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Is there any types of coffee beans that will grow successfully in zone 8b?

 
pollinator
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Location: West Linn Oregon, USA zone 8b
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My husband likes the idea of me growing coffee beans for us.  We recently went to Kauai and while there saw a coffee farm, which got us thinking about it.  I know most coffee beans need to be grown in zone 9 or warmer, but is there a type which could succede here in zone 8b?
 
Riona Abhainn
pollinator
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Bump
 
gardener
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I heard chicory suggested as a coffee substitute in non-tropical climates.



Possible downside is that chicory coffee doesn't have caffeine. However, Yaupon holly which contains caffeine grows plentifully around here. I wonder if the two could be blended.  
 
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The problem isn't so much with growing zone, but elevation. High grown, hard bean coffees like arabica have to grow at least 2000 ft. above sea level.

I mean, they'll grow, I believe. Probably even be healthy and prolific. They might become a show piece. But the roasted beans won't have the same flavor profile. They grow much slower at elevation and develop the density and compounds that produce those flavors we seek in a good cuppa.

Arabica coffee bushes grown at lower elevations would have softer, much less flavorful beans. Maybe the appropriate word might be unpalatable.

If you grow it just to see if you can get it established and keep it going, I say go for it. Just don't expect anything from the cup.

j

 
Riona Abhainn
pollinator
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Location: West Linn Oregon, USA zone 8b
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Disappointing news, but thanks all, better to find out the answer is no than to wonder.  We definitely want the caffeine.  For me it gets me moving, for my husband with his ADHD it calms him down and is relaxing for him.
 
gardener
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Arabica would probably do fine in your climate, but wants higher elevation, as Jim mentioned. Robusta can flourish in lowland areas, but wants warmer temps.

If you can "push the zone" a bit you might get Robusta to do well for you, as you're close. I live in 9 and it grows like gangbusters, as long as you can avoid killing frosts.
The other option is to consider some non-coffee caffeine alternatives. Tea might grow well for you, and Ilex paraguayensis (yerba mate) would definitely do well in your zone, although 1) it gets to be a huge tree and 2) it might be hard to find in the US.
There are some old posts with good discussion about growing one's own caffeine:
https://permies.com/t/167862/Grow-caffeine
https://permies.com/t/58567/caffeine-plant-tree-grow-area
 
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The challenge is not elevation, it is cold. I'm not in the US but I just looked at the 8b zone and coffee will not tolerate frost. If you have a greenhouse or can grow in pots and move them somewhere warm in winter then you will be able to grow delicious coffee at any altitude. Fresh home-grown coffee is a taste sensation and out ways any other factor. If you can keep them above 32F then go for it.

I've been growing and roasting delicious coffee at 500' for over ten years. I get asked about it all the time so I decided to make some videos to document the process.
 
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Based on my own experience. I have to agree a bit with Tony. Great coffee can be grown at lower elevations. The Kauai coffee is at a real low elevation.  Same for Maui, though it’s a bit higher. Quite a bit of Big Island coffee is around 1000’ elevation, some of which have won coffee cupping contests. While elevation probably has some bearing, other factors are more important. And based upon my own personal experience. I can surely say that the variety of coffee,  processing method, storage, and roasting all have significant effect on the finished product.

I used to grow a mix of Kona typica, bourbon, and red caturra coffees. The beans were pulped (the skins of the cherries removed),  then fermented over night in water. Then aggressively washed. Spread to dry for 5-6 days. Then either stored, or dehulled & roasted.  I preferred storing for awhile because it seemed to mellow out the coffee. I had my own personal recipe for roasting in a Diedrich roaster. My customers loved the medium-dark roast and dark roast. I always aged a 100 pound sack of beans in order to roast an aged bean for ourselves. It gave a very, very smooth cup of coffee, especially with a dark roast.
 
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