Is it possible to grow coffee in Britain?
Is it possible to grow coffee in Britain? With the increase in global warming and the recent sunny weather I wondered if it was possible to grow coffee in Britain. Having done some research it looks unlikely.
In the 600years of coffee cultivation it has been established that coffee can only grow successfully in the zone roughly bounded by the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south. In other words, the Tropics.
When you look at the best environmental conditions for coffee bean growing, you see why the UK or any country outside of the coffee belt struggles to successfully harvest a coffee bean crop.
The ideal conditions for coffee bean growing include:
An altitude of between 600m – 1200m (2,000 ft - 4,000 ft)as pests and parasites attack the coffee plant at low altitudes.
A well drained sub-soil that is moist but not soggy with the plant never sitting in water.
A high humidity of about 90% so that evaporation is kept to a minimum and the high humidity diffuses direct sunlight.
Volcanic soils with disintegrating rocks or freshly tilled woodlands.
75 inches of rainfall per year, ideally including heavy rainfall from 60 - 90 inches over a set 8-month period.
A 2-3 months dry spell so that the coffee trees bud, flower and promote new growth.
Direct sun light for two hours a day.
Temperature Averages between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 - 29 Celsius) is preferred with year round warm optimum temperatures hovering at about 27 Celsius with no large temperature variations and no frost.
When you consider the conditions required for coffee bean growing listed above, you understand why the UK is not a suitable environment for coffee bean growing, nor any country outside of "the coffee belt" for that matter.