Have you read about the story of coffee's first journey?
This journey of the coffee species called Arabica starts in Ethiopia then Yemen and on to far flung Java. This is the route the coffee first took from its origin in East Africa to the rest of the world. From Java this plant made its most impressive jump to France. The fruit was given to the king of France and he planted what he called the "Noble Tree". It is the genetic parent of most coffee we drink today. Because the French sent this plant far and wide to colonies to grow this magic drink and to make money from its sale, it shows up all over the coffee growing lands.
How can we tell the coffee is Arabica? Well, from a genetic test or simply from the plant's morphology... how the leaves are shaped and colored, the height and shape of the overall plant and then the fruit's size and appearance.
The species is Arabica and then it has many varieties:
The strains from this variety take names from the places it was planted like Jamaica Blue Mountain, Kona, Kent and Pluma Hidalgo.
This strain first grown in a French colony now called Reunion Island, in the Indian Ocean, was a larger plant and more productive which made it popular in the 19th century as a money making crop.
A shorter plant but an even more productive strain of Bourbon was first grown in Brazil. It is a very efficient plant and so became common on many coffee growing farms.
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