Newly planted coffee plants will bear fruit, known as coffee cherries, in 3 to 4 years.
Once a coffee plant has been planted, patience is now key.
Your plant will first begin to flower, after which it will begin producing green fruits, eventually maturing into a red to dark red color, around the size of a grape, this is when they are ready to be picked and harvested.
From the first initial signs of a green coffee cherry, it can still take anywhere between 7 to 11 months to ripen.
Currently, there are two ways to harvest coffee cherries. They are harvested by machinery or harvested by hand.
Machinery is only viable if the terrain allows for it and isn’t anywhere as selective or gentle on the trees compared to manually harvesting.
Being harvested by hand is the more commonly used approach by farmers. This approach, while labor-intensive, allows cherry pickers to be selective and only harvest the ripest cherries and be delicate on the tree branches.
Once a coffee tree bears its first crop of coffee cherries, it will continue to produce for 15 to 25 years before starting to decline in health.
How Long Does It Take For A Coffee Plant To Flower?
On average, you can find coffee plants flowering in year 3. A coffee plant will begin to flower a year before it starts producing and ripening its coffee cherries.
It is not uncommon for coffee plants to take longer, as environmental factors and a general level of attention from farmers can play a crucial role in its life.
How Many Pounds Of Coffee A Year Can A Coffee Tree Produce?
Depending on the country these trees are growing in, there is usually one harvest a year. In some origin countries, where the weather allows, it isn’t uncommon to have two harvests in a year, the main harvest and a secondary harvest.
A healthy coffee plant each year will produce approximately 2000 coffee cherries. Inside each cherry is two coffee beans, meaning a healthy plant can grow up to 4000 coffee beans per year.
4000 coffee beans only equate to one to two pounds of roasted coffee beans. Think of how quickly you go through a two-pound bag of coffee and how many trees you’d need to supply yourself for an entire year.
Unless you have a lot of space for many coffee plants and time, you shouldn’t grow coffee beans for full-time consumption.
Do Coffee Plants Smell Like Coffee?
While it would be nice to think coffee plants smell like coffee, unfortunately, it is not the case.
Coffee plants give off a scent similar to jasmine when they begin to flower their beautiful flowers. This aroma will stay around for 3 to 4 weeks before the flowers drop off, leaving behind fruits that will eventually ripen into coffee cherries.
A coffee plant will take 3 to 4 years to reach maturity, and then it will start producing fruit, otherwise known as ‘coffee cherries’.
Once a coffee plant produces its first crop, it will continue to do so for the next 15 to 25 years before it begins to decline in health and eventually stop.
With coffee plants only providing 4000 coffee beans per year, it isn’t advised for home growers to attempt to replace their entire coffee consumption with their coffee harvest. Doing so would require countless hours and a lot of space.
If you want a coffee plant for its beautiful aesthetic then, by all means, purchase that coffee plant.