Arabica Coffee – coffea Arabica
Coffea Arabica was first described by Linnaeus in 1753. The bestknown varieties are “Typica” 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. Arabica coffee is often susceptible to attack by pests and diseases (especially typica, being lower in caffeine), therefore resistance is a major goal of plant breeding programmes. Arabica coffee is grown in Central and East Africa, throughout Latin America, in India and to some extent in Indonesia. Quaffee only uses Arabica ‘Typica’ since these are the true original coffees the way nature made and continues to make them
Robusta coffee – coffea canephora
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 (rather than 5 years as with Arabica); the seeds are oval in shape and smaller than those of coffea 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.
Liberica Coffee – coffea liberica
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 only very small quantities are traded as demand for its flavour characteristics is low.
Has been cross polenated with Arabica to produce variants