Coffee Product Details & Definitions
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Coffee Product Details & Definitions
Coffea arabica - Arabica coffee, Bourbon coffee

Coffea arabica was first described by Linnaeus in 1753. The best known varieties are 'Typica'(Haiti, southwestern highlands of Ethiopia) and 'Bourbon' but from these many different strains and cultivars have been developed, such as Caturra (Brazil, Colombia), Mundo Novo (Brazil), Tico (Central America), the dwarf San Ramon and the Jamaican Blue Mountain. The average Arabica plant is a large bush with dark-green oval leaves. It is genetically different from other coffee species, having four sets of chromosomes rather than two. The fruits are oval and mature in 7 to 9 months; they usually contain two flat seeds (the coffee beans) - when only one bean develops it is called a peaberry. Since Arabica coffee is often susceptible to attack by pests and diseases, resistance is a major goal of plant breeding programmes. Arabica coffee is grown throughout Latin America, in Central and East Africa, in India and to some extent in Indonesia. Arabica contains less caffeine than any other commercially cultivated species of coffee, about 40–50% less.

Bourbon coffee is a type of coffee produced from the Bourbon cultivar of the Coffea arabica species of coffee plant. Bourbon coffee was first produced in Réunion, which was known as Île Bourbon before 1789. It was later taken by the French to mainland Africa and to Latin America, and is now one of the two most popular Arabica coffees grown worldwide, the other being Typica coffee. Bourbon coffee is usually produced at heights between 1,000 and 2,000 meters (3,281 – 6,562 ft) and gives a 20-30% higher yield than Typica, but produces a similar quality of coffee.

Coffea canephora - Robusta coffee

The term 'Robusta' is actually the name of a widely grown variety of this species. It is a robust shrub or small tree growing up to 10 metres in height, but with a shallow root system. The fruits are rounded and take up to 11 months to mature; the seeds are oval in shape and smaller than those of C. arabica. Robusta coffee is grown in West and Central Africa, throughout South-East Asia and to some extent in Brazil, where it is known as Conillon. Robusta strains also contain about 40–50% more caffeine than arabica.

Coffea liberica - Liberica coffee

Liberica coffee grows as a large strong tree, up to 18 metres in height, with large leathery leaves. The fruits and seeds (beans) are also large. Liberica coffee is grown in Malaysia and in West Africa, but since demand for its flavour characteristics is low, only very small quantities are traded.

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