Variations Abound and They Keep Us Excited
We, as food consumers, are rarely treated to the amazing diversity of everyday crops. There are a few that we are familiar enough with... such as Granny Smith vs. Red Delicious vs. Honeycrisp [apples], Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Riesling vs. Pinot Noir [grapes], or Beefsteak vs. Roma vs. Brandywine [tomatoes]. But have you heard of Lady Finger, Gros Michel, or Goldfinger [bananas]; or Hungry Gap, Jersey, or Kai-lan [kale]; or Georgia Green, SunOleic 97R, or Southern Runner [peanuts]?
Well... coffee has hundreds of varietals [a.k.a. cultivars or varieties], too. And it is just as rare to see them presented as such on packaging by most of the larger coffee roasters in the world.
The different varietals of coffee have been transplanted by colonizers and corporations, and cross-pollinated by nature and scientists. Exactly like other crops, each varietal is comprised of some unique genetic material that translates into differences in hardiness, size, susceptibility to disease, ease of growth, and flavor profile in the cup, among other things.
At Rev, we tend to continually favor a handful of varietals over many others. These are our go-to's for finding quality coffees, but it also excites us to venture outside of them from time to time. Bourbons and Typicas [and all of their variants and progeny] are some of our favorites. They are typically more balanced and of higher quality.