Coffea arabica is a species of Coffea originally indigenous to the mountains of Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, hence its name, and also from the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and southeastern Sudan. It is also known as the "coffee shrub of Arabia", "mountain coffee" or "arabica coffee". Coffea arabica is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated, being grown in southwest Arabia for well over 1,000 years.
Wild plants grow to between 9 and 12 m tall, and have an open branching system; the leaves are opposite, simple elliptic-ovate to oblong, 6-12 cm long and 4-8 cm broad, glossy dark green. The flowers are white, 10-15 mm in diameter and grow in axillary clusters. The fruit is a drupe (though commonly called a "berry") 10-15 mm in diameter, maturing bright red to purple and typically contains two seeds (the coffee 'bean').