How d’you like them apples?

coffee fruit

So as we said before Christmas, coffee is not (as the name suggests) a

bean. Coffee fruit is similar to a cherry and grows on a plant (more

of a bush), and the coffee ‘bean’ is actually the seed of the fruit.

Sometimes you will see ‘cascara tea’ for sale in speciality coffee

shops, which is tea made simply by steeping the dried coffee fruit

flesh in hot water.


So where does coffee come from?


Coffee originated in Ethiopia as a wide variety of wild growing

plants. The Dutch were the first to commercially spread coffee around

the world and the variety they used was ‘Typica’. Typica is the original

commercial variety all other commercial coffees have descended from

this through mutation or genetic selection.


A great way to think about coffee is that it is similar to apples.

Everyone knows that there are many variety of apple from Granny Smith

to Braeburn to Golden Delicious – they are all very recognisable types

of apple, and share many of the same flavours and characteristics but

they are also very different; coffee is the same.


Looking back at our current Jailbreak blend from Has Bean, it currently

contains two popular varieties: Bourbon and Caturra.


Bourbon is a naturally occurring mutation of Typica from the island of

Réunion, named Bourbon at the time. Bourbon is a higher yielding

variety than Typica, in that it grows more fruit, and is also believed to be

sweeter, making it a desirable coffee.


Caturra is a mutation of Bourbon discovered in Brazil in 1937. Again

it is high yielding and has generally high cup quality.


Next time we are going to be talking about how coffee is processed to

produce coffee beans that we recognise.