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Republished: March, 2011

Updated:  November – December, 2010

Published: May, 2010

(www.coffeecave.wordpress.com)

Written: February – May, 2010

Translated: February, 2011

Translated by: Kadri Koitsaar

Raimond Feil

Coffea: Genus – Species – Varieties


My biggest thanks go to Katriin Kütt who supported me throughout the whole project and withstood all these endless hours I spent behind my computer, writing this piece. I also wish to thank her for starting a sharp discussion when I presented her my freshly completed work instead of praising me for getting it done finally – results of this discussion took the potential of this paper to a whole new and much greater level.

Also, great thanks to my good friend, Jan Metus, who kindly agreed to overlook my finished piece and correct found grammatical and syntactic mistakes. Of course I am sincerely thankful to all those who showed their support and faith in me by a few kind and inspiring said or written words.

Thank you all.

Foreword

The current piece was born from a wish to find a source, listing all species of Coffea and all varieties of C. arabica and C. canephora. Of course my desire was also not to find just long lists but also illustrative texts informing me of different characteristics of Coffea, from their origin and discovery to growth conditions, specifications and taste qualities. All I found was the knowledge that there is no such thing, so I decided to use all written and virtual sources available to an average person and create one myself.

I started my work by browsing through the Internet and my modest coffee book collection. First I managed to create the long lists of species and varieties. At the same time I tried to make a record of all the information about the listed species and varieties I could find, including a short history of the topic and botany. It all resulted in a concoction of information waiting to be arranged and organized.

During my research I couldn’t stop marveling at the volume of information available. Of course there were also many information gaps that needed to be filled. The closer I got to finishing my work, the further the end seemed to be, as my mind just kept repeating „There is so much information and thoughts to be written down and there will be more piling up soon!“.

When I started the present work, I didn’t think much about making it public, translating it, not to mention publishing it in my blog – my goal was to create as thorough illustrated list of species and varieties of coffee as possible and all of it for my private use. The further I got, the longer and more detailed the article became and at one moment I came to an idea, soon to become almost an obsession, that this article should take more academical form, therefore acquiring some stature and credibility, whereupon I would be able to publish it in my personal blog space.

The next arising idea was to ask coffee experts and enthusiasts I knew personally if they would like to see this article translated to English (original work is written in Estonian). The feedback was more positive than I could expect, being therefore invigorating and inspiring. It filled me with satisfaction I needed to continue my work on the current article. My final goal was to upgrade and finish the writing, get it translated and make it available to all interested parties.

„The biggest joy is the joy of sharing!“

September 20, 2010

Raimond Feil

About

Given work is meant for all those interested in coffee, from professionals to pure coffee enthusiasts. Therefore I have tried to use more simple style and avoid just listing all known facts, though it is not completely avoidable in such cases, especially when describing the botanical side of things.

The work is divided into two parts. The first part deals with general information about species and varieties, their historical background and botany. The second part includes a list of species of Coffea and verieties of C. arabica and C. canephora. The list is illustrated with the information about species and varieties available to me. At the end of the work I included all the appendixes and a list of sources used. The appendixes embody some lists of coffee varieties, designed to help the enthusiasts to orientate in the field of the varieties of C. arabica in a bit easier manner. Also I added a glossary with explanations of words marked with tiny numbers throughout the work.

Contents

Part I

1.            Introduction

2.            Historical background

3.            Botanical classification of coffee

4.            Botanical introduction of Coffea

5.            General distinctions between C. arabica and C. canephora

Part II

6.            List of species of coffee or Coffea

7.            List and descriptions of varieties of C. arabica

8.            List and descriptions of varieties of C. canephora

9.            Appendixes

10.          Glossary and references

11.          Sources

Part I:

1. Introduction

In connection with coffee varieties people have usually heard only of Arabica and Robusta. Actually these are just two of the most grown coffee species, not varieties (except Robusta), in the world. In fact there is more than 70 species and it is known that Coffea (hereafter: C.) arabica includes more than 150 species and subspecies. The plant we consider as „Robusta“ is not Robusta at all botanically, but a species of C. canephora, Robusta being just one of the most common variety of the mentioned plant.

C. arabica forms about 65% of world’s coffee production and C. canephora correspondingly about 35%. Less known species like C. liberica and C. excelsa grow only in Western Africa and Asia and form 1-2% of world’s gross production. C. liberica and C. excelsa are grown for local use. Rest of the species of Coffea have lower taste qualities, overall quality and caffeine concentration, making them economically less important, less known and less used.

The goal of this work is to examine the origins of coffee, which groups, family and tribe it belongs to; how does it divide into species and varieties; which are the major differences between C. arabica and C. canephora; also to present a list of all possible species of Coffea; list as many varieties and sub-varieties of C. arabica and C. canephora and put together descriptions of different varieties of C. arabica.

Considering species, this article concentrates mainly on C. arabica and C. canephora, as these two species form the majority or ca 98-99% of the gross production of coffee in the world.

2. Historical background

Coffea arabica originates from Ethiopia or Empire of Ethiopia or Abyssinia¹ as it was called at the time of discovery of coffee. According to one source, coffee originates from the highlands of Harrar in the eastern part of Ethiopia, whereas other sources claim it to have descended from the highlands of Kaffa Province, which was also known as Kingdom of Kaffa² during 1390 – 1897, in the southern parts of modern Ethiopia. The exact story of discovery remains unfortunately unknown, but there exists a myth3, telling the mythical story of its discovery (it exists in different versions) and which the coffee historians have tried to use to filter out adequate information about the series of events. Nevertheless it is a certain fact that the people in Middle Yemen drank coffee already in the middle of 15th century.

C. arabica plant was first described and classified by a Swede named Carl Linnaeus⁴ (Carl von Linné) in 1753. However, before Linné there was already a Latin description of the plant, though consisting only of one sentence: „Jasminum arabicum, lauri folio, cujus femen apudnos coffee deciur.“ (Jussieu, 1713). (Translation: “Arab jasmine, with laurel type leaves, the beans of which we call coffee”.) C. von Linné founded modern taxonomy and systematics of living organisms, therefore acting an important role as a botanist in the current area. In his descriptions and classifications C. von Linné called the coffee plant Coffea arabica – Arabian coffee. At the time, Europeans didn’t know that the coffee plant had been brought in to Arabia, believing Arabia to be its place of origin. This belief was also supported by C. von Linné.

In the modern world of coffee, the oldest varieties of C. arabica are considered to be Typica and Bourbon. In this work I treat Typica as the oldest variety, as Bourbon seems to be the natural mutation of Typica (though it must be recognized that all modern coffee varieties originate mainly from one or another). The mutation of Typica into Bourbon⁵ occurred on a tiny island called Bourbon (modern Réunion⁶). Hence the name of the mutation – Bourbon.

So, the oldest known coffee sort might be considered to be Typica. Typica was taken from Ethiopia to Yemen and from there to India, Indonesia, to the botanic gardens of Europe, where it moved on to Central and Southern America. Typica and Bourbon are the ascendants of most modern coffee varieties.

Robusta, one of the sorts of C. Canephora, Robusta, was first discovered by two British explorers, Richard Burton and John Speake, in 1862 (1857), during their expedition in Uganda, where they were originally searching for the sources of river Nile. At the time the plant was used by Buganda tribesmen in the rite of brotherhood⁷. C. canephora was rediscovered in Congo (modern name: Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1898 by Emil Laurent⁸. Around year 1900 many different varieties of C. canephora were brought to island of Java to test and see the nature of the plant. Robusta became the main variety of C. canephora in Indonesia. The specie as a whole was taken into global use for economical purposes around year 1905 and in 1910 the plants replaced most of C. liberica and C. arabica species, which used to be the main cultures grown in Indonesia. Robusta got its name later, when a Belgian company started to market it under the name „Robusta“. Some started to call it „C. robusta“, though it already had been named C. laurentii after its discoverer (Emil Laurent). Robusta was so successful that other countries began to plant it either side by side with C. arabica or in place of those species destroyed by Coffee Leaf Rust (Hemileia vastatrix) since 1886⁹.

3. Botanical classification of coffee

C. arabica and C. canephora are species that are part of the Coffea genus including more than 70 species. Coffea genus ranks under the Rubiaceae family with more than 500 species, which is part of the Rubiales order. Next I will point out the whole botanic order from Plantae to Coffea. At the same time I try to explain what every family, tribe, subfamily, order etc. means.

The reader must consider that modern classing system for coffee (or other plants) is not final but is still being altered and updated by botanists and other scientists.

i. Botanical classification (affiliation) of Coffea:

Plantae → Embryophyta → Tracheophyta → Spermatophyta → Angiospermae → Tricolpate (Eudicots) → Core Tricolpate (Core Eudicots) → Asterids (Sympetales) → Core Asterids → Euasterids I → Gentianales → Rubiaceae → Coffea

ii. Botanical classification (affiliation) of Coffea, with explanations:

Plantae – a kingdom of plants. Includes all plants.

