mainly used in stronger blends. As the name indicates, Robusta is also more resistant to climatic influences and diseases than is Coffea Arabica.
The peculiarity of coffee plants is that the cherries and flowers grow at the same time, because a new flowering cycle begins with each rainfall. The coffee drupes or cherries are picked while the new beans are still flowering. There are two harvesting techniques: picking, which is gentler and more selective, and stripping, which is carried out by machine.
Arabica and Robusta grow at different altitudes, and are used in Lavazza blends in varying percentages