4 Sep 2013
Although there are almost 125 species of coffee, we only use two species to produce the beverage drink. These are Arabica and Robusta coffee.
Arabica is a very special plant. It's a hybrid formed between two different species that came together maybe a million years ago somewhere in a forest in Ethiopia. It was a unique event that happened just once.
When it was taken out of Ethiopia to plantations in other parts of the world, Arabica's genetic diversity was greatly diminished, leading to low tolerance to pests and diseases. To address the problem, coffee growers from all over the world must look to Ethiopia for its genetic diversity to ensure that coffee drinkers continue to enjoy the best quality.
The problem is that Ethiopia is hugely affected by climate change. Just a one-degree change in temperature will change the taste of coffee completely.