Embryophytes –  (green) plants growing on mainland.

Tracheophytes – (known as vascular plants) is the biggest group of plants with ca 260 000 species. They have well developed tissues for transporting fluids: xylem – for transporting water and phloem – for transporting sugars created during the process of photosynthesis. („Vascular“ means a vessel, like a blood vessel, through which the fluids flow.

Spermatophyta – (also Phanerogams [in Greek "Σπερματόφυτα"]) are seed plants. It is the phylum of vascular plants, including plants reproducing by the use of seeds, opposed to spore bearing plants which use spores for reproduction.

Angiospermae – (Magnoliophyta). Angiosperms or flowering plants (Anthophyta) form the biggest phylum of plants using photosynthesis to produce much needed nutrients. Major part of the Tracheopyte phylum is formed by flowering plants or Angiospermae. There are circa 12000 known species of flowering plants.

Tricolpates, (Eudicots) – (Eudicotyledons/dicotyledons). Dicotyledons, also known as dicots (di- standing for „two“), is a group of flowering plants whose seed typically has two embryonic leaves or cotyledons.  This major group is also considered to be monophyletic (the plant originates from the one common ancestor and from all of its successors). Corresponding specification is based on the pollen of the plant under the subclassification of tricolpate (at least this type of pollen has had its effect on it) and also on the nucleotide sequencing of rbcL, atpB and 18S rDNA . Dicotyledons or eudicots are also known under the name tricolpate. This designation refers to the structure of pollen. The number of grooves/pores on the pollen is of help when classifying flowering plants. Plants of this current group have pollen of tricolpate type or forms of pollen derived from that. This means that these grooves (which are called colpi) on pollen grains have three or more pores (tricolpate: tri- kolpi [three colpis, singular - colpus]). Eudicots have three pores (tricolpate).

Core Tricolpates, (Core Eudicots)

Asterideae, (Sympetalae) – is a group characterized by petals adjoining into a tubular form. This major group also includes plants whose ova have only one protective layer (usually the plants belonging to a group of Angiospermae have two protective layers). Most of the ova of the plants in that group have a megasporangium (sporangium or sporangia is a plant structure containing or producing spores) with a thin wall. (A germ or spore is a special reproductive cell specialized on the spread of some system or keeping it alive throughout some period of time in case of adverse environmental conditions). Sympetalae (in Greek – sympetaleia) means „ together“.

Core Asterids

Euasterids I – subgroup of Core Asterids.

Gentianales – is a phylum of flowering plants from the class of dicotyledones. Gentianales are easily distinguishable by two stipules (in Latin – stipulae) anchoring reciprocally on the petiole. Stipules are a small excrescence resembling to leaves.

Rubiaceae – is a family of Madder. This family includes many bushes but also some trees, lianas and herbs. Leaves are located reciprocally in pairs. The usually bisexual blooms have 4-5 sepals (calyx), 4-5 petals (corolla), 4-5 stamens and two carpels.

Coffea – coffee plants.

4. Botanical introduction of Coffea

In botany the coffee tree classifies as a bush. The plant can grow up to 6m in height and it will give crop on its 3-5th year. The leaves are sinewy, oblong, sturdy, leathery and dark green. Young leaves can also be green or bronzed¹º. The blooms are white and grow in clusters, their shape and smell resembles to the one of jasmine blooms. For C. arabica it takes 6-9 months for the blooms to turn into berries and for C. canephora 9-11 months (for comparison: it takes 11-12 months for C. excelsa and 12-14 months for C. liberica). Of course the exact time depends on variety, climate, growing height, type of the shadowing and many other conditions. From the botanic point of view the coffee tree produces drupes¹¹ not berries. Nevertheless, coffee berries are called coffee cherries due to their resemblance to cherries¹². Each coffee cherry has two, sometimes only one, seed or peaberry¹³. Processed coffee seeds are usually called coffee beans. One hectare can hold approximately 2500-3300 C. arabica coffee trees, but only 1250-2220 C. canephora plants. By the way, one C. arabica tree produces approximately 1,4-2,5kg of coffee berries in a year. Real output depends on the variety, condition of the plantation, its type and the denity of plants. On an average, the plantations of C. arabica give approximately 600kg of coffee berries per hectare and from 100kg of coffee berries it is possible to get only 19kg of green  coffee beans.

C. arabica originates from the Ethiopian highlands, from areas between 1300-2200m in height, which means that such heights are a natural habitat for C. arabica and the fruits of the plant cultivated on suitable heights taste better. C. canephora, on the other hand, originates from tropical central and maritime parts of West Africa, from heights below 1000m above sea level. So generally C. canephora is grown on heights between 0 to 600m above sea level, as the plant prefers a warmer environment compared to C. arabica.

C. arabica grows in two climate zones: in subtropics and tropics. Between the latitudes of 16-24° in subtropics exists a clearly distinguishable rainy and dry season, growing heights are rather moderate, circa 600-1200m above sea level. Such climate allows blooming on a rainy season and ripening and harvesting on a dry and cool fall-winter season. Best coffee verieties in subtropical zone grow far from vast water bodies. Dry season, allowing drying the coffee on the fields without rushing, gives coffee of greater fullness and of lower or medium acidity. In tropical zone (lower than 10°), the growing heights stay between 1200-2100 (2500)m above sea level. This results in major temperature variations, especially in higher areas and also sunlight of greater intenseness. Frequent rain causes almost constant blooming, therefore giving two harvesting seasons. Main harvesting period will be determined on the basis of heavier monsoon, the other according to a period of lesser rain, both last approximately 4-5 months. Great growing heights give coffee of good quality and high acidity. In colder areas the ripening of the berries will be late and irregular. If the temperature drops under 4°C, the plant might suffer injuries or die. In hot and moist conditions blooms die massively, therefore resulting in low crop capacity with inferior quality.

C. canephora is a coffee plant grown on tropical lowlands (below latitude 10°) up to heigh of 1000m above sea level. C. canephora plants bear high temperatures and greater moisture better than the ones of C. arabica. However, they are more sensitive towards cold.

All species of Coffea are diploids, meaning they have 11 pairs of chromosomes¹⁴ in one cell, except for C. arabica, which uniquely has 11 quadruple sets of chromosomes, making it a tetraploid. The main difference between di- and tetraploid lies in the fact that the cells of a tetraploidal plant are bigger as they contain more compounds and more solid matter. Therefore the water content of tetraploidal cells is also larger. The bigger number of chromosomes in tetraploidal cells also means that these plants contain two times more genetical information than usual, therefore giving the breeders more opportunities for experimentation and breeding compared to diploids. The mutation and breeding of the plant are also affected by the fact if the plant is self-pollinating or cross pollinating. Cross pollinating plant, like C. canephora, becomes impregnated only by the plant next to it, whereas the self-pollinating plant, like C. arabica, does not need other plant for that. In case of cross pollination the other plant may also be of other species or varieties, creating greater opportunities for creating mutations and breeding.

Seeds of C. canephora are usually small, round, with slightly sharp tips and tawny in color. Seeds of C. arabica are usually bigger than those of C. canephora (it might be caused by the number of chromosomes in the cell) and oval, with one side completely flat or concave and green or glaucous in color. Color depth (darkness and blueness) depends of the growing height. The higher ground the bluer the seed. Color of the seed is also dependent of air density – the higher the ground, the thinner the air and the darker and bluer the seeds. Thus the tawny color of the seeds of C. canephora is a result of low growing heights, where the air is denser and seed lighter. The deeper the color, the heavier the structure and vice versa.

5. General distinctions between C. arabica and C. canephora

Below I have drawn a table featuring main differences between C. arabica and C. canephora: (I also added two similar tables, drawn up by Illy and ICO, in the appendixes.)


Title C. arabica C. canephora
Chromosomes (2n) 44 22
Pollination of plant self pollinating cross pollinating
Time from blooming to ripening 9 months 10 – 11 months
Blooming after rain irregularly
Trees per 1ha (on an average) 2500-3300 trees 1250-2500 trees
Productivity (ha) 1500 – 3000kg 2300 – 4000kg
Root system deep low
Average temperature 18 – 22°C 22 – 28°C
Rainfall in a year 1400 – 2000mm 2000 – 2500mm
Altitude 800 – 2500m 0 – 700m
Caffeine content 0,8 – 1,4% 1,7 – 4,0%
Taste qualities sweet, berryish woody, bitter, plump
Seeds big, oval, green tiny, stubby, yellowish

Part II:

6. List of species of coffee or Coffea

1) C. abeokutae

2) C. affinis – a hybrid of C. stenophylla and C. liberica.

3) C. ambongensis

4) C. anthonyi – was discovered from the periphery of Southeast Cameroon and North Congo. The plant has tiny leaves. Its caffeine content is 0,62% and content of chlorogenic acid is 4,65%.

5) C. arabica – Arabic coffee. (read part one of given paper)

6) C. arabusta – C. arabica+C. canephora – sometimes considered to be simply a variety. Arabustas are type F1 hybrids cultivated on the coast of Cote d’Ivoire and it can mainly be found in Africa.

