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Agriculture > Plantation Crops > Coffee (Coffea arabica)
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Varieties / Planting Materials

The two most important species of coffee economically are Coffea arabica (Arabica coffee) - which accounts for over 70% of world production - and Coffea canephora (Robusta coffee). Two other species which are grown on a much smaller scale are Coffea liberica (Liberica coffee) and Coffea dewevrei (Excelsa coffee).

                           Some differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee are:
Parameters Arabica Robusta
Date species described 1753 1895
Chromosomes (2n) 44 22
Time from flower to ripe cherry 9 months 10-11 months
Flowering After rain Irregular
Yield (kg beans/ha) 1500-3000 2300-4000
Root system Deep Shallow
Temperature 15-25° C 20-30° C
Annual rainfall 1600-2500 mm 1000-2000 mm
Leaf rust Susceptible Resistant
Koleroga Susceptible Tolerant
Nematodes Susceptible Resistant
Tracheomycosis Resistant Susceptible
Coffee berry disease Susceptible Resistant
Caffeine content of beans 0.8-1.4% 1.7-4.0%
Shape of bean Flat Oval
Typical brew characteristics Acidity Bitterness, full

Coffea arabica - Arabica coffee

Coffea arabica was first described by Linnaeus in 1753. 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. It is grown throughout Latin America, in Central and East Africa, in India and to some extent in Indonesia.

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Coffea canephora - Robusta coffee

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 m in height, but with a shallow root system. The fruits are rounded and take up to 11 months to mature; the seeds are oval in shape and smaller than those of C. arabica. Robusta coffee is grown in West and Central Africa, throughout South-East Asia, India and to some extent in Brazil.

Coffea liberica - Liberica coffee

Liberica coffee grows as a large strong tree, up to 18 m 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.

Specialty coffee

India offers several varieties of specialty coffees that are popular in the West. Continuous research by Indian scientists has helped identify better strains that will make finer coffees with added flavour profiles, in both Arabica and Robusta varieties.

Monsooned coffee

Monsooned coffee has a story to tell. The "Monsooning" of coffee first happened quite by accident in the deep of sailing ships - a shipload of coffee bound for Europe acquired a mellow yet unique taste en route, with the coffee beans 'swelling' due to the moisture in the air. A new kind of coffee was born - Monsooned Coffee.

Even today, India offers the same golden quality Monsooned Coffee. Prepared by the unique natural elements of yester years and the special process of today, the Monsooned Coffee still has the monsooned flavour, mellow taste and golden look. Consumers in Scandinavian countries love it for its special colour and flavour.

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Main grades:

  • Monsooned Malabar AA
  • Monsooned Basanally
  • Monsooned Robusta AA

Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold

This coffee is a premium coffee that represents the best quality coffee from India. The beans are very large, uniform blush green in colour with a clean polished appearance. In cup, the coffee exhibits full aroma, medium to good body, good acidity and fine flavour with a hint of spice.

Arabica Plantation Coffee (Washed coffee) is grown in Mysore, Coorg, Biligiris and Shevaroys regions.

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Robusta Kaapi Royale

This coffee is prepared from Robusta Parchment AB from the regions of Mysore, Coorg, Wynad, Shevaroys, Pulneys and Barbabudans.

The beans appear to be bold, round with pointed ends and gray to bluish gray in colour. This cup ensures full body, soft, smooth and mellow flavour.

Old Arabica varieties like Kents and Coorgs are more susceptible to the leaf rust disease (Hemileia vastatrix). Arabica selections of tall, medium and dwarf habit are grown on large scale because of their proven performance in yield and comparatively better resistance to leaf rust disease. In dwarfs, San Ramon (S 7, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3) and in medium size bushes, Cauvery (Catimor) are the popular varieties. Some of the Arabica slections like Sln 5, 6 and 7 are location specific while S.795 (tall) is adapted to all areas. All the arabica selections either have vertical resistance to commonly occurring races of H. vastatrix or both horizontal and vertical resistance as in Sln. 5 and 9. Robustas are not infested either with leaf rust disease or the white stem borer pest, which are more on record in Arabica. However, mealy bug incidence will be more in Robusta.

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