If you are a coffee drinker of some substance, have you considered the benefit of growing your own beans? Eliminate food miles and take control over what you consume in the way of chemical treatments.
The plant started its worldwide journey from Ethiopia 14 or 15 centuries ago and moved into the Arabian Gulf countries. Hence the name Arabica coffee. Coffee Arabica is a medium-size shrub that has good ornamental value as a single planting or as an informal hedge. Many years ago, the seed merchants from Sydney would travel north to fossick around a few local gardens looking for Arabica coffee seed that was grown quite widely in these parts for some time, and to get the pick of the crop before someone else did. They all had their secret sources and locations. Among them was the famous Royston Petrie who has since departed this life, after which his family continued the seed business. Alas no more forays into the gardens of the north for good coffee beans. The merchants had their favourite spots, as they would only pick and buy seed they knew was viable and had a high germination rate.
Petrie had worked out a method of harvest and preparing the seeds with another famous horticulturist of the time, Betty Gibson, who had a secret source of a “good bush”. They would pick the red cherry fruit when it was ripe and soak it in drums overnight, so the skin fell away to reveal the two somewhat creamy coloured seeds. After this they would ferment in water to get the seeds to a gritty texture and remove all the mucilage.
The seeds were sun-dried and turned a few times a day until they were ready to roast. This could take seven to 20 days depending on the temperature and humidity. Then just before they roasted, they removed the fine parchment-like skin from the dried beans by rubbing the dried beans under hessian on concrete. Any moisture remaining in the bean meant mildew and not a good taste. Then roasting. The oven was set at 250C and the beans spread evenly over trays. The type of coffee (light roast, dark roast, etc) was determined by the time in the oven. Dark roasted beans can be a bitter experience.
Plant coffee bushes as an ornamental plant, often available from good nurseries. They like well-nourished and drained soils, reasonable amounts of water and blood and bone. Have a go.