It’s unfortunately not the right time of year to see coffee harvesting. I think I would have learned more about the plant if it was. Nevertheless it was great to see my first (of many) live coffee trees during my stay here in Cameroon. Coffee trees will start producing beans after about 3 years and they can live up to 60 years. All of the coffee grown in this region of Cameroon is robusta vs. Arabica. From what I’ve read, robusta has a much more bitter flavor, so it’s sometimes blended as a smaller percentage compliment to Arabica, or used to make instant coffee. It’s a big cash crop here, and a big part of the agricultural economy. Unfortunately coffee farmer cooperatives are not thriving here – they would have significant economic impact if they were. As it stands now, several middle men clog up the market, taking most of the profit away from farmers. If farmers were part of a cooperative large enough to bypass the middlemen, purchase their own vehicle, and take their coffee directly to Douala for export, their poverty level incomes would be greatly increased. Indeed, most of the farmers around here make less than a dollar a day.