Did you know that there are over 120 species of coffees? Among them were two well known variants, which were Arabica and Robusta. Put Arabica and Robusta aside, have you ever heard of Liberica coffee?
Liberia coffee is one of the varieties of coffee that grows in Southeast Asia, and is one of the many species of the coffee family that grows in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Does Liberica coffee got your curiosity tingling? Read the article ahead to know more!
Where Does Liberica Come From?
Liberica coffee originates from Liberia in the west part of Africa. Liberica coffee grows in the wilderness of other parts of Africa too, such as, Angola, Central Africa, Benin, Camerine, Gabon, Ghana, Congo, Guinea, Nigeria, Sao Tome, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda and Côte d’ivoire.
However, now, Liberica coffee could be cultivated and consumed in Southeast Asia – primarily The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Pacita, a member of the Steering Committee for the Forest and Foreign Facility Department from UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization said through perfectdailygrind.com that Liberica coffee indeed does come from Liberia, then it spreads to Ethiopia, Middle East and eventually Southeast Asia.
Pacita added that there are also chances that colonists brought the plants from Liberica to parts of Southeast Asia. Mainly those were colonized by France, the Dutch, or Spain colonies.
Prior to 1878, coffee plantations in Indonesia mostly planted the Arabica variant. However, that soon changed when the pandemic of Hemileia vastatrix (HV) struck and devastated all the crops. The Dutch then decided to find other alternatives.
By then, Liberica coffee was planted in Indonesia in 1878. However, tragedy struck again when the Liberica faced the same fate as the Arabica before.
While the details of how Liberica coffee arrived in Southeast Asia is still debated, research shows that Liberica coffee did take a rise in popularity in SEA in the 19th century.
Characteristics of Liberica Coffee
Gonzalo Hernandez, owner of Coffee Diversa, a coffee farm located in Costa Rica explained that Liberica can be found in the wilderness of the African tropics. He also added that Liberica coffee is known for its sturdiness and excellent growth.
Liberica bears its cherries within 5 years of planting. Additionally, the Liberica will grow to extreme heights often to the point of hindering the harvest process. The leaves and cherries of Liberica are also bigger than the Robusta. With its oval-shaped fruit bearing the size of 18-30 mm and the coffee beans inside going for around 7-15 mm.
Reported from perfectdailygrind.com, Liberica has a fruity taste thanks to its abundant flesh of fruit. Moreover, the beans could naturally ferment. It’s often said that the taste of this coffee resembles that of a jack fruit.
Cultivating Liberica Coffee
Liberica is loved by producers. Apart from its resistance to many diseases and pests, it grows well alongside different plants, enabling Farmers to diversify their crops for additional income.
Perfect plants to grow alongside the Liberica include bananas, papayas, and pineapples. Bean plants are also a good choice thanks to its ability to bind nitrogen in the soils.
Climate changes, particularly temperature, play a vital role in the cultivation of coffee. Any changes will render the crops useless.
The solution to the ever changing weather? Yep! Producers invest in resistive plants. perfectdailygrind wrote in an article, the Liberica is proven to be sturdier than the Robusta on certain areas – the root system of the Liberica goes deeper and more adaptable to different kinds of soils.
The tropical lowlands of 400-600m above sea levels is the ideal place to grow liberica. However, the Liberica expands its roots even further, as it’s able to grow in the heights of 1200m above sea level as well.
The ideal temperature for Liberica to reach its maximum growth is around 27-30° C, with a rainfall of 1500 to 2500 mm each year.
How is Liberica Coffee Doing Now?
Today, Liberica holds a strong position in the markets of southeast asia. Not only that, Liberica also holds its significance in the Middle East. Thanks to its fruity profile, Liberica coffee is brewed lightly, almost that of a tea and is often served with dates as an afternoon snack.
it’s fruity profile, flavor, sturdiness, and rich history makes this coffee a one of a kind, be it for the producers and the consumers.
So? Does Liberica coffee spark your Interest in tasting this coffee?