Coffea is a genus of flowering plants whose seeds, called coffee beans, are used to make coffee. It is a member of the Rubiaceae family. They are shrubs or small trees native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. Coffee ranks as one of the world’s most valuable and widely traded commodity crops and is an important export product of several countries. The plant is cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and Africa.
There are many species in the Coffea genus, the most popular ones though are:
- Coffea charrieriana
- Coffea magnistipula
- Coffea arabica
- Coffea canephora
- Coffea liberica
The most used species in the food industry are coffea arabica, accounting for most of the International production, and coffea canephora, (coffea robusta), which is used in blends such as espresso.