Advances in Genetics Africa Asia Batian bourbon Bura’a Castillo Cat 129 CATIE catimor Catuai Caturra Cenicafe Cenicafe 1 Central America Centroamericano CIFC Coffea liberica Coffea mauritiana Colombia Columns Costa Rica 95 cultivars Doddengooda Estate Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute FNC Gesha Hacienda La Esmeralda heirloom Henry Scott hybrids IAPAR 59 Indonesia ISIC Java Jember Jimma Agricultural Research Center Kent Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization Kikuyu La Réunion landraces Latrina Maragogipe Marogogype MOCCA Mocha Mokha Mokka Mundo Novo news Obata Origin P.J.S. Cramer Pacamara Pacas Pache Pluma Hidalgo Roasting Ruiru 11 S228 sarchimor SL14 SL28 SL34 South America Sudan Rume Sustainability T2722 Tabi Timor Hybrid Typica Udain varieties Villa Sarchi Villalobos Yellow Bourbon. T.W.D. Blore

The Coffee Roaster’s Complete Guide to Coffee Varieties and CultivarsDaily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

coffee varieties and plant types
coffee varieties and plant types

Every day Espresso Information photograph.

In a earlier information, we coated all the primary espresso plant varieties, resembling varieties, cultivars, hybrids, landraces and extra. Now that we all know the essential distinctions between all these plant varieties and the way they got here into being, it’s time to discover probably the most outstanding particular person varieties and cultivars.

For those who’re a roaster, these are the most typical names you’ll see on any vendor’s supply sheet — names like Bourbon, SL28, Pacamara, Kent, and even the considerably problematic “heirloom.” The place did they get these names? From which nations did they originate? Who’re their mother and father? Why do roasters prize them? Learn on to study extra…

Conventional Varieties

Serendipitous alternatives, born of circumstance or necessity

Ethiopia’s Landraces and Cultivars

Whereas there are certainly some “heirloom” varieties nonetheless extensively grown — “landrace” is gaining reputation as a extra particular time period for these — Ethiopia is hardly bereft of agronomy analysis. Essential genetic banks of arabica are stored on the Jimma Agricultural Analysis Middle (JARC) and two fields maintained by the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI). JARC particularly has been proactive in choosing and breeding coffees for cultivation, as properly.

Thus, the blanket “heirloom” designation for this origin does a disservice to the big selection of genetic variation and vital work steeped in Ethiopia’s forests and mountains. Many so-called “indigenous heirloom varieties” are in reality hybrids or chosen cultivars. These are surprisingly nicely documented, and just lately put right into a concisely organized and publicly accessible format. Maybe you’ve already picked up a replica of Getu Bekele and Timothy Hill’s work, cataloging over 100 pages value of coffees grown in Ethiopia. If not, I’d advocate including it to your library.

sudan rumesudan rume

A potted instance of Sudan Rume on the Cenicafé campus in Chinchiná, Caldas, Colombia. Photographs courtesy of Royal Espresso, until in any other case famous.

Sudan Rume

As its identify suggests, this choice was made out of an area landrace in South Sudan’s Boma Plateau, house to one of many remaining indigenous arabica espresso forests. Stored alive as a genetic donor, Sudan Rume is a low-yielding plant regarded for its excessive sensory high quality, although it additionally has average resistance to illness. Batian, Castillo, Centroamericano, and Ruiru 11 are all hybrids that embrace Sudan Rume’s genetic contribution.

Yemen’s Landraces

Whereas Yemen does have a Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, its efforts haven’t been targeted on espresso cultivar breeding. Thus, the overwhelming majority of coffees grown in Yemen are thought-about landraces that have been “chosen” sooner or later in unrecorded historical past from Ethiopia and advanced on the Arabian peninsula independently. Each Typica and Bourbon hint their lineage right here, although you gained’t discover most Yemeni espresso farmers calling their timber by these names. Relatively, the native landraces sometimes take the identify of the area during which they’re grown, resembling Udain and Bura’a.

