Coffea arabica, commonly known as Arabica coffee, is one of the most widely cultivated and consumed coffee species globally. It is valued for its complex flavors, aromatic qualities, and mild acidity. Over the years, many coffee varieties have been developed from Arabica coffee through selective breeding and hybridization to improve various characteristics such as flavor, disease resistance, and yield.
Here are some well-known coffee varieties derived from Coffea arabica:
Typica: Typica is one of the oldest and most well-known Arabica coffee varieties. It is the base for many other Arabica coffee varieties and is appreciated for its balanced flavor and mild acidity. It’s often used as a benchmark for quality in the coffee industry.
Bourbon: Bourbon is another classic Arabica variety known for its excellent cup quality. It has a sweeter and more rounded flavor profile compared to Typica. Bourbon coffee trees are grown in several countries, including Brazil, Rwanda, and Colombia.
SL28 and SL34: These coffee varieties were developed in Kenya by Scott Agricultural Laboratories. SL28 is known for its resistance to disease and excellent cup quality, while SL34 is known for its high yield potential.
Geisha (or Gesha): Geisha is a unique Arabica coffee variety known for its distinctive floral and tea-like flavors. It originated in Ethiopia but gained international recognition when it was grown in Panama, where it won awards for its exceptional taste.
Caturra: Caturra is a natural mutation of Bourbon that has a shorter stature, making it easier to harvest. It is often used in regions with limited space or where mechanical harvesting is common.
Pacamara: Pacamara is a hybrid variety resulting from the cross between Pacas (a mutation of Bourbon) and Maragogipe. It’s known for its large bean size and unique flavor profile, which can vary by region.
Catuai: Catuai is a hybrid variety resulting from the cross between Mundo Novo and Caturra. It is appreciated for its compact growth, which makes it suitable for mechanized harvesting.
Ethiopian Heirloom Varieties: Ethiopia is the birthplace of Arabica coffee, and it is home to numerous indigenous Arabica coffee varieties collectively known as “heirloom varieties.” These include Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, Harrar, and many others, each with its unique flavor profile.
These are just a few examples of the many Arabica coffee varieties that exist. Each variety has its unique characteristics, flavor profiles, and adaptation to different growing conditions, contributing to the rich diversity of Arabica coffee available to coffee enthusiasts worldwide.