Bourbon original

About the Catalog

The intention of this catalog is that those working with coffee should be able to make informed decisions about which variety will work best for their situation and needs.

About the Catalog

Infor­ma­tion is pow­er. There are dozens of wide­ly cul­ti­vat­ed Ara­bi­ca and Robus­ta cof­fee vari­eties around the world, and each is unique in its per­for­mance and adap­ta­tion to local con­di­tions. This cat­a­log brings urgent­ly need­ed infor­ma­tion to cof­fee farm­ers to help them decide which cof­fee is best for their sit­u­a­tion. Agro­nom­ic data — expect­ed yield, nutri­tion require­ments, opti­mal alti­tude, dis­ease and pest resis­tance, etc — about the wide­spread array of exist­ing cul­ti­vat­ed Ara­bi­ca and Robus­ta cof­fee vari­eties has nev­er been avail­able in an open-access for­mat before.

Because the life of a cof­fee tree is 20 – 30 years, the deci­sion pro­duc­ers make about which vari­ety to plant will have con­se­quences until the next gen­er­a­tion. If a farmer makes a poor deci­sion on vari­ety, the cumu­la­tive loss can be huge. Most cof­fee farm­ers — who earn their liveli­hoods based on the deci­sions they make about what kind of cof­fee to plant — don’t typ­i­cal­ly have access to trans­par­ent infor­ma­tion about avail­able vari­eties and how they dif­fer. The lack of a com­pre­hen­sive, up-to-date cof­fee cat­a­log puts farm­ers at risk and per­pet­u­ates chron­i­cal­ly low yields around the globe.

The pur­pose of the cat­a­log is to low­er the risk asso­ci­at­ed with cof­fee farm­ing by pro­vid­ing direct infor­ma­tion to farm­ers and oth­er farm ren­o­va­tion or plant­i­ng deci­sion-mak­ers to enable them to make an informed choice about what vari­ety is best for their cir­cum­stances. Choos­ing the right type of cof­fee low­ers the risk of dis­ease and pest loss­es, has con­se­quences for qual­i­ty in the cup, and will be crit­i­cal for cof­fee pro­duc­ers fac­ing rapid­ly chang­ing cli­mates. Choos­ing the cor­rect vari­ety — one that meets the farmer’s goals and needs — can sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce loss­es due to diseases/​pests, increase pro­duc­tion vol­ume, and/​or increase quality.

Through­out the cof­fee-pro­duc­ing world, there is wide­spread need for replant­i­ng with young trees, trees resis­tant to major dis­eases and pests (includ­ing cof­fee berry dis­ease, cof­fee leaf rust, antes­tia bug and stem bor­er), and with improved vari­eties capa­ble of meet­ing the chal­lenges of the cli­mate crisis. 

Using the catalog

This cat­a­log aims to present infor­ma­tion for cof­fee pro­duc­ers and any­one work­ing with cof­fee plants about how dif­fer­ent vari­eties can be expect­ed to per­form under ide­al conditions.

Of course, cof­fee is not always grown under ide­al con­di­tions. Fac­tors such as envi­ron­ment, alti­tude, soil nutri­tion, weath­er, the age of the tree, and farm man­age­ment prac­tices can sig­nif­i­cant­ly affect a cof­fee tree’s yield, qual­i­ty, and health.

Because of this, it is impos­si­ble to give absolute data about cer­tain aspects of a variety’s per­for­mance (for exam­ple, cup qual­i­ty or yield). In those cas­es, we pro­vide a com­mon vari­ety (Catur­ra in Cen­tral Amer­i­ca, SL28 in Africa) as a ref­er­ence in the descrip­tion of rel­e­vant vari­ables. If a farmer knows how Catur­ra or SL28 would per­form on their farm, giv­en their par­tic­u­lar cli­mate, soil, and farm prac­tices, they should be able to mea­sure the rel­a­tive per­for­mance of oth­er vari­eties against that knowledge.

The inten­tion of this cat­a­log is that those work­ing with cof­fee should be able to make informed deci­sions about which vari­ety will work best for their sit­u­a­tion and needs.

A liv­ing document

This cat­a­log of cof­fee vari­eties is a liv­ing doc­u­ment and will con­tin­ue to grow as more regions of the world are cov­ered and as new vari­eties are developed.

Genetic modification in coffee

All the vari­eties list­ed in this cat­a­log have been cre­at­ed through tra­di­tion­al breed­ing approach­es. To the knowl­edge of sci­en­tists at World Cof­fee Research, no com­mer­cial­ly avail­able cof­fee vari­ety has been cre­at­ed through genet­ic engineering.

World Cof­fee Research and all par­ties receiv­ing fund­ing from WCR are pro­hib­it­ed from engag­ing in the devel­op­ment of genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied coffees.

World Coffee Research

World Coffee Research is a 501 (c)(5) non-profit, collaborative research and development program of the global coffee industry to grow, protect, and enhance supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it.

Are you a coffee farmer?

We've created a printable version of our coffee variety catalog specifically for farmers. Available in English and Spanish.