7) C. arnoldiana

8 ) C. aruwimiensis

9) C. augagneuri – allegedly caffeine-free species containing a substance called cafemarin, which makes its seeds unfit for consumption. The species originates from the Comoro Islands or Madagascar.

10) C. bengalensis – a Bengalian coffee.

11) C. bertrandi

12) C. bissetiae

13) C. boinensis

14) C. bonnieri – allegedly caffeine-free species containing a substance called cafemarin, which makes its seeds unfit for consumption. The species originates from the Comoro Islands or Madagascar.

15) C. brevipes

16) C. canephora – a „Robusta“ coffee. (read part one of given paper)

17) C. charrieriana – caffeine-free coffee originating from Cameroon and discovered in year 1983. This is the first known naturally caffeine-free coffee. It originates from the territory of Bakoss Forest Reserve in the Southwest region of Cameroon. The plant got its name after Professor A. Charrier, who led the coffee breeding research in IRD for the last 30 years of the 20th century.

18) C. congensis – a Congo coffee. Was discovered in the watershed of the Congo River during 1880-1900.

19) C. costatifructa

20) C. dewevrei – Excelsa coffee.

21) C. dolichopylla

22) C. dybowskii

23) C. eketensis

24) C. eugenioides var. kivuensis

25) C. excelsea – a Liberian coffee. Discovered in 1905 by A. Chevalier in West Africa, in the region of Char River, near Lake Chad. The plant has dark green leaves; its blossoms are big and white, berries short and wide and seeds smaller than those of C. canephora. The caffeine content of C. excelsa is high. C. excelsa is closely related to C. liberica. It originates from the wooded country of Central and West Africa. According to Ukers it is one of the varieties of C. liberica.

26) C. farafanganensis

27) C. fedanii

28) C. gallienii – allegedly caffeine-free species containing a substance called cafemarin, which makes its seeds unfit for consumption. The species originates from the Comoro Islands or Madagascar.

29) C. heterocalyx

30) C. humblotiana

31) C. humilis

32) C. kapakata

33) C. khasiana

34) C. labatii

35) C. lamboray

36) C. laurentii

37) C. laurentii gillet

38) C. liberica – var’s. Liberica, Dewevrei, Excelsa, Dybowskii a Liberian coffee. C. liberica was discovered in Sierra Leone in 1792 and Liberia in 1841. Approximately in 1875 the Dutch took C. liberica to Indonesia. Generally, C. liberica originates from the lowlands of the coast of West Africa. C. liberica is a very high plant, which grows up to 5-10m in height and which can be found mostly in Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and West Africa. The plant gives big berries and seeds. The beans are oblong, sharp on the ends, and tawny in color. Its flesh is thick, making it hard to process. Leaves are big, the size of about 4 palms, and resinous. Kape Baraco originates from the Philippines and is one of the varieties of C. liberica. The taste is considered to be poorer than the one of C. canephora’s.

39) C. liberica „Koto“

40) C. ligustroides

41) C. macrocarpa

42) C. madagascarensis

43) C. madurensis

44) C. magnistipula

45) C. mascarenes

46) C. mauritiana – originates from Bourbon Island. The first one to describe it was Lamarck in 1783.

47) C. millotii

48) C. mogeneti – allegedly caffeine-free species containing a substance called cafemarin, which makes its seeds unfit for consumption. The species originates from the Comoro Islands or Madagascar.

49) C. mufindiensis

50) C. namorokensis

51) C. pervilleana

52) C. perrieri

53) C. pocsii

54) C. pseudozanguebariae – was discovered in the borderlands of Kenya and Tanzania. The plant has thin leaves; its berries are purplish black. It is a caffeine-free species.

55) C. pterocarpa

56) C. racemosa – someone called de Loureiro picked it up in 1790 in Mozambique. According to Illy the berries ripen within 3 months.

57) C. resinosa (Coffea swynertonii)

58) C. sakarahae

59) C. salvatrix

60) C. schumanniana

61) C. sessiliflora

62) C. sp. „Mayombe“

63) C. sp. „Moloundou“

64) C. sp. „Ngongo 2“

65) C. sp. „Ngongo“

66) C. sp. Heterocalyx

67) C. sp.“ Nkoumbala“

68) C. stenophylla – was discovered in 1840s in Sierra Leone. Its berries are purple, leaves narrow and sharp on the end. As to its taste qualities and productivity it resembles C. arabica. The main weakness of C. stenophylla is the time it needs for the crop to ripen, which is much longer than the one of C. arabica.

69) C. tetrandra

70) C. zanguebariae

71) C. wanni rukula

72) C. wightiana

73) P. (Psilanhtus¹⁵) mannii

74) P. ebracteolatus

75) P. travancorensis

7. List and descriptions of varieties of C. arabica

1)         Acaiá – a hybrid of Mundo Novo from Brazil. The plant has big leaves and berries. Its main shortages are sensibility towards various coffee diseases and bug attacks. Acaiá is a rather rare variety.

2)         Agaro – a coffee variety originating from Ethiopia.

3)         Alghe – a coffee variety originating from Ethiopia.

4)         Amarella/Amarello – its berries are yellow as the variety name also refers. Amarella is not a common plant.

5)         Amarello de Botocatu – a sub-variety of Typica with yellow berries. Might be identical to Amarello.

6)         Angustifolia – originates from the plantation of P. J. S. Cramer¹⁶. The plant has narrow leaves, oblong berries and its productivity is quite low.

7)         Apoatà -

8)         Arabigo – a natural mutation of Typica, which can be found in South- and Latin America.

9)         Arla – is an Indonesian hybrid of C. canephora and C. arabica.

10)       Arusha – a sub-variety of Bourbon originating from Papua New Guinea.

11)       Barbuk Sudan – was discovered in 1940s in Boma plateau in Sudan (Ethiopia).

12)       Bedesa -

13)       Bergendal – a sub-variety of Typica. One of the few that managed to survive the Leaf Rust epidemic in Indonesia in 1880s.

14)       Blawan Paumah – a sub-variety of Typica originating from Sumatra, also grown in the eastern parts of Java.

15)       Blue Mountain (Jamaica Blue Mountain) – is claimed to be a mix of Typica and various other varieties. Originally was grown in Jamaican Blue Mountains. Over time people started to call it after its place of origin or Blue Mountain. Now it is being cultivated too on Kona Island in Hawaii, where it is known under the name Guatemala. Genetically these two are undistinguishable. Beginning from 1913 it is being cultivated also in West Kenya (in other parts of Kenya the variety didn’t begin to grow). Blue Mountain is resistant to coffee berry disease and capable of growing on great heights. Nevertheless, it is not capable of acclimatizing in all climate conditions and keeps the high taste qualities irrespective of location.

16)       Bogor Prada – a hybrid of C. arabica and C. canephora. Originates from Indonesia.

17)       Bourbon (French Mission) – a natural mutation of Typica, originates from Bourbon island (nowadays called Réunion, since 1848), where the Frenchmen planted it in 1708. The plant was brought in from Yemen (according to some sources it was acquired from the Dutch. There is also a possibility that this plant originates from Yemen and was passed on by the Dutch). Bourbon is also known under the name French Mission after the French missionaries who brought the coffee variety from the island to the East African mainland in 1897. Bourbon’s productivity is 20-30% higher compared to Typica, but it is nevertheless considered to be a variety with small productivity compared to other common coffee plants. Bourbon is less conical of shape than Typica but has more secondary branches. The angle of secondary branches towards the trunk is smaller and the arrangement of branches is side by side or close. Leaves are wide and fluctuant on the edges. Berries are rather small and thick and stand in clusters in intervals of one knob. They ripen quickly and will drop easily in the periods of strong wind and rain. The berries can also be: red, yellow or pink, according to the sub-variety. Red, yellow and pink Bourbon are varieties with natural mutations of one recessive gene. Color of the berry is affected by the mentioned gene. The best coffee quality is achieved when the plant’s growing ground stays in the range of 1050-2000m above sea level. Bourbon is known for its complex acidity and wonderful balance. Fullness is low. According to Willem boot, the acidity of Bourbon is intense and aftertaste winy and sweet. Bourbon grown in highlands is said to include always some floral aroma.

1.       Red Bourbon (red) -

2.       Yellow Bourbon – is it thought to have arisen as a result of crossing of Amarello de Botocatu and red Bourbon. Yellow Bourbon originates from Brazil.

3.       Pink Bourbon -

4.       Bourbon Pointu -

18)       Bugishu – common in Uganda.

19)       Bullata – originates from the plantation of P. J. S. Cramer. Has wide leaves with wavy edges. Branches are thick, stiff and fragile. Berries are rich in flesh and often with empty seeds.

20)       C387 -

21)       Castillo (F10) – considered to be high quality Colombia (sub-variety of Colombia) and it has become the most grown coffee variety in Columbia.

