A varietal family tree

This is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, but hadn’t gotten anywhere with. Tonight I was flicking through the Illy book looking for something else and then starting reading the varietals page and thought I’d try something simple to see how it looked. It is pretty badly labeled at this point – not distinguishing natural mutations from selections, and only crosses are obvious. I have only done c. arabica varietals that are quite well known, and thrown in a couple of obscure ones if they are on the route to somewhere interesting. Click the link for bigness.

Comments are very welcome, though if it is a correction please list your source. Additions also welcome. A few obvious ones are missing, but I wasn’t sure of their heritage and couldn’t find an accurate source – again, please chip in….

14 thoughts on “A varietal family tree

  1. Jim – that chart is a godsend. I needed a place to start figuring this out myself and you’ve done most the work already!

  2. Interesting, James. Been wondering about putting one together here and remember you mentioned this a few months back…let me know if we can assist.

  3. i have a pretty extensive breakdown in digital format from Anacafe, I’ll try to find it and send it to you. It includes timelines, methods of transport and some records of who was responsible for the geographical move or creation of new varietal.

  4. Hi James

    First glance looks pretty good – I think you can add Icatu off of the Bourbon spur. I will ask Gabriel about Acaia and Canario. We recently cupped another ”new” one from Brazil called Ruby – not impressed enough on that table to go forward but icatu, canario and acaia have all found their followings and I think they all have the potential to be the next ‘recognised’ varietal purchase after bourbon.

    Bring me another glass of shiraz (syrah) he cried!!

    good job – you should write a book.

    all the best

  5. james, i haven’t been able to dig this up but will keep looking. keep an eye out for article in roastmagazine nov/dec on this.

  6. Hello,
    Excellent diagram Jim.
    There is just one mistake, Villa Sarchi is not derived from Caturra, Villa Sarchi is a dwarf mutant derived directly from Bourbon. It was found in the 1940s in a small coffee growing village in Costa Rica called Sarchi hence its name.
    Best regards,

  7. Agreed Vila Sarchi derived from Caturra ref: Jean Nicola Wintgens Wiley-VCH.
     Additions: material production, derived from Bourbon, Jackson, N39, Mibirizi and Bourbon Mayaguez. There is also S795 derived from Kent (Kent X S288). It might be cool to add yellow bourbon, thought to be Red Bourbon X Amarelo De Botucatu. Nice that Catimor and Sarchimor are left of since they sister Caturra anyway, also Java, due to crazt crossing and grade.  

  8. Finally: Saw comment about Icatu. Not sure if this belongs outside of a note since from my memory, this is a variety of advanced breeding lince of C. Arabica X C. Canephora then back-crossed to various Brazilian Arabica cultivars.

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