Talk around the town at the moment is the new kid on the block, or should we say "parent"? We are all aware of the two most widely available species of coffee plant, Arabica and Robusta, but did you know the relationship between the two? Coffea Arabica is actually a child species of an almost completely random splicing of Coffea Robusta and Coffea Eugenioides, but this little heard of species is not as widely available, despite it forming the building blocks of how we enjoy our coffee today.
What is Eugenoides Coffee?
The species itself was thought to be lost, unviable for coffee production and too strange tasting to produce coffee from, but has since seen a resurgence in recent times, where careful growers have taken it upon themselves to rejuvenate and cultivate this species. Growers such as the Holguin family at the Inmaculada Farms in Colombia are carefully stewarding the strain and causing a bit of a renaissance for this forgotten coffee.
What is the Current Market for Eugenoides Coffee?
The potential market for Eugenioides coffee is difficult to assess, as it is not a widely cultivated or well-known coffee variety. There is limited information available on the specific characteristics and cultivation of this coffee, and it is not widely available on the market. The few roasters that are supplied by the Holguin family are producing some exciting flavour profiles and in 2021, were the recipients of award after award at the Barista World Championships. The demand for Eugenoides is greatly outstripping supply with the roasters consistently selling out, and very little of the strain making it over to UK roasters. And as we all know, when it comes to supply and demand, if there is not enough supply to meet demand, a higher price is often applied.
How much does Eugenoides Coffee Cost?
IF you can find it in stock it can cost upwards of £50 for 150 grams of Eugenoides Coffee, putting it out of reach for most people. However, given the increasing demand for specialty and unique coffee varieties, it is possible that there could be a market for Eugenioides coffee among specialty coffee roasters and consumers who are interested in trying new and unusual coffee varieties.
Flavour profile of Eugenoides Coffee
The most interesting facet of the flavour profile is the complete lack of bitterness in the cup, many describe the taste as having a "lucky charms" like taste. In my experience the absent of bitterness is replaced by a sweetness, and tastes unlike any other coffee I have had before. The following flavour notes are often reported;
- Sweet Breakfast Cereal
- Toasted Marshmallow
- Raisin bran
This flavour profile is unlike many coffees out there and provides an exciting and interesting mixup to the arabica and robusta specialty coffee flavour notes that we have grown accustomed to. Roasters and growers alike, are experimenting with blending this in with other varieties so that these flavour notes are distributed within the cup without relying on the sole production of the very few farms that are producing it.
It is one we are keeping our eyes on, and as the market grows, maybe it will provide another interesting choice when choosing coffee beans for making your coffee at home, and not just for barista champions.
Similarities to Gesha Coffee
One example of a specialty coffee variety that has gained popularity in recent years is Gesha coffee. This coffee, which is native to Ethiopia and known for its complex and nuanced flavor profile, has become highly sought after by specialty coffee roasters and consumers. In some cases, Gesha coffee has commanded high prices at coffee auctions and has been credited with helping to drive economic development in the regions where it is grown. It is possible that Eugenioides coffee could also find a market among specialty coffee roasters and consumers who are interested in trying unique and unusual coffee varieties.
The renaissance of Gesha coffee could pave the way for a Eugenoides coffee and provides interesting context for where it could be in the upcoming years. As with other specialty coffee varieties, it is likely that Eugenioides coffee would be best suited for artisanal or small-scale production, rather than large-scale commercial sales. This is because specialty coffee tends to be produced in smaller quantities and often requires more labour-intensive and specialized growing and processing methods. Artisanal production of specialty coffee can be an important source of income and employment for smallholder farmers and rural communities in coffee-growing regions. By focusing on producing high-quality, specialty coffee varieties like Eugenioides, small-scale producers may be able to command higher prices for their coffee and generate additional income for their communities.
In conclusion, while the potential market for Eugenioides coffee is difficult to assess due to the limited information available on this coffee variety, the market for it is there among specialty coffee roasters and consumers who are interested in trying unique and unusual coffee varieties. However, given the artisanal and small-scale nature of this particular coffee production, it is likely that Eugenioides coffee is going to be highly demanded, highly priced and difficult to get hold of for some time yet.