Espresso Gene Pool

Oct 19, 2012



We often take our daily coffee and espresso fix for granted most of the time; Perhaps complaining about price, the crema and whether the brew is too hot, or too cold

 But! Imagine a world without coffee!

WHAT!? Yes! A world where there was no natural coffee – only perhaps some synthetic ‘lookie-likie’ of what we know and love as pure roasted aromatic coffee…

Now please don’t think Guru is using scare tactics…rest assured coffee will not be disappearing anytime soon from the retail shelf or gourmet café near you……BUT,  it may well change and become a genetically modified varietal


Whilst this may not sound the most savory of developments the reality is it could well prove essential – this is because many coffee historians believe that most of the world’s Arabica crop shares close genetic ancestry with two 18th century coffee plants, one brought to Europe from Indonesia (Probably by Dutch traders) and the other taken from Yemen and cultivated in Brazil (Potentially by Portuguese traders).

That is the simple reason why coffee industry experts favour expanding the varieties of coffee being cultivated by cross breeding plants to strengthen them – this is a relatively simple process and one which is underway in for example Rwanda.

 Robusta and Arabica are genetically different and this genetic variance is scientifically identifiable. But when it comes to Arabica, there is little variance… other than Rwanda which sits as an unusual ‘new breed’ case in point.

Of course, such genetic involvement / new breed and cross breed will in future ensure that the ‘oddball’ single varietals we know and love today could well become VERY highly prized and massively expensive….

But, the truth is, the first and biggest issue is simply one of persuading major branded coffee roasters that there is indeed a problem – a familiar tale!

Some of the big boys are busy pursuing their own proprietary research projects to expand coffee genetics.

Nestle for example, has the imaginatively titled  ‘Nescafe Plan’  and Starbucks also has work streams in place with industry agronomists.


Typical eh? Well yes, but it is also interesting to note the resistance being voiced by some national research institutions – For example the Ethiopian authorities, keen to secure Ethiopia’s ‘premium’ as the father land of all coffee.

Let us hope that the coffee trade as a whole wakes and smells the wonderful aroma of the god given perfetto espresso before it is too late!

Those in the know and we here at Aromo understand great coffee is not about the marketing and Tom Cruise style cocktail goings on..its about great quality coffee…fresh water …good pressure and the time and skill to make and enjoy your espresso moment
Guru ( Andy Grelak) writes for Aromo Coffee – They are coffee experts focussed on providing convenient and tasty ways for the caffeine addict to take their medicine. Aromo supplies excellent ESE Coffee pods and superlative Senseo pods,  both of which offer the espresso and filter connoisseur  a no mess, no fuss,  super fresh and environmentally conscious method to make stunning coffee… the guys at Aromo also have a range of Dualit branded capsules which make a brilliant and economic alternative to nespresso capsules

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.