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Home » Catuai Coffee Variety: What You Need To Know

Catuai Coffee Variety: What You Need To Know

Brazil is a key player in the coffee business, from drinking the most amount of coffee in the world to being the biggest producer of coffee globally. This country is known for its unique coffee varieties, with Catuai coffee being one of the most notable. The name Catuai literally means “very good,” so how can it not be?

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about the Catuai coffee variety.

catuai coffee family tree

What Is Catuai Coffee Varietal?

Catuai coffee is a coffee variety that has mainly been grown in Brazil since 1972, Costa Rica since 1985, Guatemala since 1970, and Honduras since 1983, among other countries (1). It is the product of artificially crossing two natural mutations of the Arabica varieties known as Mundo Novo and yellow Caturra to achieve higher yields with smaller, closer-together plants (2).

Catuai coffee is known for being high quality, profitable, and reliable.

The downside of Catuai coffee is that it is highly susceptible to coffee leaf rust, fungal infections, coffee berry disease, pests, and nematodes (3).

For a more detailed look at Catuai coffee, check out this YouTube video.

There are two main types of Catuai coffee: yellow Catuai coffee and maui red Catuai coffee.

Yellow Catuai Coffee

Yellow Catuai coffee usually has a softer body. However, this greatly depends on the altitude it is grown at, the climate it experiences, and the method used to harvest it. The cherries of this coffee variety are in higher demand internationally, although blind testing shows that there is virtually no discernable difference in taste between yellow Catuai coffee and maui red Catuai coffee.

Maui Red Catuai Coffee

Maui red Catuai coffee is full-bodied and yields complex flavour profiles. The extent to which the genetic differences between maui red Catuai coffee and yellow Catuai coffee influence the resulting flavour of the final brew is not yet fully understood.

Catuai Coffee Taste

Catuai coffee comes with a high level of sweet acidity, two contrasting tastes that compliment one another here. According to Q Grader and Professor João Batista Pavesi, the specific cup profiles that Catuai coffee is capable of producing depend on the location it was grown, the type of care it received, and the method of cultivation used (2).

“[Catuai coffee] has several descriptors: chocolate, caramel, caramelised sugar, honey, almonds, and spices [like] nutmeg and sweetgrass

Many Catuai coffee varieties are repeatedly awarded best coffee in Brazil and on a global scale.

How Do I Brew Catuai Coffee?

Catuai coffee is brewed as a medium or light roast with Chemex or French Press methods to highlight its characteristic bittersweetness. These methods bring out a wide variety of fruity and woody notes, with the specific degree of each dependent on the brew style. It is enjoyed either with milk or as a black coffee.

Final Thoughts

Catuai coffee is a Brazilian staple that is popular for its sweet acidity and high-quality cup profile. It is reliably described as “very good,” just as its name suggests. If you are looking for unique bittersweet notes of chocolate, almond, sugars, and spices in your coffee, try a Catuai coffee.


Catuai coffee is one of the Arabica coffee varieties. Arabica coffee beans are just one of several main types of coffee beans that come from the seeds of Coffea plants. For more information, take a look at this list of all coffee bean varieties.

Caturra coffee is a natural hybrid of the Bourbon coffee variety. The first seeds of Caturra were located between Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, Brazil, as a natural mutation of Rio de Janeiro’s red Bourbon trees despite the Bourbon’s origins being in Ethiopia (4).

Mundo Novo is a cross between the two Arabica coffee varieties of Bourbon and Typica. Mundo Novo comes in red as well as other variations. The name Mundo Novo means “new world” and is known for its high quality cup, sweetness, and low acidity.

Pacamara coffee is a cross between the two varietals Pacas and Maragogype, both of which are also varieties of Arabica. To learn more about this exotic blend with its rich, creamy, and characteristic jasmine taste, check out our article describing what Pacamara coffee is.

  1. SanMax, I. M. (2020, April 1). Exploring The Catuai Coffee Variety. Retrieved August 9, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/04/exploring-the-catuai-coffee-variety/
  2. Ferraresso, J. (2020, February 20). Catuai & Yellow Bourbon: Exploring Brazil’s Coffee Varieties. Retrieved August 9, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/02/catuai-yellow-bourbon-exploring-brazils-coffee-varieties/
  3. World Coffee Research. (n.d.). Catuai. Retrieved August 10, 2022, from https://varieties.worldcoffeeresearch.org/varieties/catuai
  4. Lancashire, P. (2021, November 29). Coffee varieties: A roaster’s guide to Caturra. Retrieved August 10, 2022, from https://mtpak.coffee/2021/11/coffee-varieties-roasters-guide-caturra/
Dasha Toptygina
I am a writer who delves into all manner of things related to coffee, cats, and characters. I started drinking coffee daily in university and now my entire work, life, and personality all revolve around procuring the perfect brew. I start every morning with yoga, French Press coffee, and some special creative time devoted to working on a magical cat café story... but, more on that later.

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