Guide to Laurina Coffee - Facts, Taste, Details, and MorePublished Date:
Laurina coffee is a variety of Arabica coffee prized for its relatively low-caffeine content. It is sometimes called Bourbon Pointu coffee, reflecting its origin in the Indian Ocean’s French overseas territories and the shape of the bean; pointed and elongated.
Cultivated for centuries before falling out of favor in the late 19th century, Laurina Coffee was surviving only in the wild on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean until it was discovered and restored to full production.
Being a low caffeine coffee with a strong and beloved Arabica flavor, Laurina Coffee is soaring in popularity! While not a complete replacement for decaffeinated coffee, Laurina Coffee is an excellent choice for those who want to drink a lot of coffee without worrying about caffeine overdose, for people trying to reduce their caffeine intake altogether, and for people who just prefer lighter, sweeter cups of coffee.
Laurina Coffee is just one of the wide and exciting varieties of coffees available from Portfolio Coffee, including low-caffeine coffee!
Where Does Laurina Coffee Come From?
Laurina coffee originated on Réunion Island, a French territory in the Indian Ocean close to Madagascar. In 1715, after years of failed attempts to grow the high-value coffee crop in Eastern France, French colonists shipped Yemeni Arabica coffee to Réunion Island. These shipments were of the Bourbon variety of coffee, a hugely variable and genetically diverse variety of coffee.
This genetic changeability proved to be the genesis of great things for coffee lovers. Though twenty plants were sent, only one of them grew. With only a single plant’s genetic material for the production of generations of crops, the Bourbon coffee plant population on Réunion Island was highly vulnerable to mutation. And that’s what happened! Mutations in the strains of Bourbon Arabica grown on Réunion Island from the offspring of the single surviving first-generation plant resulted in the Laurina Coffee variety that is still enjoyed today.
These days, Laurina coffee is grown and prepared the world over, particularly in South American countries such as Brazil, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. With its dry climate adaptations, dwarf variant profile, and relatively high beans-per-plant yield, Laurina Coffee is a fantastic choice for coffee farmers in high-and-dry (high altitude, low humidity) climates, despite a relatively high plant death rate and the intensive levels of care required by the Laurina Coffee plant. For those willing to put in the work, Laurina Coffee makes a valuable crop!
With three hundred years of globe-trotting history and a wild ride of ups, downs, near-extinction, and meteoric rediscovery, Laurina Coffee is a part of the world’s coffee heritage.
How Is Laurina Coffee Made?
Laurina Coffee beans are produced by the same methods as other Arabica coffee beans. First, the cherries are harvested and sorted for quality. From here, two different processes can be applied to produce washed or natural coffee varieties.
Washed coffees are produced by pulping the cherries, allowing some fermentation, and then extracting the green beans for drying. Natural process coffee beans are dried within their cherries, picking up bouquets of additional flavor complexity in the process. Laurina coffee, like other coffee varieties, can be produced by either process with the resulting coffee drink varying in character as a result.
Once dried, either sun-dried or in drying ovens, the beans are ready for roasting. This is a complex and nuanced procedure that takes coffee roasters a lifetime to master. The spirit of a coffee variety is forged in the roasting ovens.
Once roasted the Laurina Coffee beans are ready to be packed and shipped or to be ground and packaged as pre-ground coffee for supermarket shelves. Whether buying pre-ground coffee or grinding your own at home, a good grind is essential to getting the best out of the bean and the roast, be that a fine espresso grind or a coarser grind for pour-overs and cafetières.
Finally, brewing! The Laurina Coffee variety can, depending on the grind, excel over every major brewing method. Pressed through fine-ground coffee at nine bars of pressure in an espresso machine for a thick, strong, short shot with rich flavor? Laurina is great for that. Drained through a filter paper in a slow, steady pour-over? Laurina Coffee is great for that. Steeped in hot water before being press-filtered? Laurina Coffee is great for that. Are you sensing a theme? It even does well in manual presses and pod-based coffee machines!
What Makes Laurina Coffee Special?
Caffeine in coffee is a headache for people who are sensitive to it, who drink a lot of coffee but aren’t fond of caffeine crashes, or people who just do not like the effects of caffeine. The most widespread solution to this problem is decaffeinated coffee. Many varieties of decaffeinated coffee are considered to be competitive with their caffeinated peers. Having said this, decaffeination is an additional step of processing in the production of coffee beans.
Some coffee-lovers prefer to be as close as possible to the bean in its natural state, finding the minor changes in flavor and texture expressed in decaffeinated coffee to be a loss. For these people, and for people seeking to regulate their caffeine intake, there are low caffeine coffee strains such as Laurina Coffee!
Laurina Coffee is prized for its low caffeine content which is achieved naturally and without decaffeination processes that can, in the view of some, negatively affect flavor and texture. Laurina Coffee has the rich and full flavor profile of Bourbon Arabica coffees and can carry those flavors into a low-caffeine coffee cup. Its creaminess means that Laurina Coffee is perfect for milk-in-coffee drinks such as vegan lattes.
