Like Caturra and Pacas, Villa Sarchi (also called La Luisa or Villalobos Bourbon) is a natural mutation of a Bourbon population with a single-gene mutation that causes the plant to grow smaller (called “dwarfism’). The variety was discovered in Costa Rica in the 1950s or 1960s in the northwestern region of the province of Alajuela, and has subsequently undergone pedigree selection (selection of individual plants through successive generations) there. It is not widely grown outside Costa Rica, though was introduced to Honduras in 1974 by IHCAFE.
It is known for being well-adpated to the highest altitude conditions and tolerant of strong winds.
Villa Sarchi is perhaps most well known as one of the namesakes of the “Sarchimor” group of coffees. In the 1970s, coffee breeders and growers in Latin America, as well as the global coffee industry that depended on coffee from the region, were extremely concerned about the recent arrival of coffee leaf rust in Latin America.
In 1958 or 1959, the Centro de Investigação das Ferrugens do Cafeeiro of Portugal (CIFC), famous for its research into coffee leaf rust, received two shipments of Timor Hybrid seeds. Timor Hybrid is a natural cross between Arabica and Robusta that appeared spontaneously on the island of East Timor in 1920s. Its Robusta genetics conferred rust resistance into the variety. From the two shipments of seeds that CIFC received, breeders selected two plants for use in breeding based on their high resistance to leaf rust. In 1967, CIFC breeders began work to create new varieties of coffee that would be resistant to coffee leaf rust, but also have a compact stature that could be planted more densely. One of the rust-resistant Timor Hybrid plants, called HDT CIFC 832/1, was crossed with compact Villa Sarchi to create hybrid 361 (H361). The hybrid was dubbed “Sarchimor.” (Crosses made with compact Caturra were dubbed "Catimor.")