What Is the Typica Coffee Variety? Typica is one of the most well-known coffee varietals in the world. It may be traced back to Ethiopia, the origin of Arabica coffee, and is crucial to understanding today’s coffees.
It is a less popular alternative because of its vulnerability to pests and illnesses; nonetheless, its high-quality cup profile and potential to command higher pricing are factors to consider.
Join us as we learn about the history of Typica, its traits, and the factors to consider when selecting it as a growing variety.
WHAT EXACTLY IS TYPICA?
Typica is one of the most famous Arabica coffee varieties. It’s a variety in and of itself, for starters. Typica varieties can be found worldwide, from Blue Mountain in Jamaica to Arábigo in Central America. Second, several of today’s popular types, such as Mundo Novo and Pacamara, are descended from it.
It goes by numerous names, the most renowned of which is Jamaica Blue Mountain. Criollo (Creole), Indio (Indian), Arábigo (Arabica), Plume Hidalgo, and Sumatra are among the others.
Typica is distinguished by its large size, which stands at over 5 meters/16.5 feet. It has a narrow trunk with thin branches spread widely apart due to its height. Its large leaves distinguish Typica with bronze tips and elongated cherry shape.
It has the potential to have a sweet and clean cup. “One of elegance, flowers and fruits, and rich flavours,” says Typica’s cup profile.
“When properly maintained, it has the potential for excellent cup quality.”
Typica is well-known for being exceedingly sensitive to pests and illnesses and having poor yields, despite its excellent cup quality. This may be an issue for many coffee producers who want to minimize their risk.
TYPICA COFFEE’S HISTORY
Each of the world’s central coffee-producing regions has a Typica plant growing on its property. This is because it has a lengthy history.
Typica’s origins may be traced back to southern Ethiopia, where it originated together with other Arabica coffees. Between the 15th and 16th centuries, Arabica was transported to Yemen, and by 1700, it had made its way to India. What we now know as the Typica variety originated on the Malabar coast of India and spread to Java in Indonesia, where it is being grown today.
Similar to Typica, the Bourbon variety travelled a parallel course until Yemen. Instead of being carried farther east, the seeds were transferred to Bourbon Island (today La Réunion), located off the coast of Madagascar. Bourbon, like Typica, is a vital part of the coffee variety family tree’s genetic makeup. It is still produced in many parts of the globe.
It is the father of famous coffee types such as Mundo Novo (a natural cross between Typica and Bourbon) and Caturra, a natural mutation of the Bourbon variety.
Typical plants were first brought to the Netherlands in 1706 when a single plant was conveyed from Java to the botanical gardens in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The factory was after that, shared with the French government. In 1722, France and the Netherlands sent Typica plants to their colonies in South America, Dutch Guiana (now Suriname), and finally, Cayenne, where they flourished (French Guiana). The Typica plant was first discovered in northern Brazil in 1727.
Between 1760 and 1770, Typica made its way to southern Brazil. Various mutations of Typica were identified during the course of the following two hundred years or more. There are many varieties in this category, including the Maragogipe variety, a spontaneous mutation of Typica that was utilized to generate the popular Pacamara variety. Brazil was also the site of the discovery and development of the Mundo Novo variety.
Typica could be found all across Central and South America and in Jamaica, Cuba, and Puerto Rico by the late 1800s. It was also found in other parts of the world, including Europe. Typica was the dominant cultivar in Central America until the 1940s, when Arabica replaced it. Typica has spread around the globe during the course of its history, beginning in Africa and going on to Asia and eventually the Americas, among other places. Typica is widely cultivated all over the globe, and numerous kinds and mutations of the plant are widely available.
WHERE CAN YOU GET YOUR HAND ON TYPICA TODAY?
Typica is a plant that is no longer widely cultivated owing to its vulnerability to pests and illnesses. As coffee variety research has progressed to a more in-depth level, new varieties have been identified, and cultivars have been produced that have characteristics that make them more appealing as options for coffee farmers.
Typica, on the other hand, is still present in all coffee-producing nations and depending on where it is cultivated and how it is developed, it has characteristics that are unique to that particular region.
For example, the Blue Mountain Coffee grown in Jamaica is a Typica variety, which is well-known throughout the world. It is cultivated up to an elevation of 1,800 meters above sea level and is typically processed using the washed technique. It’s even conveyed in handcrafted barrels. As a trademark, Blue Mountain Coffee must adhere to strict guidelines regarding its cultivation, processing, and transportation. Coffee that meets these guidelines is only allowed to be sold under the Blue Mountain brand name. It receives a good quality grade, and its cup profile is well-known for its sweet flavour and smooth texture, among other characteristics. Blue Mountain Coffee is regarded a premium coffee that commands a higher price because of its exclusivity.
Although Peru had shifted away from Typica in favour of growing more rust-resistant cultivars, there has been a gradual return to higher-quality types like Typica, Bourbon, and Caturra in recent years.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN GROWING TYPICA
If it is grown properly, it has the potential to produce a very high-quality cup of coffee, which might result in farmers receiving rewards. However, its vulnerability to pests and illnesses give it a more significant risk.
How can coffee growers tell whether Typica is a suitable option for their farm without spending much money? First and first, it’s critical to recognize your farm’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the money and resources you have available to you.
Typica should be cultivated at a high altitude in order to get the best results. In accordance with World Coffee Research, the optimum altitude for growing Typica is above 1600 meters above sea level if the location is within 5° north or south of the equator, above 1,300 meters above sea level if the location is within 5–15 degrees of the equator, and above 1,000 meters above sea level if the location is more than 14 degrees north or south of the equator.
Moreover, the Typica plants are higher than some other species of coffee plants, and they have lengthy branches that are spread far away from one another. Because these plants are not compact, they will take up more area, reducing the amount of space available for different coffee plants or other crops. This also must be addressed since its height and size imply that caring for the plants may be more time and labour consuming.
Because of its vulnerability to pests and diseases, it’s essential that you only grow it if you have the financial resources to provide fertilizer treatments to your plants. Typically, in the poorest, small towns, the production is fragile due to fewer treatments.
The yields of the Typica cultivar are relatively poor. It yields approximately 20–30 per cent fewer coffee cherries than the Bourbon varietal. Lower yields will result in less coffee to sell, which may be problematic if any issues further affect the outcome, such as climate, rust, and illnesses.
Despite the dangers, it might be worth it — particularly for manufacturers who can sell themselves successfully and tap a specialist market. It may fetch a premium price, making it advantageous for producers to take on the additional risk of high disease susceptibility in exchange for this premium price.
Typica has a rich history and is essential to understanding the coffee that we cultivate and consume today and the coffee that came before it.
We would not have the numerous well-known kinds like Pacamara or Mundo Novo if it weren’t for it. Apart from that, it is a superb coffee variety in its own right, and it continues to be cultivated all over the globe. Even though it is a tough plant to manage, growing and controlling it properly may be profitable to farmers due to the excellent quality of the crop produced.