Records show that the French attempted to introduce this coffee from Yemen to Bourbon Island (now La Réunion) three times, in 1708, 1715 and 1718. Only a small number of plants from the second introduction and some from the third introduction were successful. Until the mid-19th century, Bourbon coffee did not leave the island. But beginning in the mid-1800s, the variety spread to new parts of the world as the missionaries moved to establish footholds in Africa and the Americas. The Bourbon variety was introduced to Brazil around 1860, and from there rapidly spread north into other parts of South and Central America, where it is still cultivated today. Bourbon coffee is known for its buttery mouthfeel, nuttiness, and smooth consistency. It is low in acidity and medium-bodied.
Yellow bourbon origin : The already existent Typica variety had a genetic mutation that caused yellow coffee cherries. But in 1930, it was discovered that among Red Bourbon coffee plants in Sao Paolo, Brazil was a Bourbon plant producing yellow cherries. It is thought that the Bourbon plant developed yellow cherries due to breeding between Yellow Botucatu (the genetically mutated Typica variety) and the Red Bourbon plant. The Yellow Bourbon variety has a more notably citric flavor.
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Credits : world coffee research blogs