Mokha (or Mocha, Mocca, Mokka, al Mukha, and so on) turned widespread parlance for espresso from Yemen in European nations in all probability starting within the 17th century. This creates quite a lot of confusion, as there’s additionally a definite selection often known as Mokha (discovered beneath the Mutations class under). Nevertheless, ‘Mokha’ espresso of Yemeni origin was not a botanical time period, however moderately a misappropriation of simply certainly one of many port cities on the Arabian peninsula by means of which the commerce of espresso flowed. It turned a metonym for the commodity shortly even though no espresso grows within the port of Mokha.


Arabica’s first business selection to go away the Arabian Peninsula, Typica traces its lineage to an unknown landrace in Yemen, which grew and advanced there after initially arriving from Ethiopia possible after the center of the 15th century. Typica was “chosen” and brought to India, both by the Indian Sufi pilgrim Baba Budan or by the Dutch — service provider Pieter van der Broeke ceaselessly receives credit score for snatching a tree from Mokha and bringing it to Amsterdam’s botanical backyard round 1616.

No matter the way it arrived in western India, the Dutch took Typica from Malabar to Java on the very finish of the 17th century. The primary try in 1696 failed after flooding killed the seedlings, however the second succeeded in 1699. After its introduction in Indonesia, it thrived globally — almost solely — for 150 years, making its approach throughout the Indian and Pacific oceans. The Dutch introduced a Typica tree from Java to Amsterdam’s botanical backyard, and gave one other to the French royal courtroom. These timber populated the Western Hemisphere, first touchdown on the islands of Martinique and Haiti and on the coastal colony of Suriname in and across the Caribbean within the first quarter of the 18th century, remaining the only American selection till the center of the 19th.

Morphologically, Typica is a conical tree with slender leaves and lengthy, slender berries and seeds. Whereas some growers record Jamaican Blue Mountain as a definite selection, genetically it’s equivalent to Typica. In Mexico, the native Typica is usually referred to as Pluma Hidalgo.


Pink Bourbon ripening on Finca Las Margaritas in Caecedonia, Valle del Cauca, Colombia


Arabica’s second globally cultivated selection, like Typica, Bourbon was “chosen” from Yemen landraces. France focused the island of Bourbon, now La Réunion, for espresso planting and obtained 60 timber from their agent stationed in Mokha, who was within the good graces of the Yemeni courtroom. On September 25, 1715, the timber have been delivered to La Réunion; solely 20 survived the journey. By 1718, simply certainly one of these unique timber remained, however colonists managed to plant 117 of its seedlings, and by the top of 1719, a number of hundred timber have been thriving.

This new Bourbon selection, aside from the beans exported to France for consumption, would stay confined to the island till the center of the 19th century. First delivered to Brazil in 1859, it shortly gained reputation; it was extra productive in comparison with that nation’s Typica timber. Many sources speculate that Brazil’s now-famous Yellow Bourbon, first reported in 1930, is a cross with Brazilian Yellow Typica referred to as Amarelo do Botucatu.

Commonplace purple fruit Bourbon timber made progress via the Americas, in lots of locations changing the unique Typica fields. French Spiritan Missionaries from Bourbon additionally took the tree with them to Tanzania’s island of Zanzibar and central coast city of Bagamoyo in 1868. From right here, Bourbon timber would disseminate all through East Africa, evolving into quite a few native iterations and alternatives.

Bourbon timber usually are rounder and shrubbier in look than Typica. They’ve broader leaves and produce extra spherical fruits and fewer ovoid seeds.


Systematic and intentional botanical decisions, reproduced for distribution


Gesha, with or with out the i, begins its origin story someplace near the city of Gesha in distant western Ethiopia’s Bench Maji Zone. British brokers picked and transported espresso from the forests round Kaffa to Kenya in 1931, and seeds from these timber have been then despatched to Uganda and Tanzania in 1936. A second expedition and assortment was made that yr, as nicely. The British botanist T.W.D. Blore, based mostly in Kenya, notes the tree’s “lengthy drooping primaries, prolific secondary progress, small slender leaves and bronze ideas.”

