Coffee Flowers - The Deep Dive
In this article we'll walk you through everything you need to know about coffee flowers. We'll cover what they look like, how they smell and how they grow.
Coffee flowers are small and white, with a delicate aroma. They bloom for just a few days each year, and only in the morning hours.
Developmental biologists say that coffee plants have both male and female flowers on the same plant (called a hermaphrodite), but coffee farmers typically only grow plants with female flowers because they are the ones that produce coffee beans.
Male coffee flowers are small and insignificant compared to the female flowers.
The Coffee Plant
Coffee plants produce flowers that turn into coffee beans. The coffee plant is a shrub that can grow to be 10 feet tall, but is typically pruned to 5-6 feet so that the coffee pickers can more easily reach the coffee cherries. It is considered a "flowering plant" which means that it produces flowers, but coffee flowers are different from the flowers that you would see in a bouquet.
Coffee trees bloom several times per year, but typically only once yields a large enough crop of coffee beans to harvest. Each blossom will eventually produce a coffee cherry, which contains 2 coffee beans.
The coffee plant blooms small white flowers with a delicate aroma.
When Do Coffee Flowers Bloom?
Coffee flowers bloom for just a few days each year. Typically they will bloom in the early morning hours and then close up by midday. This brief flowering period makes it difficult for bees to pollinate the flowers, so coffee farmers often have to hand-pollinate their coffee trees.
The blooming period also coincides with the dry season in coffee-growing regions, so coffee flowers can be susceptible to wilting if they don't get enough water.
How Do Coffee Flowers Smell?
Coffee flowers have a delicate aroma that has been described as both floral and citrusy. Some coffee drinkers say they can smell hints of jasmine or orange blossom in coffee that has been made with beans from coffee trees that were pollinated by jasmine flowers.
The aroma of coffee flowers is used to create certain types of coffee liqueurs. For example, coffee flowers are used to flavor the popular Italian coffee liqueur, Strega.
Depending on the type of coffee plant, the scent of the flowers can be quite different. For example, the coffee plant known as Coffea canephora, or robusta coffee, has flowers that smell like "hot chocolate and roasted peanuts." In contrast, the coffee plant Coffea arabica, or Arabica coffee, has flowers that smell more like "jasmine and orange blossom."
What Do Coffee Flowers Look Like?
Coffee flowers are small and white, with five petals arranged in the shape of a star. Each flower is about ¼ inch in diameter. They have a sweet, jasmine-like fragrance.
Coffee flowers grow in clusters on coffee trees. Each cluster contains between 10 and 20 flowers. These clusters tend to look like miniature balls of cotton.
Some coffee plants grow flowers and coffee cherries (fruit) at the same time. This is called bi-modal flowering. Other coffee plants have two flowering seasons per year, which is called dual flowering.
The flowers are considered by many to be one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. They tend to look nicer when seen in person than in pictures.
Coffee Flowers vs Coffee Beans
It is important to remember that coffee flowers and coffee beans are not the same thing. Coffee beans are actually the seeds of coffee cherries. The coffee cherry is the fruit that grows from a coffee flower. Once the coffee cherry is ripe, it is harvested and the coffee beans are removed. The coffee beans are then roasted and ground to make coffee.
While coffee flowers and coffee beans come from the same plant, they taste quite different from each other. Coffee beans have a rich, complex flavor that is often described as earthy, nutty or chocolatey. Coffee flowers, on the other hand, have a delicate, floral flavor that is reminiscent of jasmine or orange blossom.
If you are ever lucky enough to try coffee made from coffee flowers, you will be in for a treat! The coffee will have a unique flavor that is unlike any other coffee you have ever tasted.
Where do Coffee Flowers Grow?
Coffee flowers grow on coffee plants, which are native to tropical regions around the world. Coffee plants can be found in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The trees are more likely to have flowers bloom in locations with moist, shady conditions and well-drained soils.
Botanical Make-Up of Coffee Flowers
Coffee flowers belong to the genus Coffea, which is part of the Rubiaceae family. There are over 100 species of coffee plant, but only a handful are used to produce coffee. Some plants have flowers that are white, green, or even blue, but the coffee plant's flowers are typically red.
The coffee flower has four petals that spread outwards, kind of like a star. In the center of the coffee flower are yellowish stamen that produce pollen. Some flowers are shaped like tubes, while others look like trumpets. The coffee plant's flowers are relatively small, measuring only about a half-inch in diameter.
Do coffee flowers have caffeine?
No, coffee flowers do not contain caffeine. Caffeine is found in coffee beans, which are the seeds of coffee cherries. Coffee flowers are the reproductive organs of coffee plants and do not contain caffeine.
Can coffee flowers be eaten?
Yes, coffee flowers can be eaten. They have a delicate, floral flavor that is reminiscent of jasmine or orange blossom. Coffee flowers can be used to decorate cakes or added to salads for a touch of flavor.
Do coffee flowers have a scent?
Yes, coffee flowers have a distinct scent that is often described as sweet and jasmine-like. Some coffee plants have flowers that smell like oranges or lemons.
What does a coffee flower look like?
Coffee flowers are small and white, with five petals arranged in the shape of a star. Each flower is about ¼ inch in diameter.
Learn more about Coffee Plants
In this article we take a deep dive on coffee plants, explaining how they grow, where they can be found and what they look like.
Learn more about Coffee Cherries
In this article we examine coffee cherries, explaining what they are, how they grow, and what their benefits are.