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Caturra Coffee: Things to Know About This Bourbon Varietal

The perfect cup profile is difficult to define. But for Home Grounds, the best coffee beans are well-balanced and complex. Caturra coffee might just be the perfect choice, given its citrus acidity and chocolate sweetness. 

Keep reading to learn more about what caturra coffee is and how to bring out the best in this Bourbon varietal.

caturra coffee flavor

What Is Caturra Coffee?

Caturra is a natural hybrid of Bourbon coffee. To clarify, science divides beans into four different coffee bean species:

  • Arabica
  • Robusta
  • Liberica
  • Excelsa

It gets even more complicated than that. A cultivar is a plant whose traits have been bred into them by humans, while a varietal is a naturally-occurring variety of the original plant. In this context, Arabica (scientific name: coffee Arabica) is the coffee bean species, Bourbon is an Arabica varietal, and Caturra is a naturally-occurring hybrid of Bourbon.

As a natural hybrid of the Bourbon coffee, Caturra was first discovered in Brazil in the 1960s. Upon its discovery, Caturra quickly became the Arabica varietal of choice throughout Central America and Colombia due to its compact size and excellent cup quality. It is no doubt one of the most economically important coffees in Central America.

According to Bella Vista Coffee’s Quality Control Manager, Dulce Barrera (1):

…Caturra, like Bourbon, is resistant to droughts, winds, and…sunlight. It also adapts well to hot temperatures.

This hardiness and ability to adapt to unpredictable climate changes make this arabica varietal the best choice for many farms in this region. Also, Caturra plants possess a gene mutation that results in dwarfism, which makes them shorter in stature than Bourbon, the Arabica varietal from which it derived (2). These coffee plants’ small size is an advantage as farmers were able to place them close together, which allowed them to produce more coffee cherries in the same amount of space.

If you want to know more about some other coffee hybrid varieties, you can read our posts on Pacamara and Catuai coffees. 

Caturra Coffee Cup Profile

How does the caturra coffee bean taste?

The caturra’s flavor profile is well-balanced in its sweetness and acidity.

With definite chocolate notes on the sweeter end, the caturra is balanced with bright notes of tangerine, orange, lemon, and lime.

Since caturra beans are very consistent in size, they do well as either a light, medium, or dark roast. On the lighter end, the caturra’s natural citrus acidity is more pronounced, but the cup profile becomes more chocolaty on the darker end.

For more on the caturra’s flavor profile, watch this informative video from The Colombian Coffee Company.

Last but not least, while you can certainly brew Caturra beans with any brew method you choose, steeping methods—like the French press—will yield the best results. You’ll get a bold, balanced cup with the proper time, temperature, grind size, and proportion.

Final Thoughts

The Caturra coffee beans yields a well-balanced, chocolaty citrus cup. Bring out the best in this excellent coffee Arabica varietal by making it in the French press.
Have you already tried it? Let us know how you liked it.

FAQs

Coffee flavor notes come from combining different taste specters. They are derived from the flavors and aromas found on the coffee flavor wheel like chocolate and orange. Though it seems daunting, this flavor wheel is an excellent tool for developing your palate and finding your favorite beans, roast, and flavor profiles.

Yes, there are three main variations of Caturra beans: red, yellow, and lerdo. Each variation of Caturra coffee has a slightly different appearance and flavor.

Yes, Bourbon and Cattura Coffees are similar, and there’s a lot of overlap between Caturra and Bourbon coffee beans. Because Caturra is a mutation of Bourbon, they’re both similar in flavor. However, Caturra is more compact and can be more susceptible to coffee leaf rust.

  1. Arabica Coffee Varieties | Caturra. (2022). Worldcoffeeresearch.org. https://varieties.worldcoffeeresearch.org/varieties/caturra
  2. Coffee varieties: A roaster’s guide to Caturra. (2021, November 29). MTPAK. https://mtpak.coffee/coffee-varieties-roasters-guide-caturra/
Iris M. Pang
One of my first childhood memories of coffee was in Montreal, Quebec. Every time my family and I walked through the mall, the aroma of fresh, brewed coffee and Belgian waffles permeated all the stores. Whatever that delicious smell was, I had to have it. And the rest is history. When I'm not writing or touring local coffee shops, you'll find me on social media, trying out different ethnic cuisine at local restaurants, and having deep discussions over coffee and pastries.

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