El Genus Coffea
The genus Coffea is comprised by a large number of species, among them: Coffea arabica, Coffea canephora, Coffea liberica, Coffea eugenioides, Coffea stenophylla, Coffea congensis, Coffea racemosa, Coffea salvatrix, etc. The differentiation of the genus Coffea occurred relatively recently, about 5 to 25 million years ago.
About 70% of the coffee grown in the world today is of the Coffea arabica species.Coffea arabica originated about one million years ago as a result of a natural cross between Coffea eugenioides and Coffea canephora. Scientists have determined that the maternal parent of Coffea arabica was Coffea eugenioides and the paternal parent was Coffea canephora.
Geographically, Coffea arabica originates from the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia, the Boma plateau in southeastern Sudan, and Mount Marsabit in northern Kenya, where it can still be found growing wild or semi-wild in the under growth of tropical highland forests. Early domestication and selection of the species was carried out by Arabs, who introduced it to Yemen in the 13th or 14th century. The local varieties selected in Yemen have been at the basis of coffee cultivation in all other coffee-growing areas, with the probable exception of Ethiopia.
Almost all of the planted arabica coffee varieties grown in the world today are originated from the C. arabica Typica and C. arabica Bourbon. The first coffee plants were disseminated from Yemen to the rest of the world. It is because of this that the genetic composition of almost all of the arabica coffee grown today all over the world has no significant genetic differentiation, it has basically the same genepool. The differences in tastes are generated by the microclimates and geographic conditions where the coffee is grown but not because of the genetic composition of the coffee plant. The genetic uniformity within these populations is further enhanced by the predominantly self-pollinating nature of Coffea arabica.
There is an untapped source of taste profiles given by different coffee genetics which, up until now, has not been available in the market. Different coffee botanical varieties differ in their cup profile in various degrees. The main reason why many of these varieties & cultivars are not known is an economic one; they have not been planted commercially due to their generally extremely low yield and/or susceptibility to diseases which make them non attractive to coffee growers.
The Coffea diversa approach is to produce and offer many of those rare coffee species, varieties, mutants & cultivars for the first time ever so coffee lovers can also, for the first time ever, experience different taste profiles that in some cases have never been known to man.
As far as we know there are no plantations of coffee like Eugenioides, Murta, Purpurascens, Erecta, Montecristo, Mucronata, etc. These, among many other coffees, are currently planted at our Coffea diversa garden.