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Coffee farming facts – Coffee farming or coffee cultivation is the earliest stage of coffee production. The long journey of coffee to arrives in the form of a delicious cup of coffee in the morning, of course, begins with the cultivation of the coffee itself.

Coffee farming itself in Indonesia only exists in a few areas where this Coffea species can be grown. Of course you already know from several previous articles that the demand for coffee continues to increase. Therefore, coffee producers “must” provide coffee according to market demand.

Quoted from indonesia-investments.com, it is mentioned that coffee plants in Indonesia were introduced by the Dutch who initially planted coffee trees around their territory in Batavia but then quickly expanded coffee production to the Bogor and Sukabumi areas in West Java in the 17th and 18th centuries. Indonesia proved to have an almost ideal climate for coffee production and as such plantations were soon established in other areas of Java, Sumatra as well as in Sulawesi.

The increasing demand for coffee and the development of the coffee industry will certainly have an impact on coffee farming itself. Of the several factors that affect coffee farming, one of which is climate change, what do we need to know about coffee farming?

mandheling coffee

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Coffee is a commodity who is currently popular and has increased, especially in Indonesia. Before becoming ready-to-ship coffee you may need to know some information about coffee farming – where it all started. Here we summarize 3 coffee farming facts that you need to know!

Coffee Farming Fact #1: Different Types of Farming

If you think every coffee farm are the same, then you need to rethink it! Coffee farming come in different types.

Knowing the different types of coffee farming will make it easier for you to learn and know the uniqueness and facts about coffee farming. Before discussing any further, let’s first distinguish the types of coffee farming that we discussed making it easier. Quoting from crazycoffeecraves.com, it is said that, there are 3 types of coffee farming, namely:

Organic Coffee Farms

organic coffee

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Organic farming involves the non-use of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals to increase the quality of the yield. The crop is very healthy and speeds up the ripening of the berries the right way in few weeks. Apart from non-chemical agricultural processes, of course it is environmentally friendly.

Quoted from ethicalcoffee.net mentioned that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that, the organic standard that must be met (in this case coffee products) is that producers do not use synthetic materials such as most pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. If a product is labeled “organic” at least 95% of the coffee beans must be grown in organic condition. Coffee can be said to be organic if:

  • Non-use pesticides or chemicals for the last three years of farming. A standard of three years are needed so that the condition of the coffee plantation is truly tested to be cleaned from chemical touch. The legality of the organic certificate also requires the planting duration of three years.
  • Growing, especially organic coffee plants. There is no change in the movement of soli or rain on the farm.
  • The pest control method used does not use pesticides, and the soil is fertilized through compost to keep it free of chemicals.
organic coffee

Photo by Ursula Castillo on Unsplash

Do you know? The biggest difference between organic and non-organic coffee is in the parts of the process that we don’t see! You guess it right! Farming process!

High Production Farms

About 20% of farms that are not owned by the family are operated in this way. Coffee plantations in Mexico and Vietnam are one example of a high-yield coffee plantation that is doing well. This coffee farm (of course) produces more coffee than the usual coffee farm.

Small Family-owned Farms

Do you know? Quoted from crazycoffeecrave.com mentioned that 80% of the world’s coffee has grown by small-scale farmers. More than 125 million people depend on coffee farming for their livelihoods. 25 million are coffee farmers. Well! That’s why we have to help to make coffee farmers prosperous!

coffee farmers

Credit: Lakopi Indonesia

Coffee Farming Fact #2: Environmental Conditions Required for Farming Coffee

Although each country and even region has different characteristics in their coffee farming, some of them have similar conditions that support coffee farming. What are the ‘conditions’ for and against coffee farming?

Soil Depth

When going to plant coffee, you need to pay attention to the soil that will be the planting medium. When discussing soil, also consider its composition (including soil texture) and its chemical content (important elements and minerals). This is because the growth in the root structure of the coffee tree combines these two factors.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) each coffee tree will have many roots with strong roots and many secondary roots. Secondary roots are located within 30 cm of the top of the soil, and their function is to restore groundwater and nutrients. Because of this, essential elements are essential – and the clay pH soil ensures the coffee tree can absorb nutrients properly.

In Indonesia itself, according to the Pusat Penelitian dan Perkembangan Perkebunan through its website plantation.litbang.pertanian.go.id, it is explained that in Indonesia in general, both Arabica and Robusta coffee types have an effective soil depth characteristic of more than 100 cm with loamy soil texture topsoil structure of the crumb. Soil acidity or pH ranges from 5.5 to 6.5.

soil depth

Credit: lisa.id

Elements and Minerals Needed for Coffee Plants

The coffee plant has 16 important elements that must be present when planting so that the coffee plant is properly nourished. The following elements needed are divided into 4 groups based on function and importance.

  • Group 1: Carbon, oxygen and hydrogen.
  • Group 2: Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Also known as “macronutrients”. The coffee plant requires a number of these elements to ensure the health of the coffee plant.
  • Group 3: Calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. They are known as “secondary elements” because they don’t need as many macronutrients as they are.
  • Group 4: Zinc, boron, manganese, molybdenum, iron, copper and chlorine. Known as “micro elements”, important but not as important as other groups.

Credit: pinterest.com


Altitude is one of the important factors for coffee plants to thrive. For example, coffee plants in Brazil are located at an altitude of 1900 masl, which in that area is very good conditions for growing coffee.

For coffee plants in Toraja and Sumatra are two high quality coffee beans that are known and enjoyed by world coffee connoisseurs. Toraja and Sumatra coffees are even planted at an altitude of up to 6000 masl. The height affects the quality of the coffee and of course the quality will affect the price.

Coffee Farming Fact #3: Environmental Conditions

environmental condition

Photo by Gerson Cifuentes on Unsplash

Changes in Temperature due to Climate

Increasing global temperatures due to climate change based on a report from the IPCC will have several effects on coffee production in the next few years. Based on the same report, the IPCC stated that South America and Africa will experience a large decline in coffee production due to changing climatic conditions.


Optimal rain will really help coffee growth. When it is not raining / scarce then the coffee leaves will begin to dry out, and this will cause an accelerated ripening. The caffeine content in coffee will decrease drastically and the antioxidants will be depleted, making coffee, of course, not of high quality. This will also reduce the level of coffee production.

CV. Buah Berdikari is an active coffee trading and exporting company that is based in North Sumatera, Indonesia. Our domain of expertise lays on sourcing Arabica green beans from North Sumatera and Aceh origins. We will help you finding the perfect fits for your coffee needs.

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