Coffee beans Wiki
Coffee varieties are the diverse subspecies derived through selective breeding or natural selection of coffee plants. While there is tremendous variability encountered in both wild and cultivated coffee plants, there are a few varieties and cultivars that are commercially important due to various unique and inherent traits such as disease resistance and fruit yield. These unique traits are what producers use to select breeds when developing crops. Therefore, at a micro level, breed selection is critical to the success of a producer and is one of the key components of cup quality.
At a macro level, the viability of the coffee industry as a whole is dependent upon breed selection. Already, the majority of coffee produced originates from producers using selected breeds. For this reason, breed selection is an important aspect of sustainability within coffee production.
There is considerable confusion as to which term to use when speaking about coffee subspecies. For the sake of clarity, within this article the terms will be used in accordance with loose guidelines put forth by the Specialty Coffee Association of America:
Put simply: In this article, varieties are naturally occurring subspecies and cultivars are cultivated subspecies. In addition, a third term, "breed" will be used as an umbrella term to simplify discussions in which the nuances between the terms terms 'variety' and 'cultivar' have no bearing.
Coffea arabica coffee represents between seventy and seventy-five percent of world production and it would be much higher if arabica were not as susceptible to disease as it is.
Before the end of the 19th century, arabica was indeed the exclusive producer of all coffee in the world but the first documented outbreak of coffee leaf rust (CLR) disease decimated crops around the world, prompting many farmers to explore alternative crops.