Coffee Species (Other Cultivars)

Coffee Species (Other Cultivars)

Hybridization has produced other cultivars which are propagated from cuttings rather than seeds, such as the more successful arabusta, developed by the French Coffee and Cocoa Institute in the 1960s and exported to many parts of the world from the Ivory Coast.

The goal of most hybridization is to combine the best qualities of arabica, robusta, and perhaps of some of the better natural mutants, with the hope of possibly improving all. The natural hibrido de Timor, the dwarf Ruiru Eleven from Kenya, the rust-resistance catimor, and the icatu hybrids are names of some strains involved in, or resulting from, experiments in hybridization.

There are many reasons why the development of new coffee hybrids is the object of so much activity around the globe. In various cases, these efforts have pursued higher crop yields, larger beans or uniformity in bean size, better cup flavors, drought-resistant trees, adaptability to specific soil, and variants in caffeine content, to name but a few sought-after results.

Almost no factors, however, present a greater challenge to coffee researchers than the two biggest enemies of the coffee plant: insects and diseases.

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