Coffee needs a very specific climate to grow, and for the most part the UK is too cold and damp, so growing your own coffee beans for consumption isn’t really practical. It may be possible to grow your own coffee tree in a greenhouse or conservatory as a novelty, though.
For the best results, you should start by planting a freshly picked coffee cherry, which for most UK gardeners isn’t a very practical option.
If you do manage to get your hands on a coffee cherry, make sure it looks bright and healthy with no diseased areas. Wash it, and put it, still damp, into a small container. Leave it for a few days or even weeks, until the fibrous outer coating starts to deteriorate and open. Rub the cherry in your hands until the husk comes away, then remove and wash the coffee beans, which will be pale green in colour. Put them in a bowl of clean water, and discard any beans that float.
Soak the beans in water for 24 hours, then plant them in a container of potting compost, watered until it’s just damp. Make a small hole, put the bean in flat side down and cover it with a light layer of soil. The germination period is normally around three months, but could be as long as six months. Water the seeds daily, but be careful not to over-water as coffee dislikes a wet environment.
Don’t forget that while it’s not possible to grow coffee commercially in the UK, you can order it in the UK. Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we stock a wide range of blends and beans from green beans to espresso, all at great wholesale prices. In addition, we stock coffee ingredients such as flavoured syrups and accessories like cups, lids and stirrers. To find out more, visit www.wholesalecoffeecompany.co.uk.