There are about 20 commercial varieties of coffee, but only a few will produce grains with floral or fruity delicate, aromatic flavors with balanced and pleasant sweetness and acidity. Flavor intensity and aroma, are the factors that define the particularities of the variety. The soft flavor, with fruity and floral notes that leave a sensation of freshness on your tastebuds, are characteristic and particular features of Panamanian coffee.
Arabica Typica is the original crop discovered in the Kaffa rainforest in Ethiopia centuries ago. Typica was the first coffee in the New World brought by the French in the 1700s. In 1720 thousands of seedlings were shipped to the French colony of Martinique. Typica has given rise to many mutations resulting in subtypes such as Hawaii Kona, Jamaican Blue Mountain, Java Typica, Guatemala Typica and Jember among others. Kent is for example a Typica mutation cultivated in India. Typica are low yielding varieties but have excellent cup quality with sweetness, acidity and pleasant mouthfeel. They should all be tall with a tapered shape and dark tips.
Caturra is a higher yielding mutation of the Bourbon variety, discovered in 1935 near the city of Caturra in Brazil and later spread throughout Central America and Colombia. This is a dwarf variety with good cup quality (bright, low to medium-bodied acidity, less clarity and sweetness than Bourbon), which requires extensive attention and fertilization. Its higher production is caused by a single genetic mutation. Low-growing variety, up to 2.5 meters high, with short branches and many leaves. Its production is medium and its quality is high.
Yellow Catuai is a dwarf hybrid of “Mundo Novo” and Caturra, a mixture created by the “Instituto Agronomico do Campinas” in Brazil in 1949. Along with Red Catuai, it is a very resistant crop suitable for cultivation at high altitudes and windy areas. Both Catuais have a very refined and pure acidity, although they are barely distinguishable in the cup. Catuai trees are widely cultivated throughout Latin America, especially in areas with strong winds or high yearly rainfall as their short stature is resistant to these elements.
Pacamara is a high-yielding Salvadoran mutation of the arabic hybrid "San Ramón Bourbon", which was discovered in 1956. Medium-sized variety, up to 3 meters high, with semi-short branches and many leaves. Its production is average but its quality is very high. In fact, people love it or hate it. Pacamara has a very specific cup profile. The flavor profile can show strong floral and spicy notes along with surprising balance and medium body.
Panamanian Geisha in particular has exceptionally high quality at high altitudes. Tall variety, up to 5 meters high, with long branches and few leaves. Its production is very low but its quality is very high. There is significant confusion about Geisha because there are multiple genetically distinct plant types that have been referred to as Geisha, many of which share similar geographic origins in Ethiopia. Recent genetic diversity analyses conducted by World Coffee Research confirm that Panamanian Geisha descendent from T2722 is distinct and uniform. It is associated with extremely high cup quality when the plants are managed well at high altitude, and is known for its delicate floral, jasmine, and peach-like aroma
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