Coffee has varieties?

Coffee has varieties?

Why is a coffee’s variety listed on the DETOUR bag? 
    Hint: It affects the flavour.

Quick-fire Coffee Variety Tidbits:

  1. Like apple and wine grape varieties, coffee cherry variety affects the colour and shape of the coffee cherry and the final flavour of the coffee itself

At DETOUR, we list the variety of the bean on all of our freshly-roasted coffees, helping you get a feel for what the beans will taste like, even before you brew.  

Variety is a great indicator of taste, like in wine grapes, and there are thousands of different coffee plant varieties out there. 

Usually we see only a dozen or so, but there are tons! 

  1. Two species of coffee exist, Robusta and Arabica; within Arabica, the most used (70% of the world’s coffee production) and definitely best-tasting species of coffee, there are thousands of varieties

Think of coffee varieties like apple varieties. For instance, golden delicious, granny smith, royal gala and mutsu all fall under the horticultural umbrella of “apples,” (the species) but their appearance, taste and texture are wildly different (different varieties).

And, much like the apple varieties, there’s sure to be a coffee variety that will stand out as your go-to brew. The inimitable Peter Guiliano has a great video on this here.

3. Hybrids of Robusta and Arabica have been created to achieve the pleasing taste of Arabica, with the plant and root strength of Robusta. Robusta is more disease resistant than Arabica and efforts are being made to create the perfect hybrid

Along with the variety of the coffee plant influencing the final tasting brew, processing methods, (such as washed or natural) along with the altitude and terroir a coffee plant has been grown in will lend their own, distinctive character to the final coffee. *

  1. Very common specialty coffee varieties in Central and South America include Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai. In Kenya, SL-28 is king. In Ethiopia, well… see point 5 below

  2. Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, still has thousands of unclassified varieties; almost all Ethiopian coffees are a blend of these “unknown” beans, which is why coffee from this region is truly unique.

* this is how we purchase coffee - the raw, green coffee, has all of the unique character already built into it. As roasters, it’s our job to make sure that character comes through in the cup. It’s all too easy to roast away the delicious flavour of a bean (ahem, seed).

Check out the many varieties of coffee available at DETOUR. We definitely have our favourites. What's yours? #DetourCoffee 

Happy Brewing. 


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