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Varieties of coffee
Almost 80 varieties of coffee are known, of which the Arabica, Robusta, Liberica and Maragogype varieties are cultivated for industrial purposes.
Arabica is the most appreciated and cultivated coffee. It is obtained from the coffea arabica tree originating in Ethiopia and there are almost 200 species. Many varieties arose either by adapting to different soils or by hybridization such as: Blue mountain in Jamaica, Mocha with a fruity taste, Bourbon appeared in the Islands of Mauritius, Java, etc. Arabica is a coffee with less caffeine (0.8 and 1.4)%, appreciated for its aromatic qualities and fine taste.
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Robusta (Coffea canephora or Coffea robusta) has a high caffeine content (1.7 – 4%), a strong taste and less aroma. Robusta is distinguished by its strong, more bitter taste, much more substantial than Arabica coffee. Robusta is widely used in the production of soluble (instant) coffee and in the range of espresso coffees, as well as mixed with Arabica to emphasize the flavor of the coffee.
Liberica, native to the Monrovia region of Liberia, is similar to Robusta, also fast growing and can withstand adverse weather conditions. It is grown exclusively in the subtropical plains of West Africa and South America, where the humidity is very high and the temperature is between 20 and 25 °C. The berries are often misshapen, medium in size and brown to yellow in color. The quality of this type of coffee is mediocre.
Maragogype. This coffee tree was discovered in the vicinity of the city of Maragogype, in the state of Bahia in Brazil. It is a hybrid resulting from the crossing of Arabica and Liberica. It is the coffee with the largest beans in the world, the size of the beans are 2-3 times larger. Its culture is extremely scattered (Guatemala, Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia and Java), at an altitude varying between 600 and 1000m. The coffee beans of this shrub are greenish in color, of high and medium quality, and the coffee has a fine and fragrant taste.
Saint Helena is also called Napoleon's coffee, as it was his favorite coffee during his exile from this island. This coffee grows in a volcanic soil with the exclusive use of natural fertilizers such as guano (bat excrement). The coffee has a special, consistent and pleasant taste, with floral hints of citrus and caramel.
Panama Boquete Geisha is a variety that grows at an altitude of 1,700 meters near the Baru volcano in Panama. Due to the altitude, this coffee has a special flavor, an ultra-fine aroma and moderate acidity.
Kopi Luwak or "millionaires' coffee" is a coffee harvested from the islands of Java, Sumatra, Bali, Sulawesi, the Philippines, East Timor and some areas in India. The beans of this coffee are not picked directly from the plant, but only after they have been ingested and then eliminated partially digested by an animal called the palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites). This animal has in its digestive tract an enzyme with the property of reducing the bitter taste of coffee.
Black Ivory is obtained from coffee beans swallowed, digested and naturally eliminated by elephants. The procedure for obtaining coffee is similar to that for making Kopi Luwak coffee. Through this process, the coffee acquires a special taste, becomes more refined, slightly bitter, with a slight aroma of chocolate, fruit, nuts, rose hips. This flavor is due to the fact that the coffee beans are digested together with bananas, sugar cane and other elements in the elephants' diet. Black Ivory is considered the best coffee, but it is very rare and hard to find, and the price is even higher than Kopi Luwak coffee. This coffee can only be tasted in a few 5-star hotels in Thailand, Maldives, Abu Dhabi and in one place in the USA, "The Elephant Story".
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