22)       Catimor – hybrid of Hibrido de Timor and Caturra that was bred in 1959 in Portugal. Breeding gave a plant with high productivity and resistance towards coffee berry disease and leaf rust, which was the main goal of the scientists. Berries ripen early but in order to guarantee high productivity the plant needs correct fertilizing and shading. In low growth heights there is little or no sensory difference between Catimor and other C. arabica varieties. Distinction in taste comes to the fore when the plants are planted higher than 1200m above sea level. In such case Caturra, Bourbon and CatuaÍ have better taste qualities than Catimor. The plant was introduced in Brazil in 1970. Some years later it was widely spread in Latin America by „experts“. Later it appeared that this variety lacks the quality needed for wider marketing, leaving many farmers growing Catimor in great difficulties. In Indonesia, Catimor has a short life span – around 10 years. Its branch is ramified similarly to C. canephora plants. Acidity features often some bitterness, astringency and somewhat salty aftertaste.

1.       Catimor T-8667 – is a rather short plant with very big berries and seeds.

2.       Catimor T-5269 – a strong plant that adapts well on growing heights between 600-900m above sea level with rainfall more than 3000mm per annum.

3.       Catimor T-5175 – is a productive and robust plant that doesn’t tolerate very low and very high growing conditions.

23)       Catisic – „variety“ of Catimor in El Salvador.

24)       Catrenic – „variety“ of Catimor in Nicaragua. Growing begin from 1980s.

25)       CatuaÍ – a hybrid of Mundo Novo and yellow Caturra originating from Brazil from late 1940s. Forms ca 50% of all the coffee varieties grown in the country. The plant is low in height, wherefore it is considered to be a dwarf. It is very resistant towards elemental forces like strong wind and rain as its berries will not drop easily. Other branches form an acute angle in relation to the stem. CatuaÍ is a plant of high productivity and it can be planted very closely. For best results it needs sufficient and correct fertilization and care. It is widely spread in Latin America. Berries can be red or yellow. It is a common opinion that there is no difference in taste of the seeds from yellow and red berries, but some sources¹⁷ claim the taste qualities of yellow CatuaÍ to be lower, as the coffee cools down, the aftertaste acquires unclean mouthfeel reminding petroleum, as red CatuaÍ preserves the purity of its taste.

The most stable taste quality is its sweetness, which is mainly dependent on fertilization. Right fertilization gives greater sweetness. Natural compost also intensifies the sweetness and improves the overall taste.

1.       CatuaÍ Amarelo (yellow) -

2.       CatuaÍ Vermelho (red) -

3.       CatuaÍ 8 -

4.       CatuaÍ 10 -

26)       CatucaÍ -

27)       Caturra – a mutation of Bourbon discovered in Brazil, near town called Caturra in 1937. Originally it was grown in Minas Gerais region in Brazil, later Caturra was spread all over the Latin America. Caturra has high productivity (it tops the productivity of Bourbon by 200kg /ha and in good conditions even by more than two tons per hectare) and good quality but it needs constant care, trimming and fertilizing. It can be planted very closely, up to 10 000 trees per 1 ha (usually 6000 trees per ha). The plant is short, with stout trunk and has many secondary branches. Due to its small growth it is considered to be a dwarf. Caturra has big leaves with wavy edges. It acclimatizes well with various surroundings but best results are achieved at 800m, with average rainfall of 2500-3500mm. Greater heights raise the taste quality but reduce its productivity. Today, Caturra is most common in Columbia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, but not in Brazil, its country of origin. Caturra is a coffee with rich acidity, with top notes of citrus fruits and orange, low to medium fullness and with less purity and sweetness compared to Bourbon. Acidity increases with greater heights.

1.       Caturra Amareloberries of yellow Caturra might ripen faster than those of red Caturra, also its ripe berries drop down earlier that those of red Caturra. Yellow color is caused by recessive gene. Its taste quality is considered to be a bit weaker compared to red Caturra.

2. Caturra Velmelho -

3.       Caturra „Lerdo“ – A mutation discovered recently in Costa Rica. Taste quality is low.

28)       Cauvery – claimed to be a sub-variety of Catimor in India. Locals started to grow it from the late 1980s.

29)       Cepac 1 – is a local bred hybrid in Bolivia that is suitable for low growing conditions of about 400/500m above sea level. Cepac varieties were created in 2005 by the CEPAC institution, being one branch of the Brazilian National Botanics Development Centre. These varieties were created for distribution amongst poor locals and indigenious so they could start their own coffee plantations and improve their economic situation.

30)       Cepac 2

31)       Cepac 3

32)       Cera – originates from Brazil.

33)       Chickumalgu – is a natural Indian mutation of Typica.

34)       Colombia (Variedad Colombia) – is a variety bred from Catimor in Columbia in 1985. The variety was bred to fight different diseases and to increase productivity. During the last twenty years, Colombia has been the breeding base for different sub-varietie – F1-F10. The sort gives both red and yellow berries. Despite the high acidity they usually lack of strong sweetness and purity in taste.

35)       Columnaris – originates from the plantation of P. J. S. Cramer and is a very robust plant. It can grow up to 7,5m in height. Leaves are round. Productivity is low and it grows in a very dry environment.

36)       Costa Rica 95 – originates from Costa Rica.

37)       Creole – a Latin American mutation of Typica.

38)       Criollo/Criolla – a natural mutation of Typica common in Peru, Bolivia and Columbia. Allegedly in some South and Latin American states Typica is called Criollo.

39)       Coorg – was grown in India in 1870s.

40)       Dalle – is a variety considered by Wintgens to be a  „spontaneous accession“.  The variety originates from Ethiopia and it was spread in Tanzania, Kenya, Kivu and India during 1930-1955. Here we are talking about seeds gathered from individual trees whose descendants go through changes on genetical level and form a separate so called variety.

41)       Deiga/Dega – is a variety of Ethiopian origin.

42)       Devamachy – is an Indian hybrid of C. canephora and C. arabica discovered in 1930s.

43)       Di-haploid -

44)       Dilla – is a variety considered by Wintgens to be a „spontaneous accession“.  The variety originates from Ethiopia and it was spread in Tanzania, Kenya, Kivu and India during 1930-1955. Here we are talking about seeds gathered from individual trees whose descendants go through changes on genetical level and form a separate so called variety.

45)       Ennarea - is a variety considered by Wintgens to be a „spontaneous accession“.  The variety originates from Ethiopia and it was spread in Tanzania, Kenya, Kivu and India during 1930-1955. Here we are talking about seeds gathered from individual trees whose descendants go through changes on genetical level and form a separate so called variety.

46)       Erecta – originates from the plantation of P. J. S. Cramer and nowadays is common in Indonesia and Kenya. Erecta is stronger than other variety of C. arabica, but similar in terms of productivity. Suitable for areas with strong winds.

47)       Essaii -

48)       E-238 -

49)       E-536 -

50)       ET-5 -

51)       ET-6 -

52)       ET-12 -

53)       ET-18 -

54)       ET-32B -

55)       ET-52 -

56)       ET-59 -

57)       Garica -

58)       Garnica – a variety similar to CatuaÍ in Mexico, a hybrid of Mundo Novo and yellow Caturra.

59)       Garundang – a natural mutation of Typica in Sumatra.

60)       Geisha/Gesha – a very rare variety that was rediscovered in Panama in 2005. In 1931, a British ambassador of that time picked (probably from different coffee trees) a bunch of coffee berries in the southwest part of Ethiopia, near a town called Geisha¹⁸ to use them in his research. In 1932, the seeds were exported to Kenya to Kitale centre under the name of Abyssinia or Geisha. In 1936, the sprouts from Geisha seeds were sent to Kwanda station in Uganda and Lyamungu station in Tanzania. In 1953 (1956), the Geisha seeds were sent from Tanzania to Costa Rica CATIE centre¹⁹ where the attempts to grow Geisha began. In 1963, first Geisha seeds were brought from Costa Rica to Panama by a man called Don Pachi Serracin. Original attempts to grow Geisha in Panama and Costa Rica were aborted as the plant gave poor taste qualities. Later it appeared that the bad taste quality was caused by too low growing altitude.

Geisha is considered to be a coffee with „the most brilliantly complex and intense flavor profile of all“²º. Nowadays, Geisha is mainly grown in Panama and Costa Rica. Best quality is achieved when the growing height goes above 1500m, but for the perfect taste, the height has to be quite punctual. Trees are high and rarefied. Leaves are oblong and narrow. Oblong are also berries and seeds. Geisha is considered to be a plant of low productivity. It is resistant towards leaf rust and also a fungus called Ojo de Gallo. During roasting, Geisha is claimed to act similar to Harrar coffee of Ethiopian origin. After the first crack it tends to roast quickly, therefore it is recommended to roast it on medium heat in the first phase of roasting. Geisha has rich and sweet, extremely pure taste and intensive aroma of berries, citrus fruits, mango, papaya or peach. Stumptown describes Geisha as following: „To date, it is the champion of coffee varietals“²º.

