Transition from Canephora to Stenophylla
Scientists have discovered that Stenophylla was cultivated until the 1920s, and then was gradually forgotten as it was replaced by plantations of Coffea Canephora, the plant from which the “Robusta” coffee variety is obtained – the second most popular after Arabica -, which gave more abundant harvests.
Contrary to what was thought, moreover, the researchers also observed that the Stenophylla has started to grow spontaneously both in Sierra Leone and further east, in some areas of Guinea and the Ivory Coast.
According to the results of the study, Stenophylla is particularly resistant: it grows from 200 to 700 meters above sea level and between 24 and 26 degrees, at temperatures about 6.5 degrees higher than those in which Arabica grows.
It doesn’t even need more heavy rains. From its berries a high quality coffee is obtained, both in terms of flavor and aroma: 80 percent of the coffee tasters the researchers had tried the drink made from the plant believed it was Arabica.
Many of them found more fruity and less bitter notes than other varieties of both Robusta and Arabica.
For these reasons, stenophylla could be an important resource for growing high-quality coffee under different climatic conditions, according to the researchers.