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Today we are going to talk about our unique specialty coffee; the Colombian Pink Bourbon, and it is like an introduction to coffee varieties and why they are important.

When we talk about coffee varieties what we are really describing is the type of coffee plant that produced the beans that we are going to harvest, process, roast, and enjoy as a beverage. That is right, there are hundreds of varieties of coffee. The varieties that we see listed on the specialty coffee bags are derived from three main species of coffee. The subspecies of those parent plants are the varieties and cultivars we dive into.

First; The History of Pink Bourbon Coffee

The Bourbon variety had its beginnings in coffee history, traveling from Ethiopia to Yemen along with the Typica variety before being relocated to Bourbon Island (La Reunion) via the French. The subspecies did not set immediately and had to be reintroduced three times before the crop became sustainable. From there, the Bourbon traveled around the world.

This is where we put history aside and get excited about coffee as a plant and not just as a hot beverage. Coffee as we know it does not exist without the persistence of farmers. The Typica variety mentioned above did not initially survive in Yemen and was eventually brought to Indonesia, which became the epicenter of the Typica subspecies.

Pink Bourbon coffee is a hybrid between Yellow Bourbon and Red Bourbon.

What is the point? Coffee, like all life, is fragile. The Bourbon variety is no exception and, in fact, is more susceptible to disease than some subspecies of coffee. Bourbon coffees tend to have reduced yields and are not resistant to coffee rust or coffee berry disease. However, their flavor is recognized. For this reason, farmers do everything possible to continue producing this variety. The Red Bourbon and the Yellow Bourbon mutated naturally and created the Pink Bourbon, without the need of farmers. However, being a mutation, Pink Bourbon is recessive – get out those biology textbooks! This recessive trait is a nice way of saying that the Pink variety usually loses out to its Red and Yellow Bourbon counterparts. To grow Pink Bourbon consistently, special care has been taken to isolate the seeds and hand-pick them at the exact moment of ripening: a task easier said than done due to the unique pink color.

This is the magic of Colombian Pink Bourbon Coffee that the whole world is talking about.

Standing out in every way, from the striking pink color of its cherries to the extremely sweet and complex flavor of its beans, the Pink Bourbon variety, as you already know, is a hybrid between Red Bourbon and Yellow Bourbon and is a very rare and coveted coffee.

Our Coffee is cultivated in the Department of Huila, near the Colombian Massif, in the southwest of the country. This varietal is unique in its genre.

The Colombian Massif provides up to 70% of the country’s drinking and agricultural water. From there, the Magdalena River, the largest river in Colombia, begins to flow along the lush volcanic soil in the Andes Mountains, providing abundant fresh water for the cultivation of coffee.

These conditions are ideal for growing the finest coffee. However, growing the Pink Bourbon requires an authentic challenge:

In addition to meticulous plant maintenance, farmers must isolate their crops to encourage cross-pollination and continue pink cherry production.

Furthermore, harvesting by hand requires an additional effort, coffee pickers must look for subtle nuances of color in order to separate underripe cherries from ripe ones.

But the end result is worth it, EL AMIGO COFFEE gets spicy and all-natural beans that offer an elegant, clean, and balanced cup with notes reminiscent of flowers, peach, honey, raspberries, and extremely sweet, hence its high score; 87.5 cupping score.

And remember this, which is very important

We at EL AMIGO COFFEE are proud to partner with farmers from Huila who dedicate their lives to continuing the legacy of this unique coffee so that we can share it with you. Now, when you search for coffee in your local market and see the words Cultivar or Variety, you will know why it is there and what information it represents. You may want to explore the subspecies and all the unique cupping components they possess or delve deeper into the genealogy of the coffee. For the rest of you, leave this blog knowing that specialty coffee importers like us are committed to bringing you the coffees that require a little more effort.