Bourbon coffee and Typica are considered the most original of the noble varieties of Arabica coffee. Many other Arabica varieties can be traced back to these two, which belong to the Heirloom family. The Bourbon coffee plant has a less conical shape than the Typica plant. Its branches are more closely spaced, which allows it to produce about 30% more yield compared to the Typica plant. However, the yield is still low compared to other coffee plants. Bourbon coffee, like Bourbon vanilla, takes its name from the island of Bourbon, which today is called Réunion. Originally, the plant comes from Yemen, but the French king had this coffee plant cultivated on Bourbon. Réunion is located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar and west of Mauritius, and thus geographically belongs to Africa. Since the island belongs to France to this day, the namesake island of Bourbon coffee is European, and more specifically, the southernmost part of the EU.
The original Bourbon coffee cherries from Yemen are red. The well-known "Yellow Bourbon" is a subspecies of Bourbon coffee created by crossing the original red Bourbon with the Amarelo de Botucatu coffee plant native to Brazil. The leaves of the bourbon coffee plant are wavy. Light green or red leaves usually grow at the ends of the branches. The fruit is relatively small and dense. The cherries ripen quickly and are in danger of falling off during heavy winds or heavy rains. The cherries are usually harvested by hand, either picked directly or by shaking the coffee plant. In the latter process, cloths are stretched around the plants beforehand to prevent the cherries from falling to the ground. It is difficult to say anything in general about the taste of a bourbon coffee, since many factors (such as cultivation, processing, roasting, freshness, and not least the preparation) and not only the type of coffee plant have an influence on the later taste.
High quality bourbon coffees usually have a very low acidity. This balanced acidity also made it known as a very digestible coffee. The caffeine content is lower than that of a Robusta coffee. Bourbon coffee usually suggests fruity notes and a pleasant natural sweetness.
Curious to try our Bourbon varieties? Then try our Simbi Natural Espresso, for example, and let yourself be carried away into the gentle world of taste!