The coffee plant requires a well-defined climate, characterised by relatively high temperatures and alternating sunshine and rain.
Such climatic conditions are found in all tropical zones.
Another prerequisite of cultivation areas is altitude: from 1000 to 2000 metres for Arabica, 200 to 300 metres for Robusta.

Originating in Ethiopia, coffee was taken to Yemen, then around 1690 to Ceylon and Java by Dutch merchants working for the Company of the Indies. In 1720, coffee plants were shipped to the Americas: Haiti, Mexico, Venezuela, Santo Domingo, Martinique and Brazil. Today all countries situated between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn produce coffee, the main ones being: Central and South America, India and Indonesia (Arabica); Zaire, the Ivory Coast, Uganda, Cameroon, Indochina, India and Madagascar (Robusta).

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