A first-generation (F1) hybrid originating from a cross between rust-resistant T5296 and the Ethiopian landrace variety Rume Sudan. Centroamericano is resistant to coffee leaf rust, is extremely high yielding (in breeding evaluations, it showed production increases of 22–47% over the standard varieties in Central America). Centroamericano has also proven to have exceptional cup quality potential when well-managed at high altitudes. It was released in 2010 for farmers in Central America.
The variety was created by a consortium including French research institute CIRAD, a regional network of national coffee institutes in Central America (PROMECAFE), and a coffee genebank in Costa Rica (CATIE). F1 hybrids in Central America are part of an effort by breeders to increase the genetic diversity of varieties in the region since the traditional American varieties are severely genetically constricted.
Typically, F1 hybrid parents are chosen to be genetically distant from one another; this distance maximizes hybrid vigor, which translates into high yields and overall vigor (for example, tolerance to frost), without losses in cup quality or disease resistance. There are only a handful of F1 hybrid coffee varieties in the world, most developed in the last 10 years, and only recently commercially available to farmers.