Coffea tree

Coffea tree

Coffea tree

Specification & Spread

Coffea seeds — semina coffeae
Arabian coffea tree — coffea arabica l.
Congolese coffea tree – coffea canephora pierre ex fröhner ( = c. Robusta lind.)
Liberian coffea tree — coffea liberica w. Bull ex hiern. Madder family — rubiaceae.

It is an evergreen shrub or tree 8-10 m tall.
The stock is with a greenish-gray bark.
The branches are long, flexible, spreading or drooping.

The leaves are opposite, elliptical, entire or slightly wavy, 5–20 cm long and 1.5–5 cm wide. It is on short leathery and dark green petioles. The flowers are white, fragrant, regular, pentamerous, with a double perianth, spinelepalous, located 3-7 in the axils of the leaves.
The fruit is a two-seeded berry, almost spherical or oval, dark red, with a diameter of 1-1.5 cm.
The seeds are light gray, oval in shape, flat-convex, with a deep groove on the flat side.

It is flowering and fruiting throughout the year. It begins to bear fruit from three years, lives to 200, but the age of trees on coffee plantations does not exceed 30 years. The average yield per tree is about 1 kg of seeds per year.

Spreading. Naturally, coffea tree species grow in tropical regions of East and West Africa. It is cultivated in all tropical countries, especially widely in Latin America and India. 90% of the world’s plantations of coffea is Arabian coffee, less commonly cultivated Liberian coffee. The plants do not tolerate the heat of the tropics below an altitude of 1200-1500 m above sea level, so in the lower zones it is replaced by heat-resistant Congolese coffee. The precipitation in the cultivation area should be at least 1300 mm per year. With a lack of moisture, an artificial irrigation is necessary.

Habitat. It grows in the river valleys, at an altitude of 1600-2000 m above sea level.


Coffea seeds contain:

purine alkaloids, the main one is caffeine. The caffeine content ranges from 0.7 to 2% (depending on the variety). For the most part, caffeine is associated with chlorogenic acid, which is an ester of caffeic and quinic acids.

In addition to caffeine, the seeds are consisted of:

  • tannins (about 10%),
  • sugar (about 8%),
  • fatty oil, etc.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The harvesting begins with four-year plants. The harvest of ripen berries are subjected to «dry» or «wet» processing.
While dry processing, the berries are dried in the sun or in dryers at a temperature of 50-60° C, and then the fragile pericarp is removed by machines.

In the wet methode, the fresh berries are passed through special machines, and the pulp is washed off in a stream of water.

External signs of raw materials

The seeds are light gray, hard, oval-shaped, flat-convex, on a flat side there is a deep groove. The seeds are covered with a thin silver, or «parchment» shell, which is erased during processing, and its remnants are retained only in the furrow.

Properties and application

The physiological characteristics of the action of caffeine on the central nervous system were studied by I.P. Pavlov and his staff, who showed that caffeine:

  • strengthens and regulates the processes of excitation in the cerebral cortex;
  • in appropriate doses, it enhances positive conditioned reflexes and increases motor activity.

The stimulating effect leads to:

  • increase mental and physical performance,
  • reduce fatigue and sleepiness.

Large doses, however, can lead to depletion of nerve cells.

The effect of caffeine (as well as other psychoactive drugs) largely depends on the type of higher nervous activity, therefore, caffeine dosing should be made taking into account individual characteristics.


  • weakens the effect of sleeping pills and preparations,
  • increases reflex excitability of the spinal cord,
  • excites the respiratory and vasomotor centers.
  • Cardiac activity increases under the influence of caffeine, myocardial contractions become more intense and more frequent.
  • Diuresis under the influence of caffeine is somewhat enhanced, mainly due to a decrease in electrolyte reabsorption in the renal tubules.
  • Caffeine reduces platelet aggregation.
  • Caffeine stimulates gastric secretion.

Application of coffee

Previously, caffeine was obtained from coffee seeds. Currently, caffeine is produced by chemical means.

Caffeine and caffeine sodium benzoate are used:

  • with infectious and other diseases, accompanied by inhibition of the functions of the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system,
  • in case of poisoning with drugs and other poisons that depress the central nervous system,
  • with spasms of cerebral vessels, to increase mental and physical performance, to eliminate drowsiness.

The coffee bean drink (coffee) is used as a stimulant when:

  • mental fatigue,
  • headache and
  • just like a delicious table drink.
    It should be remembered that 1-2 cups of coffee contain 100-300 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine, like other central nervous system stimulants, is contraindicated in:

  • increased excitability,
  • insomnia,
  • severe hypertension and atherosclerosis,
  • with organic diseases of the cardiovascular system, in old age,
  • with glaucoma.

Coffee seeds are included in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.


  • Diseases of gastrointestinal tract (ulcers, gastritis),
  • hypertension,
  • arrhythmias,
  • tachycardias,
  • aortic stenosis,
  • after stroke and myocardial infarction,
  • atherosclerosis of cerebral vessels,
  • varicose veins,
  • anemia,
  • mastopathy,
  • uterine myoma,
  • hyperthyroidism,
  • Cecal disease,
  • cystitis,
  • cystitis psoriasis.