Wild Coffee Plant: What Is It And How To Use It

Updated Nov 26, 2023 • Donna Lu

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Ever come across a wild coffee plant with its illustrious berries and thought of whipping up a fresh cup to devour the rich crema? Well, don’t harvest the berries for drying and dust out your personal roaster just yet. Before you do anything with the wild coffee bean plant, you want to learn more about it. Here’s a brief read on everything there is to know about the evergreen shrub plant.

What is a Wild Coffee Plant?

The wild coffee plant is an evergreen shrub that grows in most coastal areas, such as the Florida Peninsula. According to the Florida Wildflower Foundation, the wild coffee plant also grows in rock land, wet meadows, and wet, moist environments.

Somewhat similar to regular coffee plants, like Arabica or robusta, the wild coffee bean plant grows illustrious pleated dark green leaves and develops berries. Just like regular coffee plants, the berries turn bright red when ripe.

Part of the Rubiaceae family, wild coffee plants are a close cousin of the Arabica and robusta coffee family. Interestingly enough, the wild coffee plant is also a cousin to the African peach and African medlar fruit.

Wild coffee plant

3 Unique Uses of Wild Coffee Plants

Landscaping

The beautiful evergreen wild coffee plant shrubs make equally showy landscaping trees. Their profile makes them a popular shade hedge in many Florida homes. But, this is not all.  Wild coffee bean plants also grow beautiful white blooms during the spring and summer seasons.

The flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including butterflies, to add more appeal to your garden for the perfect accent plant. As a bonus, these plants are low maintenance and survive even in salty water conditions. But, you want to keep them away from intense weather conditions, including extended exposure to full sun.

Alternative to Regular Coffee

That inkling you had about being able to make a cup of wild coffee is true. But, unlike coffee beans, such as Arabica, robusta, or peaberry, wild coffee beans contain zero caffeine. So, you can always roast dried wild coffee beans to brew decaffeinated coffee. You want to be extra careful with a cup of wild coffee, however. This is because wild coffee may cause a headache in some people.

Boasts Medicinal Properties

Wild coffee bean plant also boasts numerous medicinal benefits, depending on the part of the plant. For example, the coffee plant roots prevent nausea and vomiting.

Lanoscape fo coffee plants

Meet the expert

Donna is a coffee lover and freelance writer from Tanzania. Coffee runs deep in her family, tracing its roots to her grandmother’s running of their first coffee farm in the mid-70s. During the summer seasons, she enjoys writing and co-running her grandmother's small robusta coffee farm with her sister in northwest Tanzania.

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