61)       Gimma – is a variety considered by Wintgens to be a „spontaneous accession“.  The variety originates from Ethiopia and it was spread in Tanzania, Kenya, Kivu and India during 1930-1955. Here we are talking about seeds gathered from individual trees whose descendants go through changes on genetical level and form a separate so called variety.

62)       Goiaba -

63)       Guatemala -

64)       Harrar -

65)       Hibrido de Timor (HdT) – a natural hybrid of C. arabica and C. canephora, discovered in 1920s in Timor. The name Hibrido de Timor is used in South and Latin America. In Indonesia, the variety is known as Tim Tim or Bor Bor. The variety is cultivated mainly for its good resistance towards leaf rust. Hibrido de Timor has found extensive use in different breeding projects with the purpose to breed sorts with higher resistance towards leaf rust. For example: Catimor, Sarchimor in Brazil, Ruiru 11 in Kenya, Colombia in Columbia and Costa Rica 95 in Costa Rica. They all lack of good taste qualities due to their C. canephora genes. In 1950s, it was planned to replace all other varieties of C. arabica in Timor with Hibrido de Timor.

66)       IAPAR 95 – is a sub-variety of Sarchimor in Brazil, released in 1993 by IAPAR.

67)       ICAFE 95 – is a sub-variety of Catimor in Costa Rica. Growing of this sub-variety began in 1995.

68)       Icatú – is a hybrid bred in Brazil. During the breeding a hybrid of Bourbon and Robusta was crossed with different varieties of C.arabica, like Caturra and Mundo Novo. It is known that the plant existed already in 1985, but its official vintage year is 1993. Icatú is a high tree with big berries. Favorable growing height begins on 800m above sea level. It is highly resistant towards the leaf rust disease. Its crop is 30-50% larger compared to Mundo Novo.  Icatú is considered to be a capable variety as in 2008 it figured in Cup of Excellence. Typical taste qualities are: low acidity, medium to high body and sweetness resembling to dark chocolate.

69)       IHCAFE 90 – is a variety of Catimor in Honduras. Growing began in the early 1980s.

70)       Jackson – is a sub-variety of Bourbon, grown in Rwanda and Burundi.

71)       Jamaique -

72)       Java – has gotten its name after Java Island. P. J. S. Cramer brought a selection of varieties of C. arabica in 1928 from Ethiopia to Java Island. Later the descendants of those varieties were taken to Cameroon. The seeds and berries of Java are oblong. Young leaves are bronzed. In Cameroon conditions it gives 1,5-2 tons of coffee per 1 ha, whereas Caturra and Mundo Novo give only 1 ton of coffee per 1 ha in same conditions.

73)       Javanica -

74)       Jember (S795) – look S795.

75)       K 7 – is a coffee variety bred in Kenya similar to SL²¹ varieties. K 7 was bred of two French Mission coffee trees from Muhoron Legetet plantation. The plant has narrow leaves with coppery tips. During its first years the plant displayed strong resistance towards the leaf rust disease. Second and third generations were resistant towards any diseases. The taste quality puts K 7 rather in Ruiru 11 class.

76)       K 20 – was bred in Kenya from high growing French Mission trees in Kiambu Kentmere plantations. The purpose of breeding was to raise the taste qualities but the plant was highly receptive to coffee berry disease.

77)       Kaffa - is a variety considered by Wintgens to be a „spontaneous accession“.  The variety originates from Ethiopia and it was spread in Tanzania, Kenya, Kivu and India during 1930-1955. Here we are talking about seeds gathered from individual trees whose descendants go through changes on genetical level and form a separate so called variety.

78)       Kalimas – is a hybrid of C. arabica and C. liberica, created after the great orange leaf rust epidemic that ravaged in the second half of 19th century in Indonesia.

79)       Kartika – grows in Indonesia.

80)       Kawisari – is another hybrid of C. arabica and C. liberica, created after the great orange leaf rust epidemic in the second half of 19th century in Indonesia.

81)       Kent – according to one source, Kent is a natural mutation of Typica discovered in India. According to others it was bred in Kenya in 1911. During the breeding different varieties of Tanganyika were used from Mysore, India. From 1920 Kent was planted widely in India. In 1934, Kent was planted to Meru in Kenya. Sort has high productivity and partial resistance towards the leaf rust disease.

82)       Kenya Selected (K.S.) – in the middle of 1920s, A.D. Trench used French Mission (Bourbon) coffee to breed a variety called Kenya Selected. A.D. Trench was a coffee officer of the colonial government. Later he introduced in addition to Trench Kenya Selected also varieties called „Series A“ and „Series B“.

83)       K.S. Series  A – resistant to cold and hot climate conditions.

84)       K.S. Series B – resistance qualities resemble to Harrar of Ethiopian origin.

85)       Kona – a hybrid of Typica, grows on the islands of Hawaii.

86)       Kubure -

87)       Kurumè/Kurumia -

88)       Laurina – according to P. J. S. Cramer it is a hybrid of C. arabica and C. mauritiana. Originates from the plantation of P.J.S. Cramer in Bagelan from the early 1900s. The plant has small and narrow leaves and berries and seeds are also narrow and oblong. According to Wintgens Laurina or Bourbon Pointu originates from Réunion. Laurina is a sub-variety of Bourbon with recessive gene mutation, which gives this variety very low caffeine concentration (0,6%). Laurina is a plant with low productivity.

89)       Lempira – considered being a sub-variety of Catimor in Honduras.

90)       Machacamarca –  a hybrid of Typica or a Bolivian name for Typica.

91)       Maracatu(ra) – a Brazilian hybrid of Maragogype and Caturra. It can mainly be found in Brazil, El Salvador and Nicaragua. It has big leaves and berries. In terms of taste Maracatura has strong and with diverse mature fruity acidity.

92)       Maragogype/Maragogipe – a mutation of Typica, which was discovered in Brazil in Maragojipe region of Bahia state. Maragogype is a big and high plant with very big leaves. Its berries and seeds are at least twice the size of a normal coffee berries/seeds. Despite its size, the plant has a low productivity. Maragogype acclimatizes the best in heights of 600-750m above sea level. The plant is spread all over Latin America, but it is most common in Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico. Maragogype can have a havy body in mouthfeel and citrusy and flowery in taste. Taste qualities of Maragogype are often unstable.

93)       Mayaguez – a sub-variety of Bourbon, grown in Rwanda and Burundi. Also known under the name of Bourbon Mayaguez.

94)       Menosperma – originating from the plantation of P. J. S. Cramer. A plant with narrow leaves with downwards bent branches. Berries usually don’t have above one seed.

95)       Mibirizi – a sub-variety of Bourbon, grown in Rwanda and Burundi.

96)       Mocha – (some sources have mentioned it as a separate variety) originates from Yemen and is one of the oldest coffee varieties known. It’s a short tree with small berries and leaves; same can be said of its productivity.

97)       Mokka (Moka/Mocha) – a mutation of Typica. Grown in Brazil and Hawaii. At some time it was considered to be a species, but actually it is just another C. arabica variety, as the plant has four pairs of chromosomes (as common to C. arabica plants).

98)       Mundo Novo – is a natural hybrid of sub-variety of Typica – Sumatra and Bourbon, which was originally discovered in 1940s in Brazil by Instituto Agronômico de Campinase. The plant is strong and resistant to diseases. Productivity of Mundo Novo is high (about 30% higher compared to Bourbon) but the berries ripen a bit later than other varieties´ average. Its best growing heights are between 1050-1670m, with rainfall of 1200-1800mm per annum. Mundo Novo is common amidst Brazilian coffee cultivators, forming ca 40% of all grown coffee varieties. Its taste often lacks sweetness and there might be some sense of bitterness. Rich fertilization and adding nutrients might improve the taste qualities. However, Stephen Leighton describes its taste qualities as sweet, with intense fullness and low acidity.

99)       Murta/Mirta – originates from the plantation of P. J. S. Cramer. Plant has small leaves and is resistant towards fierce cold.

100)      N 39 – a sub-variety of Bourbon in Tanzania.

101)      Nemaya -

102)      Obata – was released in 2000 by IAC.

103)      „Old Chiks“ – a variety grown in India in 1800s.

104)      Oro Azteca – considered being a subspecies of Catimor in Mexico.

105)      Ouro Verde – another hybrid of Mundo Novo and red CatuaÍ, released in 2000 in Brazil.

106)      Pacaiá – originates from Guatemala.

107)      Pacamara – a hybrid of Pacas and Maragogype, which was bred in 1958 in El Salvadoris. Size of the bean comes from Maragogype meaning it is very big. The taste qualities of Pacamara improve in greater growing heights. Its taste profile can be outstandingly good with dominating sweet citrus flavor and well balanced taste, sometimes revealing some flowery notes.

108)      Pacas – a mutation of Bourbon or a hybrid of Caturra and Bourbon. It was discovered in El Salvador in 1949 by a man called Pacas. The productivity of Pacas is rather good in higher growing grounds and it resists diseases better than Bourbon. The taste profile of Pacas shows usually elevated acidity and medium body.

