May 20, 2021
Yesterday 4 representatives of Mountain Top Coffee attended the nearby Department of Primary Industries, Alstonville, to inspect the status of trial coffee cultivars that have been in place and growing under strict quarantine conditions in their grounds. 25 cultivars were inspected of which three are to be selected for purchase of license to propagate and grow in Australia
There are several varieties already in Australia, the predominant in our region being the Arabica Kenyan 7. Itself the provider of a beautiful, fruity, mild and chocolate style coffee; but in its 20 odd years existence here it has proved to be a much more vigorous grower in our conditions than expected, raising several issues of concern. If we can find a less vigorous growing variety with even better cup qualities it would be a win-win for all of our farmers.
Another reason for this trialling of new cultivars is the fact that Australia is still free of any of the major pests and diseases that afflict so many other coffee growing regions of the world, hence cultivars that have strong resistances to things like leaf rust and borer are to be selected should - or when! - the day of invasion arrives.
It is a slow process but things are starting to move on now that the candidates are fruiting. I was able to find a few ripe fruits among some of the more promising candidates and was very excited by some of the Columbia and Honduran trees... very sweet with fascinating mild spice and bright acidity
Fingers crossed we get there!
Bernie (Owen pictured)
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