Tree species selection in coffee agroforestry systems is ultimately determined by the plantation owner. Therefore, understanding the decision making process behind tree species selection is essential if current coffee agroforestry practices are to be improved. Based on a survey among coffee famers in Bukomansimbi district, several criteria for tree species selection for coffee agroforestry were identified including optimal shading, nutrient addition to the soil and product diversity. While all three criteria influenced tree species selection, product diversity was found to be the most valued criterion with tree species that provide multiple products such as Ficus natalensis, Artocarpus heterophyllus, Maesopsis eminii, Mangifera indica and Persea americana commonly used in coffee farms. Generally, tree species selection by coffee farmers is based on the productivity of the selected species, along with its ecological functions and social acceptability.