Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Emil Laurent, in 1898, discovered a species of coffee growing wild in Congo. This was taken up by a horticultural firm of Brussels, and cultivated for the market. This firm gave to the coffee the name Coffea robusta, although it had already been given the name of the discoverer, being known as Coffea Laurentii. The plant differs widely from both arabica and liberica, being considerably larger than either. The tree is umbrella-shaped, due to the fact that its branches are very long and bend toward the ground. The leaves of robusta are much thinner than those of liberica, though not as thin as those of arabica. The tree, as a whole, is a very hardy variety and even bears blossoms when it is less than a year old. It blossoms throughout the entire year, the flowers having six-parted corollas. The drupes are smaller than those of liberica; but are much thinner skinned, so that the coffee bean is actually not any smaller. The drupes mature in ten months. Although the plants bear as early as the first year, the yield for the first two years is of no account; but by the fourth year the crop is large.