Laurina Coffee is also rare, having fallen out of cultivation in the late 19th century and been rescued from specimens found in the wild in the ’70s. While it is growing in popularity and production scale, with farms opening in Brazil and other South American countries, Laurina Coffee is still a relatively uncommon experience for coffee lovers. Portfolio Coffee is contributing to restoring this unique and specialized coffee variety to its place in the world’s coffee cups.
There aren’t many varieties of coffee that can offer the full flavor experience of the world’s favorite drink without blasting the system with an intense dose of caffeine. Laurina Arabica is the leader of this small and exclusive group of low-caffeine coffees and has a special place in the heart of its fans and cultivators.
So, What’s The Flavor Profile Of Laurina Coffee Like?
Like all coffees, the flavor of Laurina Coffee depends not only on the cherries and beans themselves, but on the drying and roasting processes, the grind, and the brew skill and method. There are, however, some common features of Laurina Coffees that help define the variety as a whole.
Laurina Coffee carries the classic suite of Arabica flavors, including the specifically Bourbon bouquet from its ancestor strain, with its unique balance between the flavor notes. This means that fruity, nutty, chocolate, caramel, berry, and cereal notes are all on the table alongside nuanced layers of coffee acidity and bitterness, though both of these qualities are typically muted in Laurina Coffees.
In contrast to other strains of Bourbon Arabica, Laurina is more delicate, sweeter, and fruitier, with notes of fig, walnut, and papaya being common. Laurina Coffees are generally creamier, less acidic, and much less bitter than their Bourbon counterparts.
These tendencies, along with a caffeine content of ⅓ to ½ that of regular Arabica varieties, make it the perfect coffee variety for people seeking a lighter, gentler cup of coffee. Even for people who enjoy regular, full-caffeinated coffee, Laurina Coffee makes a great after-dinner cup or even a gentle, low-caffeine coffee before bed.
As with all coffee, the specific flavor profile extract does depend to some extent on grind and process. The aromatic compounds that give coffee its flavors number in the thousands and they all extract from the coffee grounds at different temperatures and under different pressure conditions.
A completely extracted Laurina espresso coffee will offer a different profile to a cold brew Laurina Coffee, where temperature and pressure are far lower but contact time is massively higher. Both will be different again to a pour-over, which sits between the two on all variables. An Aeropress extracts differently from a French press. What all of this means for Laurina Coffee is that it can offer an intense and varied experience depending on preparation and setting. Laurina Coffee is not a one-trick pony! Laurina Coffee can and will repay experimentation and variation!
More About Laurina Coffee
For centuries it was believed that the imported Bourbon Arabica plants had interbred with the island’s native coffee breeds, though this was disproved by recent and modern genetic analysis. It was found that Laurina is a mutation of Bourbon Arabica, with almost identical genetics.
The Laurina coffee plant is a dwarf mutation of Bourbon Arabica. It is a smaller (with a maximum height of about eight feet), denser plant with a triangular body shape and pointed cherries. This means that Laurina Coffee is a variety of coffee that can be planted more closely together and harvested more easily; a farmer’s dream crop!
Laurina coffee is so-named because of the resemblance of Laurina Coffee plants to the laurel plant; an evergreen shrub plant with elongated, oval leaves. While Laurina Coffee plants are drought-resistant, their low caffeine content means that the natural pest-defense mechanism of coffee plants is weakened, making them vulnerable to pests.
Laurina fell out of cultivation in the 19th century as sugarcane replaced it as the cash crop of Réunion Island. It was revived in the late 1970s in a project led by José Yoshiaki Kawashima, who rescued the Laurina coffee variety from examples found in the wild.
Laurina Coffee Summed Up
The Laurina Coffee variety has been on an impressive journey. It has a rich and complex history of globe-trotting from Yemen to the Indian Ocean to South America, falling out of production, being rescued from the wild, and rising to become one of the most popular varieties of low caffeine coffee.
Despite being a somewhat stubborn and demanding plant, the Laurina Coffee plant is beloved by its cultivators. As a dwarf coffee plant, it can be planted densely and its Christmas tree-like shape produces more cherries, on average than other breeds of coffee. It is hardy and drought-adapted, an important quality in the modern coffee industry which suffers droughts globally and annually.
With all of these qualities working together, it’s not hard to understand why coffee farmers love Laurina Coffee so much! Laurina Coffee demands a lot of work to cultivate but it repays that work handsomely in the field and the cup.
The delicate and flavorful low-caffeine Laurina Coffee is a variety of coffee that can be enjoyed by coffee-lovers looking to manage their caffeine intake without turning to highly processed decaffeinated coffees.
Caffeine in coffee is a real concern for some and, for those people, the options are not limited to decaffeinated coffee only. Of the low caffeine varieties of coffee available, Laurina Coffee stands out among them as one of the oldest and most well-respected. Laurina Coffee’s rising popularity since its emergence is a mark of the quality and rarity of this special coffee variety.