Vietnam Bourbon Coffee Beans – Grade 1: Taking its name from the island of Réunion (then called Bourbon), Bourbon coffee, with its sweetness and lightness, has conquered many generations and become an “immortal” monument in the coffee industry today.
Bourbon is a coffee variety that belongs to a subspecies of Arabica (a natural mutation from Typica of genetic importance in the world). As mentioned, Bourbon coffee got its name and originated from the French island of Bourbon, first brought to Vietnam by the French in 1875. They set up several coffee plantations to cultivate this coffee breed at that time.
Biologically, Bourbon tends to have a single main root (if joined from Yemen) and tends to form multiple stems (if joined from Ethiopia). Bourbon fruit when ripe can be red, orange, and yellow depending on the variety (red or yellow fruit is common).
Bourbon coffee beans are usually rounder than Typica coffee beans. In terms of color and size of leaves, young leaves are green or yellow copper, while mature leaves are more significant than Typica leaves with wide and wavy shapes. The side branches of the Bourbon coffee tree usually grow at an angle of about 60° to the main stem.
Bourbon coffee trees grow lushly at an altitude of 1,100m (maybe up to 2,000m) above sea level.
Compared with the Typica coffee variety, Bourbon coffee has a higher yield of 20-30% (coffee quality is similar). Despite having high growth potential and economic profit, Bourbon coffee is often susceptible to diseases and pests.
In addition, a distinctive feature of Bourbon coffee is that its final flavor will always depend on altitude, soil conditions, nutrients, fertilizers, and farming techniques to produce the best results. Therefore, although growing in the same land, the taste of Bourbon coffee will have distinct differences; there are good crops and flavors, but there are also flawed and poor-quality Bourbon coffee crops.
According to the narratives of many generations and historical documents, it is known that Bourbon coffee, in particular, and Arabica, in general, originated in the southwestern region of Ethiopia and were present in the port of Yemen in the 16th century. WCR, in the 1700s, French missionaries brought the Bourbon coffee plant to Bourbon Island (now La Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean) three times (in 1708, 1715, and 1718) until the mid-19th century, the tree Bourbon coffee is always present on this island.
French missionaries (Spiritans) continue to bring Bourbon coffee varieties to Africa. From the trees first planted at La-Reunion, in 1859 they were brought again to Zanzibar, then to Bagamoyo (coastal Tanzania), and to St. Augustine and Taita Hills (in Kenya, Bura). Also from here, Bourbon coffee began to be cultivated throughout Africa.
Bourbon coffee varieties selected from St. Augustine were grown in the highlands of Kenya, and types brought from Bagamoyo were present in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, being developed on many of the Tanzanian coffee plantations of the time. In the 19th century (circa 1930) in Lyamungo, Tanzania, a research station was established to breed Bourbon coffee based on the mass selection of Bourbon varieties in Bagamoyo. This research station is known as the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI).
Thanks to high productivity and significant economic profits, Bourbon coffee has increased since it was first cultivated on Bourbon island. Today, Bourbon coffee is also widely available in most countries worldwide.
Do you know? Bourbon grown in Da Lat is considered the most valuable coffee in Vietnam and has a flavor quality comparable to the best coffee in the world today. This is also considered a rare type of coffee. In Da Lat, only about 500 trees are left (according to the synthesis of Vietnamese and Japanese coffee experts).
Compared to other coffee varieties, beans from Bourbon trees tend to be richer in sweetness because, being a coffee variety with a rich organic acidity, it has a complex and delicate flavor when brewed. There is a slight sourness (less acidity than Typica), but the taste of Bourbon coffee will depend on where they are grown.
And according to the general opinion of many people, Bourbon is a coffee variety with an extremely attractive aroma, which can be said to be the “queen” of coffees. When enjoying, the feeling of taste in the mouth is exciting, there is a balance, and the aftertaste is very delicious, exquisite, and stylish.
It can be said that Bourbon coffee, after hundreds of years, has undergone many different mutations and variations. To improve productivity and resistance to pests and diseases, some have been screened by humans to produce the best Bourbon coffee varieties. Here are some generations of Bourbon coffee :
This is a natural dwarf mutant with a concise body. The breed Caturra was first found in 1937 in Brazil. Many farmers around the world evaluate that Caturra coffee has a higher yield and better disease resistance than its mother, Bourbon.
Today, Caturra is grown mainly in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, and to a large extent in Brazil. Although the flavor quality is good, Caturra still has a lower quality than Bourbon coffee.
