Sunday, June 13, 2010

Taxonomy of Coffee

Taxonomy of Coffee
The genus Coffea belongs to the family Rubiaceae. This family comprises many genera including Gardenia, Ixora, Cinchona (quinine) and Rubia.

The later includes Rubia tinctoria (Turkey Red), from which the name of the family Rubiaceae was derived. The genus Coffea covers approximately 70 species.

The main species of coffee tree cultivated on a worldwide scale are Coffea arabica and C. canephora var. robusta.

Minor cultivated species include C. liberica and C. excelsa, which are mainly restricted to West Africa and Asia, and account for 1-2% of global production.

In the past, coffee classification has undergone frequent alterations and the present system of classification is not yet the final version.

Specialists are well aware that further native species of Coffea are likely to be discovered in Africa and possibly elsewhere.

In addition, genome studies involving cellular studies and molecular chemistry, will undoubtedly highlight factors that will refine and simplify present day coffee classification.
Taxonomy of Coffee

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