109)      Pache Colis – was discovered in Mataquescuintla in a farm of Guatemala where Caturra and Pache Comum were cultivated. Coffee berries are very big and leaves with a robust texture. The plant has a partial resistance towards phoma (common soil fungus). It usually grows up to 0.8-1.25m in height and has second and third grade branches. Pache Colis acclimatizes well on growing heights between 900-1830m above sea level within temperature range of 20-21°C.

110)      Pache Comum – a natural mutation of Typica, which was originally discovered in Guatemala in farms of El Brito, Santa Cruz Naranjo and Santa Rosa. Pache Comum acclimatizes well on growing heights between 1050-1680m. Its taste is usually described as mild or plain.

111)      Pache Enano – is an especially small plant originating from Guatemala.

112)      PDRY-7 -

113)      PDRY-14 -

114)      PDRY-15 -

115)      PDRY-22 -

116)      Pluma Hidalgo – is a natural mutation of Typica, originates from Sumatra.

117)      Pointu – is a mutant of Bourbon, which produces coffee with low caffeine content. It was thought to be extinct for a long period of time but was recently rediscovered in an island of Réunion.

118)      Polysperma (Medano coffee) – is a variety with berries usually with six to eight seeds (polysperma – polyspermous).

119)      Purpurescens – originates from the plantation of P. J. S. Cramer and is a variety with red leaves and lower productivity compared to other varieties of C. arabica. According to Wintgens the plant has purple leaves.

120)      Rasuna a hybrid of Catimor and Typica, originates from Indonesia. It is a new variety and it is being planted to Takengon region in Sumatra. Tree itself is tall with small and oblong leaves. The best quality is guaranteed when Rasuna is planted on growing heights between 1100-1300m above sea level.

121)      Ruiru 11 (R 11) – This Kenyan dwarf variety was created in 1985, in Coffee Research Station, which was established in 1949, in Ruiru city. Ruiru 11 was meant to be a variety resistant towards the leaf rust and coffee berry disease but to also give good quality and productivity. Ruiru 11 is a gene mix of different sorts: Rume Sudan, HdT, K7, Caimor, SL28. Later the result was combined with SL 28 and SL 34-ga in order to improve the taste qualities. Unfortunately the experiment did not give any results due to dominant Robusta genes from Hibrido de Timor. In 1986, Ruiru 11 was made available to coffee growers.

122)      Rume Sudan – is a sub-variety of Typica originating from Boma plateau in the southeastern part of Sudan (Ethiopia) and which was discovered in 1940s. In Africa, Rume Sudan is known as being resistant towards coffee berry disease. It has leaves with coppery tips.

123)      S.4 – a variety from Ethiopia.

124)      S.12 – a variety from Ethiopia.

125)      S26 – is a hybrid of C. arabica and C. liberica created in Doobla region in India. This hybrid was created after the great leaf rust epidemic that ravaged in the second half of 19th century in Indonesia.

126)      S228 – is a spontaneous hybrid of C. arabica and C. liberica.

127)      S795 (Jember) – was bred by Indian botanists from Kent and S228 in 1946. S795 has a SH3 gene which probably originates from C. liberica. This variety is called Jember by Indonesian farmers as it was first introduced to them by the members of Jember Coffee Research Center. The center was located in the second biggest city, Surabaya, in Indonesia, in eastern part of Java. S795 is being widely grown in India and Indonesia. Tasters attribute the Jember the taste of maple syrup, caramel and brown sugar.

128)      San Ramón – a natural mutation of Typica from Brazil.

129)      São Bernando – a natural mutation of Typica from Brazil.

130)      Sarchimor – a hybrid of Villasarchi and Hibrido de Timori. Grows in India and Costa Rica. Thanks to its ascendant, Hibrido de Timor, the plant is resistant towards leaf rust disease and berry borer.

131)      Semperflorens – was discovered in Brazil in 1934. The variety has a genetic background of Bourbon, which blooms all year round.

132)      Sinde -

133)      SL 1 – was created from the first variety of Kenya Selected generation. This variety is hypersensitive towards hostile environment.

134)      SL 2 – a sort originating from a tree in Wispers plantation near Nairobi. Similarly to Harrar the variety has leaves with coppery tips but smaller berries.

135)      SL 3 – was bred from a plant of French Mission from Ona plantation in Solai region. SL3 is rather alike to SL2. Both varieties have low productivity and are hypersensitive towards leaf rust disease. SL3 has lower taste qualities as its ascendant French Mission.

136)      SL 6 – a variety bred from one Kent tree, which has medium wide leaves with coppery tips. Due to its high productivity, SL6 was a big favorite of Scot Laboratory while they were testing the plantations.

137)      SL 9 – origin unknown. Coppery leaves indicate that the variety has been influenced by Columnaris, which was brought in from Puerto Rico in 1920s. The productivity of the variety is good on medium growing heights but the plant is highly sensitive towards coffee berry disease.

138)      SL 10 – originates from Harrar. Has higher productivity than its ascendants but it didn’t give the quality it was supposed to.

139)      SL 14 – originates from D.R. II. Seemingly this variety is resistant towards dry conditions and with high productivity on low heights. SL14 gave round seeds similar to Bourbon and also preferred. On low growing heights SL14 became extremely receptive towards coffee berry disease.

140)      SL 17 -

141)      SL 18 -

142)      SL 19 -

143)      SL 20 -

144)      SL 26 – is a cross of the sprouts of the first generation of SL3.  SL26 has small leaves with green tips, referring to some influence by Bourbon. SL26 was good on low growing heights.

145)      SL 28 – was bred in 1931 from Tanganyika D.R (look variety No. 137) and it has become a variety with uniquely high quality. It has wide leaves with coppery tips. Beans are wide and productivity relatively low. The plant shows some influence from Ethiopian and Sudan coffee vaireties. Some sources say that the botanists of Scot Laboratory examined the mutations of French Mission, Mocha and Yemen Typica and bred them into SL 28. Originally their goal was to create a plant with high quality, high productivity and great resistance towards diseases. By taste qualities SL28 is the best of all SL cultivars. SL 28 taste is described to be intensively citrusy, sweet, with balanced taste and multi-layered aroma.

146)      SL 34 – is a mutation of French Mission, originating from the plantation of Loresho in Kabete. It has wide leaves with bronzy tips. As to its looks it resembles the variety of Kenya Selected. SL 34 is valued for its high productivity in different climate conditions and great height ranges. It is also claimed to be resistant towards draught and strong rainfall. SL34 taste is defined by complex acidity, heavy body and sweet and clear aftertaste. Unfortunately its taste quality is lower than the one of SL28. Both SL28 and SL34 are considered to be the best cultivars in SL family.

147)      SL 59 -

148)      Sumatra -

149)      Tabi -

150)      Tafari-Kela – is a variety considered by Wintgens to be a „spontaneous accession“.  The variety originates from Ethiopia and it was spread in Tanzania, Kenya, Kivu and India during 1930-1955. Here we are talking about seeds gathered from individual trees whose descendants go through changes on genetical level and form a separate so called variety.

151)      Tanganyika Drought Resistant (D.R.) – A.D. Trench examined coffee trees with leaves with bronzy tips during his trip through the Mondul region in North Tanganyika. These plants were more resistant towards dry conditions and various diseases than other varieties of C. arabica growing in the area. Its productivity was lower than the one of Bourbon. Tanganyika D.R. was taken as a basis of two bred varieties of Tanganyika – „D.R. I“ and D.R. II“. Tanganyika was named after the county where it was discovered. Tanganyika D.R. I and II was used later by Scot Laboratory for breeding further cultivars.

152)      Tanganyika D.R I -

153)      Tanganyika D.R II -

154)      Tekisik/Tekisic – is a dwarf mutation of Bourbon from El Salvador. Its branches are placed similarly to Bourbon, under an angle of 45° from the trunk and its berries and seeds are also small. The plants have a low productivity but very high quality. Farmers in Guatemala and Honduras have planted this tree in their gardens to increase their coffee quality. The taste quality of the mentioned variety is extremely high: multi-layered acidity, strong body and intensive sweetness similar to caramel and brown sugar.

155)      Tico – originates from Central America.

156)      Tupi – was released in 2000 by IAC.

157)      Typica (Típica-[in Spanish]) – the oldest variety of C. arabica and also the ascendant of many modern varietites like: Jamaican Blue Mountain, San Ramon, Pache, Villalobos, Java, Jember etc. Typica is a plant of conical shape with vertical trunk and slightly inclined primary branches. Its secondary branches are at a slant of 50-70° in respect to trunk. The plant is high and can grow up to 3,5-4,6m in height. Typica has low productivity with thin coppery leaves and oblong oval berries. It prefers higher growing conditions. Its taste is usually sweet, full and clear. Typica’s acidity is clear and it becomes more intensive on greater heights.

