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THE WAY OF COFFEE: AN IMMERSION IN VARIETIES

Welcome to the fascinating exploration of coffee varieties, a journey that will take you from the plantations to your cup. On this tour, we will demystify terms like Typica, Geisha and SL28 that often appear on coffee packages and coffee shop menus. These are not just scientific words, but the keys that unlock the genetic diversity of the coffee plant. Join us as we unravel the importance of these varieties and introduce you to some of the most common varieties on the market.

Imagine coffee as a treasure encased in a cherry. Coffee plants, with their peculiarities, give rise to the beans we love so much. They grow inside coffee cherries, whose structure includes skin, pulp, mucilage, parchment, parchment, silver skin and the precious beans. While the core of the bean is crucial, every part contributes to the complexity of the coffee. From green to roasted, the final taste in your cup is shaped by the tree of origin and the processing method.

Harvesting ripe cherries marks the beginning. Whether by natural methods, wet processing or honey processing, the roasters transform the beans into the delicious and aromatic beverage we know.

WHY DO COFFEE VARIETIES MATTER?

The truth is that for some coffee aficionados, the varieties may go unnoticed. While many Arabica varieties share similar flavours, some, like Geisha, are truly unique. If you come across a packet labelled 'Geisha variety', don't hesitate to buy it. These varieties play a crucial role worldwide, from securing yields to offering distinctive flavours. Past research has saved coffee production in times of crisis, and current research seeks to address challenges such as droughts in Africa. In short, varieties are essential pillars of coffee production and survival.

To clarify terms, confusion between variety, cultivar and varietal is common. In the coffee world, variety classifies plants according to their species, while varietal identifies the specific product of a variety. Although botanists may prefer "cultivar", coffee lovers commonly use "variety".

 THE ORIGIN OF THE VARIETIES

Coffee varieties arise in a variety of ways, from natural mutations on farms to hybrids created in laboratories. Primary varieties are often formed by mutation, while some plants may mutate spontaneously. Natural crosses give rise to hybrids, and laboratories are also involved, planting cherries and waiting for specific criteria to form new varieties.

ICONIC COFFEE VARIETIES

Most varieties come from two original types: Typica and Bourbon. While Typica produces less coffee, but with exceptional flavour, Bourbon offers higher yields at the risk of premature drop, especially in difficult climates.

THE COFFEE FAMILY TREE

Caturra, a descendant of Bourbon, emerged in Brazil in the 1930s. Cultivated with care, it offers high yields and ripens more quickly.

Mundo Novo, a hybrid of Bourbon and Typica, discovered in Brazil in the 1940s, stands out for its high production rate and quality at high altitude. In the 1950s, Catuai was born, a hybrid of Caturra and Mundo Novo, with rich flavours and short stature.

MODERN COFFEE VARIETIES

Scientific missions, such as those of the Scott laboratories in Kenya, have resulted in modern varieties. These include the accidentally bred SL28 and its drought and disease resistant variants SL34 and SL14. Timor, discovered in Indonesia in the 1940s, is a hybrid of Arabica and Robusta. Research in Portugal led to Catimor, a tasty and resistant hybrid.

The famous Geisha, discovered in Panama and Ethiopia, stands out for its fresh acidity and exotic flavours, gaining recognition in the industry.

Unnamed varieties in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, are known as "heirloom varieties", a delightful mystery for coffee lovers.

Embark on the journey of coffee varieties with Delilab and take your coffee experience to the next level!

 

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