Bourbon Coffee History. .
Around 1708 the French planted coffee on the island of Bourbon (now called Réunion) in the middle of the Indian Ocean, all probably from the same parent stock – the plant the Dutch gave them. Unsurprisingly, it mutated slightly and was planted throughout Brazil in the late 1800s and eventually spread through Latin America. Bourbon produces 20–30% more fruit than Typica varieties.
The Bourbon Coffee Plants
The shrub form is slightly conical and part of intermediate to high (10-12 feet tall). The internodes of the stem and branches are shorter than the Typica making it have a higher production capacity.
It has the tendency to produce multiple trunks and their response to pruning is excellent. The abundance of branches is greater than the typica and form a closed (45 degree) angle to the central stem. The leaves are thicker and curly edge.
The Bourbon Coffee in Full Production
The adult leaves are pale green and new light green. It is easily and rapidly recovered from the effects of the crop. The fruit is smaller and shorter relative to Typica, but appear in larger numbers. It has the tendency to drop the fruit with abundant rains during harvest. The average grain yield is less than Typica with about 4.5 pounds of coffee per bushel milled. The cup quality is good.
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Did you know that there are different varieties of coffee plants?
A more productive variety than its parent Typica, the Bourbon variety is part of the reason Brazil became one of the world's coffee super producers in the 1860s, when it was introduced to make up for the supply loss caused by a leaf-rust outbreak in Java. Slightly sweeter with a sort of caramel quality, Bourbon coffees also have a nice, crisp acidity, but can present different flavors depending on where they're planted.