The seeds then made their method throughout the Atlantic Ocean to the Tropical Agricultural Analysis and Larger Schooling Middle (CATIE) in Costa Rica in 1953. Researchers there focused the choice for its resistance to espresso leaf rust. CATIE’s elevation is sort of low, round 600 meters above sea degree, and planting there, and shortly thereafter in Panama, introduced by an agent of that nation’s ministry of agriculture, was largely deserted on account of low productiveness and poor high quality. It’s usually accepted at present that the cultivar is fickle, and that its greatest attributes are highlighted by a mixture of elevation, rainfall, soil and nutrient composition, and myriad different environmental and horticultural elements.

Current genetic testing by World Espresso Analysis (WCR) offers proof that there are numerous Geshas rising that aren’t a genetic match to the CATIE pattern. That pattern, labelled T2722, is usually now known as Panama(nian) Ge(i)sha resulting from its meteoric rise in prominence on the fields of the Jaramillo plot of Hacienda la Esmeralda in Boquete, first recapturing worldwide consideration on the Better of Panama public sale in 2004.

It shouldn’t be all that shocking to listen to that there are genetic discrepancies in Gesha seedlings, wanting again on the cultivar’s historical past. Word that a number of collections have been made within the subject, and many various analysis stations, past these talked about, have had their very own collections because the 1950s. Gesha was gathered very close to the guts of untamed arabica’s naturally numerous origin, so it ought to come as little shock that not all Gesha timber are an ideal match to one another.

At any price, Gesha has invigorated the business and positioned a benchmark for cup high quality not simply matched by different cultivars.


In 1911, certainly one of espresso’s earliest recognized rust-resistant choices was made on Doddengooda Property in Mysore, India, from a single Typica tree that confirmed an uncanny means to face up to the fungus. Named Kent — the surname of the person who found it — the cultivar turned in style in India, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya (all British colonies) within the 1920s and 1930s, and was an early ingredient in resistant cultivar “recipes,” most notably contributing its genes to Jember (S795), which continues to be planted extensively in Indonesia. Nevertheless, within the hundred-or-so years since its choice, Kent has “misplaced” its resistance and is not thought-about well-suited for the virulent strains of rust which have emerged in current many years.


A complicated addition to the listing, Java is a variety from a number of Ethiopian landraces. Some early Ethiopian accessions made it to Java within the 19th century, however one of the best data point out that what we all know as Java was chosen from a couple of mom timber in Ethiopia by the Dutch espresso researcher P.J.S. Cramer in 1928. He despatched seeds to Java the place the crops flourished and confirmed resistance to leaf rust the place different arabica varieties had faltered. To today, in Indonesia the cultivar is known as Abyssinia (or as cognates Adsenia or Abissinie), the identify of Ethiopia on the time.

To additional complicate issues, I’ve seen “Adsenia” utilized to a grade or area — relatively than a cultivar — in locations like Sumatra, which means you may be getting a Catimor labelled “Adsenia” as a result of it was well-sorted. However, true Abyssinia Java cultivar was ultimately taken from Indonesia to Cameroon, and launched to Central America as nicely. It bears morphological resemblance to Typica, however in reality its provenance is extra direct, and in that regard it’s just like the origin story of Gesha.

SL 28 coffee varietySL 28 coffee variety

A smallholder farmer picks espresso from a Java tree in Boyo, Cameroon

SL14, SL28, SL34

These basic Kenyan specialty choices have been made by Scott Agricultural Laboratories within the 1930s. Scott Labs (SL) have been established in a constructing previously used as a sanatorium and hospital within the city of Kikuyu, a cease alongside the Mombasa railway simply northwest of Nairobi. Named for Dr. Henry Scott, of the Church of Scotland Mission in 1913, in 1922 it turned an agricultural facility after a outstanding agricultural supervisor relocated from Kabete and transferred assets from Nairobi. Espresso analysis, nevertheless, was not built-in on the facility till 1934. Within the 1960s, Scott Labs was folded into the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Analysis Group, and its work continues to today beneath that moniker. There are various SL espresso breeds, however the two hottest in Kenya are SL28 and SL34, although SL14 is extensively planted in Uganda as nicely. Most of the varieties have been developed with the intention of enhancing resistance to drought.

