Australian subtropical coffee grower’s manual

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This manual is intended to assist growers, both new and experienced, so that they are aware of the good practice and possible pitfalls of growing coffee in subtropical Australia. The manual contains a collection of information largely based on the expert knowledge of the author and the practical experiences of the contributors.

The information and advice is presented in a practical, easy to follow format. For this reason the manual has been designed as a ‘dynamic’ document readily able to be amended, updated and added to.

  • Section 1 Is coffee growing for you?
    • A consideration of the financial, horticultural, labour and logistical issues involved and provision of facts and figures relating to viability
  • Section 2 The coffee tree
    • A description of the function of each part of the tree and what influences its health and development
  • Section 3 Growing coffee in the subtropics
    • A comparison of the region’s suitability, characteristics and attributes and the relevance of terroir
  • Section 4 Selecting the right tree
    • An assessment of what makes the tree most suited to the region, how to raise it and how to keep it that way
  • Section 5 Selecting a suitable site
    • A checklist of the physical and climatic characteristics to consider when selecting a suitable site for commercial coffee production
  • Section 6 Preparing the site for planting
    • A step-by-step guide from planning through design to laying out the plantation
  • Section 7 Establishing the plantation
    • A review of planting techniques and how to ensure establishment of a healthy new plantation
  • Section 8 Managing trees from establishment to maturity
    • A summary of information and guidance on nutrition, water management and the control of weeds and pests that affect coffee in the subtropics
  • Section 9 Harvesting
    • A description of ways to assess the maturity of the cherry and yield and the factors affecting harvester performance
  • Section 10 Processing
    • An overview of processing methods and their impact on bean and cupping quality


David Peasley
David Ashton
Jos Webber
Ron Woods
Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation