Related to: Heirloom
Origin: Bourbon Island
Grows best at: 800 metres or above
Prevalent in: All over the coffee growing world
Predominant Colour: Red yellow and orange but mainly red
Fruit size: Normal rounded
Leaf Characteristics: Wide Like and short
Originating maybe on the island of Bourbon or perhaps Ethiopia, this varietal has many sub-varietals. At risk of pest and disease, and decidedly average in terms of yield, but the cup profile tends to be anything but average.
There is some evidence that Yellow Bourbon gives a higher yield compared to its red and orange derivatives, although red is the most prevalent.
With very close links to SL28, Typica and Cattura, in the right environment because of its low yield Bourbon tends to produce a very high quality cup (there is evidence that the lower the yield the higher the quality as the plant can use its energy more efficiently). I don’t think it is a coincidence that my top three coffees of all time have been from the Bourbon varietal.
Typical cup characteristics are low body, balanced, with a typically sweet profile that tends to lend it self well to espresso based coffees.
Links: SL 28, Typica, Cattura
Examples: Brazil Fazenda Cachoeira Bourbon, El Salvador Finca La Fany Bourbon, Rwanda Murambi Bourbon, El Salvador La Ilusion Bourbon.