SL28 predates the espresso sector’s transfer to Kikuyu, chosen and launched as early as 1931 from a bronze-tip Tanganyika (now Tanzania) drought-resistant selection. That choice was first made by A.D. Trench, the Kenya colony’s Senior Espresso Officer (who additionally launched his personal Kenya Chosen varieties within the 1920s). SL28 was decrease yielding and fewer immune to illness than meant, however it did obtain a excessive sensory high quality, which explains its ongoing reputation.

SL34 is a Kenyan choice, from a single tree noticed in Kabete in a subject labelled as French Mission, presumably Bourbon timber. It’s a bit extra productive than SL28 and higher fitted to planting in decrease elevations. Like SL28, its new progress can also be bronze-tipped. World Espresso Analysis signifies that genetic testing of each SL14 and SL34 suggests they’re nearer to Typica than Bourbon, which means the French Mission choice story may be incorrect.


Vital morphological modifications noticed within the area after which remoted

Caturra, Pache, Pacas, Villalobos, Villa Sarchi

A Brazilian contribution to arabica’s American catalog, Caturra is a single-gene mutation of Bourbon, first reported in 1937 alongside the border of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. It’s main mutation attribute is its brief stature, which permits for denser planting and simpler choosing. It’s a mother or father of each Catuaí and the Catimor group.

Not alone in its brief stature mutation, Caturra shares genetic similarities with quite a few different dwarf arabica varieties, together with:

  • Pacas, a Bourbon mutation first described in 1949 in El Salvador. It’s named for the household that owned the farm. With Maragogipe, it’s a mother or father of Pacamara.
  • Pache, a Bourbon mutation first observed in 1949 in Guatemala.
  • Villalobos (a Typica mutation) and Villa Sarchi (a Bourbon mutation) first reported within the 1950s and 1960s in Costa Rica. Villa Sarchi is a mum or dad of the Sarchimor group.

Mokha & Laurina

Just like the dwarf mutations that end in uniquely compact, conical timber, the Mokha cultivar and Laurina are genetically very comparable, although they do have some morphological variations. What they share is a bit more exceptional, nevertheless: each mutations include very low quantities of caffeine in comparison with conventional arabica varieties.

Mokha is a small, conical tree with very tiny cherries and seeds. It appears more likely to be a Brazilian mutation, like so many others. Brazil additionally lengthy transshipped (or wrongly labelled) a few of its espresso as “Mokha,” additional obfuscating an already befuddling distinction. But it’s very probably that because of its identify, the Mokha cultivar gained extra international reputation than Laurina.


Laurina timber develop in Valle del Cauca at Cafe Granja la Esperanza

Recognized additionally as “Leroy” or “Le Roy” (perhaps the identify of the one that chosen it), and “Bourbon Pointu” (actually “pointy Bourbon”), the identify Laurina probably stems from the tree’s resemblance to the bay laurel, the supply of your soup’s bay leaf. Laurina advanced independently on La Réunion, a conical formed tree with very pointy seeds. These phenotypic expressions may lead you to consider that the tree is said to Typica by some means, a declare perpetuated by an essential genetic educational useful resource revealed in 1951 referred to as merely Advances in Genetics. Others have proposed it might have hybridized with regionally indigenous Coffea mauritiana, which additionally assumes a conical form. Nevertheless, current genetic testing has confirmed that Laurina is almost equivalent to Bourbon, so researchers have concluded that the only surviving tree that spawned La Réunion’s inhabitants had embedded in its genetic code a recessive trait that emerged spontaneously on the French-occupied island within the Indian Ocean.


Typically spelled with a “y” as an alternative of an “i,” Maragogipe represents the opposite aspect of the mutation spectrum, no less than with regards to measurement. This spontaneous Typica deviant is massive, the tree and its fruits and seeds being about twice the dimensions of the typical arabica. This gigantism, nevertheless, is mixed with some much less fascinating attributes like sluggish cherry maturation, low yields, and a popularity for barely inferior high quality. It takes its identify from the city Maragogipe in Bahia, Brazil, the place it was first found. With Pacas, it’s the opposite dad or mum to Pacamara.


