Coffee is a plant, and different varieties present different tastes.
Did you know that coffee is the seed of a plant? Coffee is classified under the "Angiosperm phylum Biloba Symbidium subclass Rubiaceae Coffee genus". Depending on the variety, coffee ripens with beautiful red or yellow fruit. This fruit is called "coffee cherry" and usually bears two seeds. These seeds are the coffee beans we usually see.
By the way, for people who work with coffee, eating the cherry (although it is eaten, it has almost no pulp) feels like a dream, and the ripe coffee cherry will have a sugar content of more than 20 degrees, which is a strong sweetness. With the particular variety, some coffees also have a unique taste like papaya.
In addition, the growth of coffee trees is affected by many environmental factors (regional environment) such as latitude, altitude, temperature, precipitation, sunshine, soil and so on. Although coffee trees are evergreen low shrubs, they also grow to over 10 meters in the wild. However, given labor costs at harvest, most farms will trim it to around 2 meters.
On average, coffee trees can live up to 80 years, and generally live for about 30 years, but there are also coffee trees that can live for more than 100 years in virgin forests. Its growth cycle can be divided into three stages: seed germination, flowering and fruiting. Although there will be differences in different varieties, high-yield varieties generally grow at a speed that can be officially harvested after about 3 years of planting.
Except for countries close to the equator such as Colombia, coffee trees basically bear fruit once a year. After rain, coffee trees will produce white flowers and then bear fruit. The flower has a jasmine-like fragrance, and if you visit a farm during its flowering season, the entire farm will be surrounded by a jasmine-like scent. A farm decorated in white with coffee flowers and a jasmine-like fragrance creates a very dreamy scene.
In addition, coffee can be said to be a very unique existence with a wide variety of species and subspecies. That is, because of the existence of a wide variety of species and subspecies, the flavor of coffee is also rich.
"Regional Environment × Variety" produce a unique taste
As far as coffee trees are concerned, the ones we are familiar with can be roughly divided into two types:
A. Coffee canephora
B. Coffee Arabica (Coffea arabica)
Cafe Canifra is known by the name "Robusta". Robusta coffee is produced in much more than Arabica and is considered to be of lower quality. However, due to its strong disease resistance and relatively stable production, it is mainly consumed as processed products represented by canned coffee and instant coffee.
Coffee Arabica is what we usually know as the "Arabica variety". Compared with Robusta, Arabica has less yield and weaker disease resistance, but most of the high-quality coffee comes from Arabica varieties. There are actually several classifications of Arabica varieties, and depending on the classification, their flavor profile varies widely.
Just as people differ in their appearance, the shape of the coffee tree, the color of the leaves, the color and shape of the coffee cherries, etc. vary greatly depending on the species.
Surprisingly, the taste of coffee also varies considerably by variety. I hope that those of you who have been choosing coffee based on the country of production so far will remember the joy of choosing coffee by variety through this popular science article.
We have introduced Geisha species in detail earlier (see Why is Geisha more and more expensive?). Besides Geisha, there are many other varieties of coffee. Different varieties have different tastes. While yield and disease resistance have traditionally been the focus of traditional varietal development and selection so far, with the advent of specialty coffee, attention has also been paid to the flavor properties of different varietals.
In the cultivation of specialty coffee, it is important to "match the regional environment and varieties". Depending on the variety, changing subtle conditions such as altitude, temperature, and humidity can greatly change the growth and quality of coffee, resulting in unique flavor characteristics that capture consumers.