The coffee plant belongs to the category ‘megaterme’ (plants needing high temperature), a shrub that needs a temperature of over 20° for growth.
The most fertile soils for its cultivation lie between theTropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, areas characterised by a particularly warm climate with frequent rainfall.
The most common types of coffee are Arabica and Robusta: to be able to grow and bear fruit the former needs a temperature between 17° and 24°C at a height of 600-800 metres above sea level; the latter, on the other hand, is cultivated at around 800 metres above sea level and thrives in temperatures between 24° and 30°C.
Arabica and Robusta are evergreen plants that transpire continually and do not have mechanisms to control the loss of water. For this reason they need a continuous water supply: in particular in the equatorial areas where there is no distinction between the rainy season and the dry season, the plants receive water constantly and the fruit (called cherries or drupes) bud all year round.