158)      Variegata -

159)      Villalobos – a mutation of Typica from Costa Rica. Secondary branches are located at a slant of 60° in respect to trunk. The productivity of Villalobos is very high in higher areas. It is extremely resistant towards winds and has high productivity even in areas poor of nutrients. The best result is achieved in an areas with good shadowing. By its taste, Villalobos is notably sweet and with good acidity.

160)      Villasarchi/Vila Sarchi – is a hybrid of Bourbon varieties, bred in Costa Rica in a town called Sarchi.  Its branches are located at a slant of 45° in respect to trunk. Leaves are bronzy. In greater heights the productivity of the plant is good, especially if planted under shadowing trees and with small chemical fertilizing. Villasarchi has an elegant acidity, intensive berryish notes and great sweetness.

161)      Wolisho -

162)      Yawan -

8. List and descriptions of varieties of C. canephora

1)      Budongo – originates from and is being grown in Uganda.

2)      Bukobensis (Ugandae) -

3)      Congusta (Congua) – Ugandae+ C. congensis. Grown in India.

4)      Elite this variety is a clone of very high productivity – 1500kg of coffee per one hectare, whereas an average productivity of a coffee plant is 600kg per hectare.

5)      Erect – secondary branches are at a slant of 45° in respect to primary branches.

6)      Gamé -

7)      H865 -

8)      HA -

9)      HB -

10)   Kibale – grown in Uganda.

11)   Kouillou/Quillou (Conillon) – knowingly one of the oldest varieties of C. canephora. It is still being grown in Cote d’Ivoire, Congo and Gabon. The plant can grow up to 5m in height. It was imported to Brazil in 1900 from Africa where it is known under the name of Conillon (a translation mistake of that time).

12)   Laurentii -

13)   Maclaudi – being grown in Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire.

14)   Madagascar -

15)   Nana – originates from Central African Republic. The plants are hypersensitive towards diseases and parasites. Nana is a short plant with short branches and it can be planted quite closely.

16)   Ng’anda – forms 60% of Ugandan coffee. Its secondary branches are parallel to its primary branches.

17)   Niaouli – produces very few berries but these berries stay on branches all year round.

18)   Robusta -

19)   Ugandae -

20)   Quillouensis -

Hybrids of the Guinea genotype of C. canephora:

1)      Baflingdala -

2)      Bossematie -

3)      Fourougbankoro -

4)      Gbapleu -

5)      IRA 1 -

6)      IRA 2 -

7)      Kouin -

8)      Logbounou -

9)      Maraoue -

Hybrids of the Congo genotype of C. canephora:

1)      Cameroon -

2)      Doungba -

3)      Ebobo -

4)      Ircc -

5)      Libengue -

6)      Ndongue -

9. Appendixes

Appendix I

Classed list of varieties of C. arabica.

All varieties of C. arabica are divided into four categories: the most known varieties; varieties that have Typica amongst their ascendants; varieties which have Bourbon amongst their ascendants and varieties which have C. canephora amongst their ascendants.

Such classification helps the coffee lovers to orientate in the maze of the varieties of C. arabica. Also it makes it easy to find out if a specific sort includes the genes and/or influence of Typica, Bourbon or C. canephora.

Most known sorts of C. arabica:

Bourbon, Catimor, CatuaÍ, CatucaÍ, Caturra, Colombia (Variedad Colombia), Geisha, Hibrido de Timor, Icatú, Maragogype/Maragogipe, Maracatu(ra), Mundo Novo, SL 28, SL 34, Typica/TÍpica.

Varieties of Typica:

Varieties originating from Typica or have Typica among their ascendants.

Acaiá (Mundo Novo hybrid),

Amarello de Botocatu(Typica sub-varietal),

Arabigo (Typica natural mutation),

Bergendal (Typica sub-varietal),

Blawan Paumah (Typica sub-varietal),

Blue Mountain (Jamaica Blue Mountain) (Typica + mixture of other C. arabica varieties),

Bourbon (French Mission) (Typica natural  mutation),

CatuaÍ (Mundo Novo + yellow Caturra, a hybrid),

Chickumalgu (Typica natural mutation),

Creole (Typica mutation),

Criollo/Criolla (Typica natural mutation),

Garnica (Mundo Novo + yellow Caturra, a cultivar),

Garundang (Typica natural mutation),

Jember (S795) (Kent + S228, a cross),

Kent (Typica natural mutation),

Kona (Typica hybrid),

Machacamarca (Typica hybrid),

Maracatu(ra) (Maragogype + Caturra hybrid),

Maragoype/Maragogipe (Typica mutation),

Mokka (Typica mutation),

Mundo Novo (Sumatra + Bourbon hybrid),

Ouro Verde (Mundo Novo + red CatuaÍ, a cross),

Pacamara (Pacas + Maragogype, a cross),

Pache Colis (Caturra + Pache Comum mutation),

Pache Comum (Typica natural mutation),

Pluma Hidalgo (Typica natural mutation),

Rasuna (Catimor + Typica hybrid),

Rume Sudan (Typica sub-variety),

San Ramón (Typica natural mutation),

São Bernando (Typica natural mutation),

SL 28 (French Mission + Mocha + Typica),

Sumatra (Typica sub-variety),

Villalobos (Typica mutation).

Varieties of Bourbon:

Varieties originating from Bourbon or have Bourbon among their ascendants.

Acaiá (Mundo Novo hybrid),

Arusha (Bourboni sub-variety),

Catimor (Hibrido de Timor + Caturra, a cross),

Catisic (Catimor, cultivar),

Catrenic (Catimor, cultivar),

CatuaÍ (Mundo Novo + yellow Caturra hybrid),

Caturra (Burbon mutation),

Colombia (Catimor, cultivar), Garnica,

IAPAR 95 (Sarchimor sub-variety),

ICAFE 95 (Catimor sub-variety),

Icatú ([Bourbon+Robusta] + Caturra + Mundo Novo +…),

IHCAFE 90 (Catimor, cultivar),

Jackson (Bourbon sub-variety),

K 7 (French Mission, cultivar),

K 20 (French Mission, cultivar),

Kenya Selekted (K.S.) (French Mission, cultivar),

Maracatu(ra) (Maragogype + Caturra hybrid),

Mayaguez (Bourbon sub-variety),

Mibirizi (Bourbon sub-variety),

Mundo Novo (Sumatra [Typica sub-variety] + Bourbon hybrid),

N39 (Bourbon sub-variety),

Oro Azteca (Catimor sub-variety),

Ouro Verde (Mundo Novo + red CatuaÍ, a cross),

Pacamara (Pacas + Maragogype, a cross),

Pacas (Bourbon mutation /or/ Caturra + Bourbon, a cross),

Pache Colis (Caturra + Pache Comum),

Pointu (Bourbon mutation),

Rasuna (Catimor + Typica hybrid),

Ruiru 11 (is kross of many varieties [Rume Sudan + Hibrido de Timor + K7 + Catimor + SL28]+ SL28 + SL34),

Sarchimor (Villasarchi + Hibrido de Timor, a cross),

Semperflorens (Bourbon mutation),

SL 28 (French Mission + Mocha + Typica),

SL 34 (French Missioon mutation),

Tekisik/Tekisic (Bourbon mutation),

Villasarchi (kross of Bourbon varieties).

Varieties of C. canephora:

Varieties of C. arabica, having  C. canephora and/or C. liberica among their ascendants.

Arla (C. canephora + C. arabica hybrid),

Bogor Prada (C. canephora + C. arabica hybrid),

Catimor (Hibrido de Timor + Caturra, a cross),

Catisic (Catimor, cultivar),

Catrenic (Catimor, cultivar),

Colombia (Catimor, cultivar),

Devamachy (C. canephora + C. arabica hybrid),

Hibrido de Timor (C. arabica + C. canephora, natural cross),

IAPAR 95 (Sarchimor sub-variety),

ICAFE 95 (Catimor Sub-varietal),

Icatú ([Bourbon+Robusta] + Caturra + Mundo Novo +…),

IHCAFE 90 (Catimor, cultivar),

Kalimas (C. arabica + C. liberica),

Kawisari (C. arabica + C. liberica),

Lempira (Catimor sub-varietal),

Oro Azteca (Catimor sub-varietal),

Rasuna (Catimor + Typica hybrid),

Ruiru 11 (is cross of many varieties [Rume Sudan + Hibrido de Timor + K7 + Catimor + SL28]+ SL28 + SL34),

S 26 (C. arabica + C. liberica),

S 228 (C. arabica + C. liberica),

Sarchimor (Villasarchi + Hibrido de Timor, a cross).

Appendix II

In the second appendix I will present two botanical classification systems of a coffee plant created by the authors in Wikipedia and William H. Ukers. The succession goes from higher to lower.

Scientific classification of coffee (Wikipedia):

Plantae – kingdom: this botanical group includes all plants.

Angiospermae – division: this botanical group includes flowering plants that produce seeds.

