I bought some Arabica Nana seeds and I would like to know what the best / most successful way would be to germinate them. I've tried putting them in pots in normal potting soil, but they failed. Any advice?

1 Answer 1


This method has worked well for me for various types of seeds and is outlined in more detail here.


  • ziploc or polyethylene bag with a sealable closure
  • damp paper towel


  • Place the beans on the paper towel. Fold it over so that the seed is in contact with the moist paper towel top and bottom.
  • Place the paper towel and seeds in the bag, close and wait. Place the bag in a warm but not sunny area and check until they germinate.
  • plant the seedlings out in a small pot and grow on until they are ready for repotting

A more technical discussion is found here. You must be sure that your beans are not roasted and still have the parchment hull attached.

I also note their caution that

The moisture content of the seeds should not fall below 10%, otherwise the viability will be seriously affected.

If the seed is commercially purchased and does not germinate it may not be your fault. The seed may be too dry to germinate but will still make a decent cup of coffee.

  • Appreciate the detailed answer - will give it a try and comment as soon as progress is made.
    – Rudolph
    Jan 17, 2014 at 5:40
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    Hi kevinsky! I came across this and find it interesting. You're first link is dead, though. I looked around but this is too technical for me to just pick a replacement! If you want to replace it, that would help and also bring it forward for a new crop of people to see. Thanks! Jul 30, 2017 at 23:31
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    @Sue link updated!
    – kevinskio
    Jul 31, 2017 at 15:28
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    That's great, thanks! "Crop of people" was an unintentional pun, but then I decided I liked it, ha, ha! Jul 31, 2017 at 18:41

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