Java Variety

Java Cultivar planted at Limoncillo plot, Nicaragua, 2006
This is one of the projects I came to see, the Java cultivar planted at Limoncillo. This tree has a more upright form which is fairly easy to note., (Nicaragua 2006)

Java Variety, which is most often found now as a high quality, high altitude coffee planted in Central America, was actually developed and planted in Cameroon. It is related to Abyssinia variety found in Java, Indonesia. It was reported to be a Typica coffee, but further test classify it as an “Ethiopian landrace” type.

It is distinct from Java Typica types, such as Bergendal, Pasumah or BLP, and from Jamaique Typica in Cameroon as well. It has resistance to CBD, Coffee Berry Disease, and due to it’s vigor can recover from CLR, Coffee Leaf Rust, though it is said to have low rust resistance. It also is reported to require low inputs, in terms of organic fertilizer.

The fruit and seed are elongated and the tips are bronze-colored. We have been buying Java since we first encountered it on the farms of the Mierisch family in Nicaragua. I remember Erwin telling me that there was a defunct coffee nursery, and an ex-employee offered them the Java coffee seed in a side-of-the-road cash transaction! Without knowing much about it, the plant had a unique upright “christmas tree” shape that I could clearly see when I visited the young plants around 2005, and a unique, slightly pointed shape to the green bean

WCR reports the following as far as how this coffee travelled from Indonesia, to Cameroon, and then to be planted in Central America: “In the mid-20th century, it was brought to Cameroon by a local farmer via the Vilmorin company, which acquired the seeds in Java from Porteres (a famous breeder). In Cameroon, the breeder Pierre Bouharmont observed that it was partially tolerant to coffee berry disease (CBD), a prevalent problem for coffee growers in Africa, and well adapted for smallholder growers using few inputs. After nearly 20 years of selection, it was released for cultivation in Cameroon in 1980-90.Even so, genetic fingerprinting of molecular markers has revealed that Java is a selection from an Ethiopian landrace population called Abysinia.It was introduced to Costa Rica in 1991 by the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) by breeder Benoit Bertrand.”

The cup can have a very refined acidity, with soft sweetness and delicate accent notes. Since first offering Nicaragua Java, we have sourced it from other areas of Central America, where, if the altitude and care given the plant and processing are good, it still can deliver a very nice cup quality.

Search Our Coffee Glossary