Eudicot – indefinite: this botanical group includes all flowering plants whose sprouts have two seed leafs or cotyledons. Originally this group was called dicodyledoneae.

Asterid(ae)–  clade – ([kreeka k. klados] - „branch“): this group is a subgroup of flowering plants.

Gentianalesorder: Gentianales is an order of flowering plants from the class of dicotyledones. Rubiaceae – family: this group includes flowering plants that are mostly trees and bushes.

Coffea – genus: this botanical group includes all coffee plants.

Complete classing (W.H. Ukers):

Vegetabilis (vegetables) – kingdom:

Angiospermae – sub-kingdom: this botanical group includes all flowering plants that produce seeds.

Dicotyledoneae – class: the same as modern Eudicot.

Sympetalae or Metachlamydeae – sub-class: the same as modern Asteridae.

Rubiales – order:

Rubiaceae – family: this group includes flowering plants that are mostly trees and bushes.

Coffea – genus: this botanical group includes all coffee plants.

Eucoffea – sub-genus:

Appendix III

In a third appendix I will present two tables created by  Illy and ICO. These tables bring out the main differences between C. arabica and C. canephora:


Parameter C. Arabica C. Canephora
Main sort Typica Robusta
Average climate moderate warm and moist
Height 600 – 2200m 0 – 800m
Temperature (°C) 15 – 24C 18 – 36C
Rainfall (per annum) 1200 – 2200mm 2200 – 3000mm
Plant self pollinating cross pollinating
Chromosomes (2n) 44 22
Leaf small and oval big and wide
Blossom small big
Fruit in clusters in clusters
Shape of the fruit oblong, elliptical elliptical, straight when dry
Length of the fruit 15mm 12mm
Ripening 7 – 9 months 9 – 11 months
Shape of the seed oval, flat oval, round
Length of the seed 5 – 13mm 4 – 8mm
Caffeine concentration 0,9 – 1,4%;   1,2% 1,8 – 4,0%;  2,2%

Andrea Illy & Rinantonio Viani, Espresso Coffee (Academic Press Limited, London, 1998)


Arabica Robusta
First mentioned 1753 1895
Chromosomes (2n) 44 22
Time from blooming to ripening 9 months 10 – 11 months
Blooming after rain irregularly
Ripe berries drop down stay on the branches
Productivity (ha) 1500 – 3000kg 2300 – 4000kg
Root system deep low
Average temp. 15 – 24°C 24 – 30°C
Average rainfall 1500 – 2000mm 2000 – 3000mm
Growth height 1000 – 2000m 0 – 700m
Hemileia vastatrix receptive resistant
Koleroga receptive tolerant
Nematodes receptive resistant
Tracheomycosis resistant receptive
Coffee berry disease receptive resistant
Caffeine concentration 0,8 – 1,4% 1,7 – 4,0%
Bean shape flat oval
Typical taste acidity full, bitter

www.ico.org/botanical.asp Clifford M.N. and Willson K.C. (toim.) Coffee: Botany, Biochemistry and Production of Beans and Beverage (Croom Helm, London, 1985); Wrigley G. Coffee ( Longman, London, 1988)

Appendix IV

* Coffee breeding was taken into use as a scientific method in 1900 by the Dutch government in Bangelan in Belgian Congo. An experimental plantation was established there.

** Cultivar is a combination of two words: cultivated and variety (cultivated+variety=cultivar). It is a term in English used to name sub-varietie born due to human interference. The word was coined by Liberty Hyde Bailey.

***According to recent cytogenetic research C. arabica originates from the crossing of C. canephora and C. eugenioides 500 years ago. Cytogenetics is a part of genetics dealing with cell functioning and structure and chromosomes. This proposition is being opposed by the fact that the pecie of C. arabica, at least those that got to Yemen, date from a time beyond 1500 ad.

10. Glossary and references

¹: (Abyssinia ca 1137 – 1974) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopian_Empire

²: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Kaffa

³: Known as Kaldi myth.

⁴: Carl von Linné (1707 – 1778) was a Swedish natural scientist and a doctor, also the founder of the systematics of living organisms and taxonomy. http://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_von_Linn%C3%A9

⁵: The mutation of Typica in Bourbon Island took place during 1717-1877. In 1717 Typica was brought to the islands from Yemen and in 1877 Bourbon, not Typica, was taken from the island to Tanzanya.

⁶: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9union

⁷: Anthony Wild, Black Gold (Harper Perennial, London, 2005).

⁸: Emil Laurent (1861-1904) was a professor in the Agricultural Institute of Gemloux and one of the first who examined the Central African flora more extensively.

⁹: In 1886, a massive epidemic of leaf rust disease ravaged Indonesia, destroying its coffee plantations. It moved on towards Africa and reached it in 1940s. In 1970s it reached Brazil, from where it spread to Latin America. It was hardest on Indonesia, as almost all Indonesian plantations were destroyed. In Africa and especially in South and Latin America its effect was rather mild. The same incident was also one of the main reasons why C. canephora was taken into use and massive growing of Robusta began.

¹º: This is one way for distinguishing if the coffee variety originates from Typica or Bourbon. Bourbon has yound green leaves/leaf tips, Typica has coppery (bronzed) leaves/leaf tips. The color might appear every which way in the plants of later generations.

¹¹: Drupe is a fruit with a hard shell (stone) in it, like cherry, peach or olive.

¹²: It is quite fascinating that on closer look coffee berries look more like a sea-buckthorn than a cherry.

¹³: Peaberry or Caracoli is a seed from the berries from the top parts of the branches. It forms ca 10-30% (-50%) of the whole crop.

¹⁴: Difference in chromosomes generally determines usually the characteristics of plants that evolve due to environmental influences and that affect the taste, body and acidity of coffee.

¹⁵: The difference of Psilanthus and Coffea in various botanic classifications lies in the shape of the blossom. Coffea has a short blossom tube, while Psilantus has a long tube.

¹⁶: P. J. S. Cramer is the head of plant breeding in Netherlands and in the Ministry of Agriculture in India.

¹⁷: http://www.stumptowncoffee.com/varietals/catuai

¹⁸: Modern scientist struggle the fact that in Southwest Ethiopia there is three different towns called Geisha: a) Geisha in Kaffa Province in Kefa district, b) Geisha in Kaffa Province in Maji district and c) Geisha in Illubabor Province in Mocha district. The exact origin of Panama Geisha is therefore unknown.

¹⁹: CATIE – Costa Rica´s Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center.

²º: http://www.stumptowncoffee.com/varietals/geisha-central-america-

²¹: SL is an abbreviation of Scot Laboratory, which was a coffee breeding centre in Kenya during 1934-1963. Coffees bred in that centre carried an abbreviation „SL“ in their names, which was followed by a combination of two numbers.

11. Sources

Andrea Illy & Rinantonio Viani, Espresso Coffee (Academic Press Limited, London, 1998)

Fulvio Eccardi & Vincenzo Sandalj, Coffee A Celebration of Diversity (Redacta, S.A. de C.V. 2002)

Jeremy Block & Rand Pearson, Kahawa Kenya’s Black Gold (Dorman Ltd, Nairobi, 2005)

William H. Ukers, All About Coffee (Martino Publishing Mansfield Centre, CT, 2007)

Jean Nicolas Wintgens, Coffee: Growing, Processing, Sustainable Production (Wiley-Vch Verlag GmbH Co. 2009)

Judd, Campbell, Kellogg, Stevens, Plant Systematics, A Phylogenetic Approach (Sinauter Associates, inc. 1999)

David Roche & Dr. Robert Osgood, article: A Family Album (Roast Magazine Nov./Dec. 2007)

Willem Boot, article: Variety is the Spice of Coffee (Roast Magazine May/June 2006)

Shanna Germain, article: Ready for Robustas? (Roast Magazine March/April 2006)

www.ico.org/botanical.asp Clifford M.N. and Willson K.C. (toim.) Coffee:  Botany, Biochemistry and Production of Beans and Beverage (Croom Helm, London, 1985); Wrigley G. Coffee (Longman, London, 1988)

www.stumptowncoffee.com/varietals

www.kew.org/plants-fungi/Coffea-pterocarpa.htm

www.coffeehabitat.com/2009/12/new-coffee-species.html

www.coffeeresearch.org/agriculture/varietals.htm

www.sweetmarias.com/coffeespecies.html

http://species.asu.edu/2009_species09

http://www.hasblog.co.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_coffee_varieties

http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/new/Coffea.html

9 Comments

  1. Great read and compiling of coffee botanical history. Nice work, thank you for sharing.
    geir oglend

  2. thank you for sharing. this is wonderful!

  3. Wow …. This is so impressive. You’ve collected all the datas into one page. Great….I got it all. Thanks a lot Bro…

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  6. Big thanks, very great info.

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    • Thanks for your comment and that the work matters you. Thats what its all about – sharing, and if i’ll be some day close to Boston I’ll definitely drop by.
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  8. Hey there, this is really cool. A lot of this information isn’t available on the web or organized this way. You have my heartfelt thanks.


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