Icatu is a Brazilian coffee hybrid resulting from a cross between the Arabica and Robusta varieties. It was introduced in 1993 by the IAC in Campinas, Brazil. Today, Icatu is a backcross of the varieties Timor and Mundo Novo or Caturra. It is characterised by a sweet, chocolaty aroma, a rounded body and subtle acidity, with flavours of maple, cocoa and malt. Icatu is particularly well suited as a base for coffee drinks with milk such as cappuccino and latte macchiato.
Icatu coffee is grown in Brazil, the world's largest coffee producer. It is grown in 17 of Brazil's 26 states, particularly in Paraná, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo. These regions offer favourable conditions for growing ikatu. Brazil's diverse coffee production also includes specialty coffees like Icatu, which are known for their unique qualities.
When Icatu was bred, various Bourbon Arabica plants were crossed with Robusta plants. The resulting coffee plants were then crossed with the Mundo Novo plant, which is a hybrid of Arabica and Robusta. This selective breeding process aimed to improve the robustness and disease resistance of the Icatu variety, resulting in tall trees and coffee cherries that can be either red or yellow.
What distinguishes Icatu from other coffee varieties is its robustness and high resistance to diseases. These characteristics make Icatu coffee plants particularly suitable for cultivation. The hybrid nature of Icatu, combining Arabica and Robusta genetics, contributes to its unique flavour profile and versatility in making coffee drinks with milk.