Pascas coffee also mutates with a “modest” and “shorter” height than Bourbon coffee. Café Pacas was established in 1949 on a farm in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador, owned by a family of the Pacas family.
It wasn’t until then in 1960, that the Salvador Coffee Research Institute started a genealogical selection program for the Pacas cafe. Today, Pacas coffee accounts for the majority of the country’s coffee production (about 25%).
The name “Tekisic” comes from the Nahuatl word “tekiti,” which means “work” (according to the Salvadoran Institute of Coffee Research, abbreviated ISIC). Why does this coffee variety have such a unique name?
Because to get Tekisic coffee from Bourbon coffee plants, it takes a lot of effort in breeding. ISIC spent nearly 30 years working on individual selections, starting in 1949 and releasing them in 1977.
Café Bourbon Tekisic accounts for the majority of coffee production in El Salvador (approximately 70%). It plays an important role economically in Guatemala.
Villa Sarchi coffee aka La Luisa or Villalobos Bourbon is also a natural mutation of Bourbon coffee. Villa Sarchi coffee was found in Costa Rica in the 1950s in the Northwest region of Alajuela province.
Later, this coffee variety was also genealogically selected to find the best “gene.” Villa Sarchi coffee, although introduced into Honduras by IHCAFE (Honduran Coffee Institute) in 1974, is not currently widely grown outside of Costa Rica.
In the 1930s, coffee lines derived from Bourbon coffee were cultivated by the Kenyan government. The aim is to select a coffee variety with high quality and yield that is drought tolerant.
At this time, Scott laboratory has selected two seedlings SL28 and SL34. SL28 did not have high yield or disease resistance, but because of its high-quality seeds, the variety was kept.
And in fact, some people have also objectively commented that SL28 coffee has a quality that cannot be confused with any other coffee in the world. Coffee SL34 has a slightly higher yield than SL28 and is still classified as one of the high-quality coffee varieties.
Many prestigious newspapers in the world have reported on Vietnam as a surprise factor. Because thirty years ago, we were just a rookie, both in terms of output and quality. After thirty years, the output is what has changed the most, but the quality is still guaranteed. Vietnam mainly exports the Robusta line in raw form, a lower value coffee than the Arabica line.
It is the main producer of Robusta coffee. But Vietnam is also home to some of the best Arabica coffees in the world. They are grown in Cau Dat – Da Lat. Learn More
Precipitation, temperature, and humidity have a lot of say in a coffee’s maturation, overall flavor, and quality. Many coffee-producing countries are either primed for growing success or use alternative methods to improve their ecosystem.
Cau Dat – Da Lat is located on the height of over 1500 meters above the sea level. It is featured by temperate climate all year round with the maximum temperature always under 33°C and the minimum temperature above 5°C. Its soil is basalt. These are “golden factors” helping Cau Dat become the perfect land for cultivating Arabica coffee.
The Arabica of Cau Dat is featured by the combination of fairly sourness and light bitterness. Meanwhile, Cau Dat coffee has clear and pure brown color, like the color of amber. Its smell is elegant and really aromatic. Its amazing smell is the harmony of syrup smell, fresh fruits smell, honey smell, roast bread smell and the smell of sunny days. It taste really special and hardly to forgot which can impress the sternest person. Cau Dat coffee is absolutely able to compete with other well-known coffee areas in the world in quality.
A coffee’s process describes how the seed (aka the coffee bean) is separated from the coffee cherry. Popular methods include washed, dry, and honey, but there are many other processes that put special emphasis on different aspects of these methods.
Harvest and export times are based off when a particular coffee will be at its peak quality. Cherries picked at the start of the harvest season tend to be underdeveloped, and those picked at the end are often overdeveloped, so producers aim for that sweet
Dec – Sept
Cau Dat has situated about 24km from Da Lat city in Lam Dong Province – the part of the famous Central Highland. It is one of the best lands in Vietnam growing Arabica coffee. Featured by perfect height above sea level and weather conditions.
Cau Dat has a total area of 1,110 hectares of coffee growing, accounting for 86% of the agricultural area. Especially, the area for Arabica coffee accounts for 98% of the total. Cau Dat coffee species generally really suit the natural conditions of this land and barely get affected by pests. Each hectare of the cultivated area can provide 18-20 tons of fresh coffee berries, equivalent to 4 tons of coffee beans. The productivity is much higher than other types.