Bourbon coffee was first produced in Réunion, which was known as Île Bourbon before 1789. It was later taken by the French to mainland Africa and to Latin America, and is now one of the two most popular Arabica coffees grown worldwide.
Bourbon coffee is usually produced at high altitudes and has a higher yield than Typica, but produces a similar quality of coffee.
Catuai is a hybrid of Mundo Novo and Caturra bred in Brazil in the late 1950s. Another high yielding plant, low growing coffee variety that is widely used by Brazil coffee plantations.
Caturra is a mutation of the Bourbon variety, found near the town of Caturra, Brazil in the 1930s. It produces a higher yield than Bourbon due to the plant being shorter and with less distance between the branches. The Caturra variety generally matures more quickly and is more disease resistant than older, traditional Arabica varieties.
Mundo Novo is a hybrid between Bourbon and Typica, crossed in the 1940s in Brazil.
The variety is particularly suited to the climate in Brazil, which allows for its very high yield. Another positive is its resistance to pests and disease and its ability to be planted very densely. For these reasons, a large proportion of Brazilian coffee consists of the Mundo Novo variety.
Typica originated from Yemeni stock, taken first to Malabar, India, and then to Indonesia by the Dutch. It later made its way to the West Indies to the French colony at Martinique. Typica has genetically evolved to produce new characteristics, often considered new varietals.