The Coffee Tree

Coffee is part of our routine, we drink it to begin our morning and for some throughout the day. Some are more particular about the origin and varietal of the coffee they drink. Coffee is like any other plant/crop they are seasonal do to the micro-ecosystem they grow in. With global climate change we see the impact on coffee production and price. There is a lot of love that goes into your cup of joe, from the growth/production, to the roast and brewing by your barista.

Global impact

The global impact of climate change impacts all life including specialty coffee. We are at an all-time height of coffee consumers with less coffee to go around. Global climate change affecting rainfall and draught that is impacting micro-ecosystems of the tropical rainforest regions where coffee grows. The diversity of variety of genetics that control yield of coffee cherries, disease/ pest resistant coffee trees, barriers to quality of agricultural techniques for production all play a factor of treats to coffee trees.

Classifications of Taxonomy

Linnaeus class plants is regarded as the founder of modern Botany Taxonomy. He introduced the standard hierarchy of class, order, genus, and species, his main success was providing workable keys, making it possible to identify plants and animals from his books. Family: Rubiacea 450 genera and around 6,500 species worldwide. Flowers usually have both male and female sex organs we rely on pollination. Genus & species classifications genus Coffea Arabica(l), Subspecies or Variety Over 120 species Canifera and

The Origin of Specialty Coffee

The origins of the varieties are rank of taxa delineates differences between plants that are smaller than in subspecies but larger than forms. A variety retains most of the characteristics of the species but differs in some way. More often in arabica, population diversity will stay the same or be lowered due to self-fertilization without much crossbreeding. It is estimated that ~90% of arabica is self-fertilized.
Cultivar: Any variety produced by horticultural or agricultural techniques and not normally found in natural populations; a cultivated variety. Most of the varieties we know in specialty coffee are really cultivars. Bourbon and Typica are some of the most widely known cultivars. Hybrids are created by crosses between two different species or two different forms of the same species. Hybrids may occur through naturally or selective breeding. For example, Mundo Novo is a hybrid of Typica and Bourbon. They are indicated in botanical terminology by a multiplication sign between the two parents. And Maracaturra is a hybrid of Maragogype and Caturra; believed to have naturally occurred in the late 1800's and is mainly found in El Salvador, and Nicaragua. They have large sized beans and leaves; with strong and diverse taste, mature fruity acidity. The Caturra lineage contributes to the coffee's taste and its high yield.

The voyage of the coffee bean:

Typica - Ethiopia > Yemen> Java-Indoneisa> Dutch> France


Ecosystem Evaporation and transpiration are affected by many things in an ecosystem, including the water status of a soil; the relative humidity; and the amount of sun, wind, and tree cover. Cloud cover can also influence the amount of transpiration that occurs and therefore the amount of water that is lost. Evapotranspiration is the term used to describe the process of water loss from plants. Arabica plants are evergreen, and thus lose water throughout the year. Soil texture can have an impact on the water balance of a plant. In fact, soil can either naturally hold water or drain water, depending on its pore space (Hillel, 2004; Snoeck & Lambot, 2009). In order to pull water from the soil, plants exert an evaporative demand created by a difference in pressure between the air, plant,
and soil. Soil texture also impacts the ability of C. arabica plants to withstand dry seasons, as water held deep in the soil is used over periods
of low rainfall (Clifford & Willson, 1985).

The Micro-ecosystems of Panama produce some of the best Geishas. More than half of The Lamastus Family’s Elida Estate is located in the Volcan Baru National Park, a protected ecological reserve and sanctuary for exotic plants, birds and mammals such as the tropical tiger. The Baru volcano is one of the highest volcanoes in Central America and covers 7 different climate zones. The coffee is grown up to 1,825 meters, the highest elevation to grow coffee in Panama.

There are several local conditions that set this coffee apart from others. The farm is located at a very high elevation (1,700 to 2,500 meters) one of the two highest coffee farms in Panama. It is grown in rich, volcanic soil with a cool climate and a significant amount of fog and mist during the dry season. The coffee trees are surrounded by virgin-native cloudy rain forest, and because of the cool temperatures at night, it takes 2 to 3 years longer than the average coffee tree before these trees begin to produce. The low temperatures also contribute to an extended ripening time by 1 month, creating a more developed coffee bean.

Cited Works:

Sage, Emma. “Basic Plant Biology.” Keeping the Coffee Plant “Happy”, March 8, 2014,

Sage, Emma. “An Introduction to Coffea Genetics”, January 8, 2013,

SCA-Research. “A Botanists' Guide to Specialty Coffee”, unknown,

Sage, E. (Specialty Coffee Association Podcast). (2018, January 15). #12: Coffee Botany 101 [Audio podcast].

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