Fresh, local Kofe Samoa (469)

By Gretel Jack ,

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There are approximately 60m species of Coffee. (Coffea) grown throughout the world with Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephore (or Robusta as it’s commonly known) being the two most widse4ly grown crops.

Both grow well in Samoa bearing cherries within 3-5 years. However Coffea Arabica var, arabica is by far the most superior in terms of flavour profile and high value export opportunities. Other advantages of Arabica are that this species if self fertile, the berries ripen within nine months of flowering (Robusta can take a month or two longer) and the cherries are bigger in size which makes hand harvesting easier.

Robusta is used mostly in Instant Coffee blends where other ingredients are often added to improve the taste.

There are several methods for propagating Coffee Arabica or ‘Coffee shrub of Arabia’ as it is known, however from seed is the easiest by far. Once seedlings have 5-6 leaves, transplant them to a site with free-draining soil, as rock free as possible. Ideal spacing with other trees is 6 meters. Inter cropping with Coconuts will provide light shade which is preferable. Mulching is also a must.

Regular pruning will ensure good tree health and bountiful harvests. Unpruned trees can bolt to more than 40 feet high, at which point they become very difficult in terms of harvesting and continual self- seed forming a densely populated area of coffee – which is not always wanted. If this is the case on your plantation, it’s time to get busy. With careful pruning you may well be able to restore your trees back to health and enjoy productive harvests for many years to come. Coffee Arabica has been known to bear fruit for 60 years or more.

Coffee and derivatives of it are widely used throughout the food beverage and pharmaceutical industry. Coffee beans contain Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Calcium, Sodium, Folate and Caffeine as well as other nutrients.

The Caffeine content of coffee varies enormously from cup to cup, even when the same barista is in charge. This depends on where the coffee’s grown, how it’s roasted, processed, serving size etc. For example one standard cup of coffee can contain anywhere between 12-170mg of Caffeine. Derivatives of coffee (mostly Caffeine) in sports and party drinks also vary greatly eg 40-80mg per serve.

Not everyone responds positively to Caffeine, ie for some people it results in headaches, disrupted sleep cycles, stomach upsets irritability and restlessness. Others however find it helps their concentration, co-ordination and regardless of the time of day or night it’s taken, their sleep remains unaffected. So as with just about everything, we’re all different!

Certainly it appears the vast majority of the world fall into the latter category or if they do suffer any negative effects, they enjoy the taste too much to omit this treasured brew from their daily regime.  

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