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Pacamara coffee beans – history

The Pacamara coffee varietal resulted from the crossing of two varieties. Which are quite different from each other:  the Pacas and Maragogype varietals. It’s name combines the first four letters of each parent varietal. The Salvadoran Institute for Coffee Research (ISIC) created this relatively new coffee varietal in 1958, after approximately 30 years of scientific research. During the late 1980’s, it had been released to coffee producents.

The Parents

The Pacas is a natural mutation of the Bourbon varietal. In 1949, it had been discovered on a plantation of the Pacas family in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador. Pacas trees are small in size. The  yield is high.

The Maragogipe is a mutation of the Typica varietal. In 1870, it had been discovered in Brazil, in the northeastern state of Bahia.The Maragogipe trees grow very tall in size. Their coffee seeds are some of the largest in the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that their nickname is: “elephant beans”. The yield is low.

coffee beans

‘Unstable’ but wonderful

The Pacamara varietal is ‘genetically unstable’. Approximately 10 to 12 % of Pacamaras will revert to the parent varietal Pacas. Moreover, this varietal is also known to be susceptible to various coffee diseases and insects.

So, why are farmers and coffee lovers passionate about this variety. According to Merlo Coffee: In Brisbane, Australia the answer can be found in the cup:

‘In combining the sweetness of Pacas with the sophistication of Maragogipe, the Pacamara surpasses both of its parents. The profile leans toward a medium body, with a rich creaminess, balanced with an elegant and fine acidity, particularly when grown at high elevations. Flavour-wise, Pacamara are a real surprise package, with a range stretching from chocolate and caramels to tropical fruit and sweet, intoxicating florals, often in unusual and striking combinations.’ Source: here

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