Laurina is a very special and rare variety of coffee that has become something of a cult favourite over the past couple of years.
It's prized for a slightly counter-intuitive reason, as it has less of the stuff that we love most in coffee: caffeine. On average, about half to a third of the caffeine in normal arabica coffees.
Why does that make it so special? For coffee fanatics, it means you can drink more coffee per day, without increasing your caffeine consumption.
But it also has positive effects on the flavour in the cup: caffeine is the primary source of bitterness in coffee, so naturally reducing the caffeine content produces a smoother, more pleasant cup. Laurina is prized for an especially clean flavour profile, with a gentler, almost creamy acidity.
Laurina is tricky to get not just because of its high demand, but also because of challenges associated with growing it. The evolutionary function of caffeine is that of a pesticide: it is toxic to many herbivore insects, and its bitter flavour deters many more. Reducing the caffeine content therefore reduces that pesticide effect, making Laurina a trickier, riskier variety to grow, with lower yield rates.
Generally, the production per hectare of Laurina is about 20% less than other varieties, and the yield after production can be as much as 30% less.
This is why Laurina can be slightly pricier than its fully caffeinated counterparts. But it pays off in a wonderfully clean and gentle cup, and might be just the thing you need to stem your caffeine dependence…
Keen to try some? Check out our lot from Santa Eduviges in Costa Rica, while its still there.