Good farming practices will highlight a coffee’s best features and reduce the risk of defects. But with certain coffees, there may be an upper limit to how much the quality can be improved.
NATURE: THE COFFEE PLANT’S INTRINSIC QUALITY
Some coffee plants will always yield more or better fruit than others. Part of this is due to the attributes of the individual plant and its parents: you can take two coffee plants, both of the same variety and grown in the same plot, and still find differences in their strength, productivity, and cup score.
That being said, the plant species and variety will give a strong indication as to the coffee’s inherent qualities. For example, Geisha coffee has become famed for its delicate, tea-like body and jasmine aroma. It’s adored by specialty coffee roasters and consumers alike.
A coffee’s variety cannot be isolated from the location. Some plants grow better at cooler temperatures, while others are more suited to hotter environments. Coffee grown at cooler temperatures generally has a lower yield but more promising flavour profile. Pests are also less of a risk at cooler temperatures. Many high-quality plants are extremely sensitive to external factors, such as being farmed at the wrong elevation or in the wrong soil.
Careful planting, fertilization, pruning and stumping, weeding, inspections, manipulation of shade coverage, harvesting, and more – all of these have an impact on how well the coffee grows.