For many years on the world stage the Geisha/Gesha varietal has reigned supreme, but this year there were three competitors in the Top 6 who used this little known and ancient coffee varietal called caffea eugenioides.
The farm responsible for cultivating this strange varietal in modern times is Inmaculada Coffee Farms. It has just become one of the most famous coffees on the planet, because World Barista Champion Diego Campos used it to take home gold at the 2021 competition!
The tiny cherries of the eugenioides tree. Pic from Inmaculada Coffee Farms
Below is the story of the eugenioides varietal that is grown at Inmaculada Coffee Farms, specifically Las Nubes:
Just one cup of this coffee was enough to inspire a journey to South America to discover this species for ourselves. Legends and speculation buzz about this coffee. For starters, this is not even the same species as most of the coffee encountered on the market today. Coffea Eugenioides is considered to be one of the parents of modern Arabica coffee. Eugenioides is a very difficult coffee to grow, yielding only 150 grams per tree of unmilled coffee. It contains about half the caffeine of Arabica coffee, which causes the coffee to have almost no perceived bitterness. The defining characteristic of this coffee is its wild, almost unbelievable sweetness. It has a compelling lack of citric acidity that we are so used to in a coffee, presenting a whole new perspective on what coffee can be. Interestingly specialty coffee has honed in on just one species, Coffea Arabica, as the species that has become synonymous with specialty coffee. Over 100 species of coffee have been described, and Eugenioides is hailed as a progenitor of modern-day Arabica.
An abandoned coffee specie that challenge what we know as coffee today, and unlike anything we've ever tasted. Coffee Eugenioides is one of Arabica's unique and tasty parents. This natural processed Eugenioides was rescued and cultivated by Finca Inmaculada in Pichinde Colombia situated at 1900-2000 MASL on the easternmost part of the Northern Andes. Eugenioides got its own unique brand of flavors. This is truly a rare coffee and worth the adventure. Indigenous to the highlands of East Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and western Tanzania. It has a really low caffeine content, so there isn't bitter cup of this coffee. It's so sweet and easy to drink and has a completely amazing flavor— that sweetness combined with knowing you're tasting something unique makes it better.
The Eugenioides variety is a medium tree with small leafs and beans.
Flavors of Cereal Milk, Papaya, Bubble Gum, Cake Batter, Sticky Rice, & Cap'n Crunch Crunchbenies invade your palate as you know you are tasting a miracle in the making.
Strawberry Yogurt, Confectioners Sugar, Toasted Marshmallow, Guava, Lemon Drop
If you'd like to do a deep dive into obscure coffee varietals (perhaps start a list of what you taste along the way!) then this comprehensive list from SCA provides a solid start point.