Cafe Centroamericano: A High-Quality Coffee Hybrid
We love our current coffee varieties like Typica and Bourbon. But we wonder if F1 coffee hybrids are the future. What are F1 hybrids? These first-generation coffee hybrids solve the problems that coffee species and varieties face: diversity and disease.
Coffee hybrids have a high potential for high-quality and high-yielding plants with disease resistance. Cafe Centroamericano is one such hybrid that keeps our genetically-vulnerable coffee safe.
Read on for more on Cafe Centroamericano.
What Is Cafe Centroamericano?
Cafe Centroamericano is a first-generation (F1) coffee hybrid (1).
Centroamericano is a cross between the Ethiopian landrace variety Rume Sudan and a rust-resistant variety called T5296.
This coffee hybrid was created by researchers at the French research institute called CIRAD, by members of a Central American regional network of coffee institutes nationally known as PROMECAFE, and by individuals at the CATIE genebank for coffees grown in Costa Rica (2).
Central American coffee plants are dwarf in stature with green-tipped leaves and a large coffee bean type size. They are classified as “very good” for quality potential at high altitudes with a “very high” yield potential. Fortunately, they are resistant to coffee leaf rust, like the Sarchimor hybrid and tolerant to coffee berry disease, yet they are still susceptible to nematodes.
For a glance at the appearance of Cafe Centroamericano, check out this YouTube video.
Seeds taken from Centroamericano plants will have different characteristics than their parent plants in a process called “segregation” due to the hybrid nature of the parent plants.
Derivative plants will vary in appearance, behaviour, yield, quality, disease resistance, and other traits.
Centroamericano should replicate solely through clonal propagation and be bought from credible sources to maintain its properties in future plant generations.
Why Coffee Hybrids?
Coffee hybrids are a quick and convenient way to cultivate coffee plants with specific desired survival-enhancing characteristics (3). Arabica coffee subtypes, like Typica coffee, have a 98.8% genetic similarity. This is worrisome when most of the world is dependent on just a few disease-susceptible varieties. That means coffee as a crop could slowly become extinct, and climate change would help escalate this travesty.
We can’t lose our coffee! Hybrids will save the day with their genetic differences and disease-resistant properties. If one or two coffee varieties were to be wiped out by coffee leaf rust, hybrids would stay standing.
Cafe Centroamericano is an F1 coffee hybrid of the Ethiopian landrace variety Rume Sudan and another variety known as T5296, which is resistant to coffee leaf rust. First-generation coffee hybrids are a long-term sustainable solution to problems such as a lack of diversity and disease-susceptibility faced by coffee varieties and species like Bourbon and Typica.
Hybrids have a high potential for a high yield of high-quality plants resistant to disease. They are stronger, healthier, and adaptable to adversity. Hybrids can be mass-produced in labs with any qualities we desire to enhance their survivability. Our coffee’s safe!
The best coffee in Central America is from Costa Rica, which was the first country in Central America to grow coffee commercially. It is one of the highest-quality coffees since it is grown in nutrient-dense volcanic soils. This coffee is full-bodied and clean with a robust acidity. However, it is still a matter of personal preference, as “the best coffee” is valued differently per person.
Arabica is the type of coffee that is grown in Central America. Central American coffee is known for being the best Arabica coffee globally. Every country yields this coffee type with a characteristic taste and nuanced flavour profiles due to the distinct climates it is grown in.
Central American coffee tastes like chocolate. Although this type of coffee tends to vary in acidity, it is known for being perfectly balanced and smooth or “just right” without being too bitter or too acidic. This is the ideal type of coffee for novices to start with.
- Hernandez, A. M. (2017, June 23). Coffee Varieties: What Are F1 Hybrids & Why Are They Good News? Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/06/coffee-varieties-what-are-f1-hybrids-why-are-they-good-news/
- World Coffee Research. (n.d.). Centroamericano. Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://varieties.worldcoffeeresearch.org/varieties/centroamericano
- Georgalis, H. (2016, August 17). At-Risk Arabica: Why Aren’t Researchers Looking to Ethiopia? Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2016/08/at-risk-arabica-why-arent-researchers-looking-to-ethiopia/