Coffea racemosa
Coffea racemosa berries
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Coffea
C. racemosa
Binomial name
Coffea racemosa
Lour. (1790)

Cofea ramosa J. J. Roemer & J. A. Schultes (1819)
Coffea mozambicana DC. (1830)
Coffea swynnertonii S. Moore (1911)

Coffea racemosa, also known as racemosa coffee and Inhambane coffee, is a species of flowering plant in the family Rubiaceae. It has naturally low levels of caffeine, less than half of that found in Coffea arabica, and a quarter of that in Robusta coffee.

Coffea racemosa is endemic to the coastal forest belt between northern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and Zimbabwe, found in an area less than 150 km2 (58 sq mi) in size.[2] It was widely cultivated by the Portuguese during the 1960-1970s in Mozambique; currently there are only two plantations, at Ibo Island and in Hluhluwe, which remain.[3]


Coffea racemosa is an open-branched shrub or small tree growing up to 3.5 m (11 ft) tall. It has white to pinkish singular flowers (2 cm (1 in) in diameter) or in few-flowered clusters along the branches, which bloom between September and February.[4] The fruit is near-spherical in shape and purple to black when ripe. The fruit is harvested from the wild for local use as a coffee. The beans are one third of the size of Arabica beans. The beans are roasted and ground to a powder then used to make coffee. Salt is sometimes sprinkled over them as they are roasted.[5][6]

A visual comparison of the Racemosa Bean, Liberica Bean and Arabica Bean


  1. ^ O'Sullivan, R.J.; Duarte, A.; Davis, A.P. (2017). "Coffea racemosa". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T18290386A18539355. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T18290386A18539355.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ Mapaura, A.; Timberlake, J., eds. (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants. Pretoria: Southern African Botanical Diversity Network. p. 71.
  3. ^ Burrows, J. E.; Burrows, S. M.; Lötter, M. C.; Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique. Cape Town: Publishing Print Matters (Pty). p. 973.
  4. ^ Bridson, D. M.; Verdcourt, B. (2003). Flora Zambesiaca. pp. 460–463.
  5. ^ "Rare coffee plant could help communities - CNN Video". 5 January 2015 – via
  6. ^ Volk, Gayle; Byrne, Patrick (February 7, 2020). Crop Wild Relatives and their Use in Plant Breeding – via