Spontaneous pure crosses and lab-engineered mashups

The Timor Hybrid

After the Japanese Hemisphere’s espresso timber started dying in droves within the late 19th century, passionate about the primary international espresso leaf rust epidemic, robusta (C. canephora) was launched to islands within the Pacific Ocean. The unbelievable occurred on Timor, now cut up between Indonesian sovereignty and that of the unbiased nation of Timor-Leste. There, arabica spontaneously cross-bred with robusta, creating a brand new interspecific hybrid.

Arabica and robusta’s union is a singularly uncommon feat, as a consequence of the truth that the tetraploid (4 units of chromosomes) arabica in principle shouldn’t be genetically suitable with its diploid (two units) ancestor — robusta is acknowledged as certainly one of arabica’s mother and father, the opposite is C. eugenioides. So in a way, you may contemplate this hybrid a sort of backcross, 100,000 years within the making.

Regardless, the Timor Hybrid — typically referred to as “Tim Tim” and typically abbreviated HdT for “Hibrido de Timor” — turned a regional favourite shortly after it was first noticed within the early 20th century. It now supplies the baseline genetic supply for a lot of illness resistant arabica cultivars, the most typical of that are collectively known as Catimors and Sarchimors.

Catimor & Sarchimor

First created in Portugal on the Centro de Investigação das Ferrugens do Cafeeiro (CIFC), the primary of many iterations of Catimors have been created by hybridizing a hybrid. The Timor Hybrid was crossed with Caturra, the dwarf Bourbon mutation, and first launched to Brazil in 1967. There are lots of strains of Catimor which were created since with totally different particular person plant mother and father and generational alternatives. Thus, Catimor refers to a gaggle of distinct cultivars, relatively than a single selection. Common Catimors embrace Costa Rica 95 and Cat 129, each timber that retain Caturra’s brief stature and whereas enhancing its leaf rust resistance and yield.

Coffee Plants – Web Size – 36 -_Coffee Plants – Web Size – 36 -_

A farm employee harvests Catimor cherries in Yunnan, China

Equally, Sarchimor is a gaggle relatively than a person genetic choice. The Sarchimor group is a cross of Villa Sarchi and the Timor Hybrid. Among the many extra common are IAPAR 59 and Obata, each bred for rust resistance in Brazil, however in separate analysis labs, and Centroamericano, an F1 Sarchimor hybrid crossed with Sudan Rume.

Regardless of their robusta heritage, each Catimor and Sarchimor teams are categorised genetically as arabica, and are extensively planted all through the world.

Ruiru 11 & Batian

Kenya’s Ruiru 11 belongs within the Catimor group, however it’s singled out right here for a couple of distinctive traits. Though it’s thought-about an F1 hybrid, it’s fairly a bit extra difficult than a cross of two conventional varieties. Ruiru 11’s father and mom (extra on this within the subsequent paragraph) have been themselves complicated hybrids, utilizing varieties together with SL28, SL34, Sudan Rume, a number of Bourbon alternatives, and a lot of Catimors with the intention of attaining a mix of CBD (Espresso Berry Illness) resistance, compact stature, excessive yields, and cup high quality.

In Ruiru 11’s case, it’s completely applicable to specify the father or mother gender for a really sensible purpose. Pollination between the 2 complicated mother and father of Ruiru 11 happens manually. The recipes for creating the daddy and mom tree are distinct. The tall tree is all the time bred because the male, donating the pollen to the feminine, bred to be brief in stature. The seeds that develop from this course of are non-uniform, and are blended and distributed as a composite cultivar.


Named for the analysis station it was bred in, Ruiru confronted two main challenges after its launch. First, the guide pollination makes breeding time consuming, and provide did not maintain tempo with demand. Secondly, with regard to cup high quality, sweetness and character have been missed in favor of acidity and physique. Thus, specialty cuppers often fee it decrease general than SLs.

In response, Batian was launched in 2010, utilizing Ruiru’s similar genetic materials, with a concentrate on cup high quality and a brief span between planting and harvest. Most Batian timber have a large fruit load by their second yr, and a full harvest at yr three. Batian was chosen from F5 generations of Ruiru father or mother materials that omitted the dwarf traits. The identify Batian was taken from the very best peak of Mount Kenya, which itself takes its identify from a outstanding Masai chief.

