All Tazzina Coffee offerings are from Arabica coffee producers. This variety produces delightful coffee flavor, balance and complexity. It naturally has lower caffeine levels than Robusta coffee varieties. Robusta coffee is grown at much lower altitudes and within 10° North and South of the equator. It is much more tolerant to warm conditions than Arabica coffee, but produces a less flavorful and less complex beverage. Robusta can have more body or mouth feel than Arabica varieties, so some roasters blend the two varieties. Instead, we at Tazzina use a sensory selection process to find Arabica coffees with the taste, body complexity and finish that provide a satisfying beverage.
Arabica Coffee varieties require optimal growing climates. It can burn easily in too much sun or heat and it has no frost tolerance, yet does very well in higher altitudes. Arabica Coffee grows best in subtropical regions at high altitudes of 1800—3600 feet, and in Tropical regions at altitudes of 3600—6300 ft. Coffee grown in subtropical regions requires well-defined rainy and dry seasons. This alternating wet, dry climate results in one growing season and one maturation and harvest per year. Tropically grown coffee adapts to frequent rainfall through a nearly continuous flowering and two harvest periods per year. Often tropical coffee trees will have flowers on the same branch as ripe cherries. Recently some farmers have been experimenting with expanding the successful growing latitudes of coffee plants. There is now a group of Southern California farmers growing Arabica varieties in temperate climates at latitudes of 35º N and at an altitude of 800 feet. Commercial farms will also manage their own nurseries for expansion, or replacement, as well as test hybrid varieties that offer resistant to disease and climate. Properly dried and stored coffee seeds will reliably last a little more than a year. Generally each harvest farmers collect and process and dry ripe coffee cherries for seed.
Coffee beans or seeds need controlled moist environment to germinate. Farmers often spread seeds on a wet sand bed and cover them with moist burlap sacks or straw. They are transferred to pots or beds of soil and nutrients once a root (radicle) begins to appear. Coffee seedlings are grown in shaded nursery beds or polybags. Seedlings of 12 – 18 inches are later transplanted in coffee fields. Coffee plants take about 5 years before they will produce a marketable volume of coffee beans.