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Arabica-like flavour in a heat-tolerant wild coffee species

Davis A.P., Mieulet D., Moat J., Sarmu D., Haggar J.. 2021. Nature Plants, 7 : p. 413-418.

DOI: 10.1038/s41477-021-00891-4

There are numerous factors to consider when developing climate-resilient coffee crops, including the ability to tolerate altered climatic conditions, meet agronomic and value chain criteria, and satisfy consumer preferences for flavour (aroma and taste). We evaluated the sensory characteristics and key environmental requirements for the enigmatic narrow-leaved coffee (Coffea stenophylla), a wild species from Upper West Africa. We confirm historical reports of a superior flavour and uniquely, and remarkably, reveal a sensory profile analogous to high-quality Arabica coffee. We demonstrate that this species grows and crops under the same range of key climatic conditions as (sensorially inferior) robusta and Liberica coffee and at a mean annual temperature 6.2¿6.8¿°C higher than Arabica coffee, even under equivalent rainfall conditions. This species substantially broadens the climate envelope for high-quality coffee and could provide an important resource for the development of climate-resilient coffee crop plants.

Mots-clés : tolérance à la chaleur; adaptation aux changements climatiques; propriété organoleptique; adaptation physiologique; analyse organoleptique; coffea stenophylla; coffea arabica; coffea canephora; coffea liberica; Éthiopie; brésil; indonésie; réunion; côte d'ivoire; sierra leone; france

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