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Coffea arabica

Coffea arabica /əˈræbɪkə/ is a species of Coffea originally indigenous to the mountains of the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia. It is also known as the "coffee shrub of Arabia", "mountain coffee" or "arabica coffee". Coffea arabica is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated. The earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century, in the Sufi Muslim monasteries around Mocha in Yemen.

Wild plants grow to between 9 and 12 m (29 and 39 ft) tall, and have an open branching system; the leaves are opposite, simple elliptic-ovate to oblong, 6–12 cm (2.4–4.8 in) long and 4–8 cm (1.6–3.2 in) broad, glossy dark green. The flowers are white, 10–15 mm in diameter and grow in axillary clusters. The seeds are contained in a drupe[1] (though commonly called a "cherry"; the plural form is simply "cherry"—used only when referring to the fruit of C. arabica—when referring to the actual cherry fruit, the appropriate plural is "cherries") 10–15 mm in diameter, maturing bright red to purple and typically contains two seeds (the coffee seeds).

Originally found in the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia, Coffea arabica is now rare in its native state, and many populations appear to be mixed native and planted trees. It is common there as an understorey shrub. It has also been recovered from the Boma Plateau in South Sudan. C. arabica is also found on Mount Marsabit in northern Kenya, but it is unclear whether this is a truly native or naturalised occurrence. The species is widely naturalised in areas outside its native land, in many parts of Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, China, and assorted islands in the Caribbean and in the Pacific.

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