Colombia, Tabi, Castillo, Cenicafé 1

In Colombia, a 6 cent per-pound tax on exported coffees funds the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC), one of many world’s largest and most high-profile espresso organizations. Laser-focused on enhancing volumes and costs country-wide, the FNC has been creating and releasing productive espresso varieties for many years beneath their Cenicafé analysis division, established in 1938. Utilizing Catimor’s HdT x Caturra recipe as a blueprint, Cenicafé first created the Colombia selection as an F5 composite, and launched it in 1982. Looking for to enhance taste, Typica and Bourbon changed Caturra within the cross for the Tabi cultivar, launched in 2002.

Cenicafé’s early rust resistant varieties have been longstanding and considerably well-liked options to the nation’s growing older inventory of Typica and Caturra. Nevertheless, Colombia captured the world’s consideration in 2005, with the discharge of Castillo. That cultivar is now probably the most generally grown espresso plant within the nation, thanks partially to heavy advertising, nationwide style competitors victories, and sponsored seed pricing.


A set of the FNC’s regional Castillo varieties and Cenicafé 1

Castillo’s advantages embrace excessive yields and illness resistance, however its raison d’etre is its multi-line composite of fifth era (F5) breeding that permits for genetic variety enough to withstand rust and different illnesses holistically inside a single area of timber. On a typical monoculture Caturra farm, within the more and more doubtless occasion of a pressure of “super-roya,” the complete area would succumb to such a monstrous predator. Nevertheless, solely a part of the Castillo grove can be vulnerable as a result of — regardless of being 100% Castillo — there are literally 5 or so completely distinctive genetic compositions in every bag of seeds. Moreover, Castillo has been divided into 16 “regional” high quality variations along with a “common” profile.

Cenicafé has now launched an eponymous cultivar, Cenicafé 1, which stays true to the Catimor composite, multigenerational choice method. This latest launch meets or exceeds Castillo cup scores and yields, with the additional advantage of improved CBD resistance and bigger display measurement, which ought to end in extra Supremo grades and better costs for producers.

Mundo Novo

After Bourbon was launched to Brazil, it will definitely cross-pollinated with Typica, producing a naturally occurring hybrid first noticed in 1943 in Sao Paulo state. Two separate alternatives have been made for distribution, the newest in 1977. It’s a tall tree with good yields, however its vary is usually confined to South America.


Catuaí springs from a Brazilian cross of Mundo Novo with Yellow Caturra. It was developed within the 1940s however not launched into the general public area till 1970s. It retains the brief stature of its Caturra heritage, and is immune to wind. It’s additionally a fairly productive tree with the caveat that it requires an above common quantity of fertilizer.


Pacamara is a Salvadoran cultivar, launched within the 1970s however labored on for greater than 30 years previous to that on the Genetic Division of the Salvadoran Institute for Espresso Analysis (ISIC). Regardless of accounting for lower than 1% of El Salvador’s espresso crops, Pacamara has developed a cult following amongst specialty roasters. Apparently, the standard report that accompanied its launch advisable processing it as a pure for greatest outcomes. An odd hybrid, Pacamara’s mother and father are the dwarf Bourbon Pacas and the enormous Typica Maragogipe. Pacamara retains the massive leaf and bean measurement of Maragogipe.


Monica Valdivieso and her father Ricardo stand within the midst of a Pacamara tree on their farm Finca Leticia in Apaneca, El Salvador


Recognized by a plethora of names, together with S795 and Linie S (the “S” simply stands for “choice”), the Jember cultivar is extensively utilized in Indonesia. Jember is the identify of a regency in East Java, and the situation of a analysis station by way of which it was distributed, however the cultivar was developed in India. Bred from two resistant mother and father, Kent and S228, it’s a illness resistant hybrid. Whereas Kent is a resistant Typica choice, the opposite half’s stoic designation is a wildly underwhelming identify for a unprecedented spontaneous interspecific hybrid of West Africa’s native Coffea liberica with Ethiopia’s indigenous arabica.