Coffea stenophylla - future Arabica replacement from the past...

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baldheadracing
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#1: Post by baldheadracing »

https://phys.org/news/2021-04-forgotten ... -world.amp
A once-prized coffee species, rediscovered in West Africa decades after it was thought to have disappeared, is just as tasty as high-end Arabica and more resilient to climate change, scientists said Monday, adding that the forgotten bean could help future-proof quality coffee.
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Endemic to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, stenophylla was considered to be superior even to Arabica according to reports from the 1800s and early 1900s, its popularity spreading to the cafes of France.

It fell out of use in the 20th century, vanishing completely from the record in 1954, until scientists finally found it growing in the wild in Sierra Leone in 2018 and set about studying its temperature tolerance-and its flavour.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

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GC7
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#2: Post by GC7 »

Thanks for posting. 8)

More species ripe for genetic analysis and manipulation.

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mtbizzle

#3: Post by mtbizzle »


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slipchuck

#4: Post by slipchuck »

“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”

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another_jim
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#5: Post by another_jim »

GC7 wrote:Thanks for posting. 8)

More species ripe for genetic analysis and manipulation.
Maybe. But maybe we've already irreversibly turned biosphere into anthrosphere; and it's now about making sure as much as possible survives. Be nice to still have a morning cappa as the world burns.
Jim Schulman

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GC7
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#6: Post by GC7 » replying to another_jim »

Jim

Of course, the loss of any species, plant or animal, through extinction is a tragic event. Especially if it is caused by humans. Preservation of the biosphere is an obvious priority. One of my pet peeves, however, is the "non-GMO" hysteria. As someone who has contributed to recombinant DNA from its origins in Palo Alto to modern genetics and genomics I see it as a miracle for survival. Related here to the coffee species might be the ability to modify arabica to withstand higher temperatures and maintain quality. There are too many opportunities to mention regarding growing food in now hostile environments using modern genetics. Is that the anthrosphere? The anthrosphere can represent an opportunity in an overpopulated world.

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another_jim
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#7: Post by another_jim »

I think we may be saying the same thing. Anthrosphere is a play on 'anthrocene', the current geological age where human activity is the main driver of overall climate and ecological balances. It's something we need to to take responsibility for. Wilson's suggestion to leave 50% of the earth surface unused by agriculture is a start; generally shrinking our footprint via moving into space or much greener tech is next. But it may also be necessary to look hard at the biodiversity of our agricultural and urban areas; rain forest coffee agriculture is a good example of that.

Using biotech to adapt plants and animals to the conditions we've created is scary and probably necessary; it has a "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly" vibe to it, solving one problem by creating a bigger one down the road. We overcame coal pollution with internal combustion; presumably we'll reduce carbon by replacing fossil fuels with nuclear power, fission, and ultimately fusion, as well as massive wind and tidal farming when we finally get our energy storage breakthroughs -- all of which have consequences we cannot now imagine.

We've been creatively meddling with genes since the Neolithic, but modern DNA tech combined with the current industrial style mono-culture farming, has all kinds of very imaginable problems. A commitment to maintaining biodiversity in our developed regions would help.
Jim Schulman

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GC7
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#8: Post by GC7 »

Well said Jim.

I do believe we are basically taking the same stance.

I don't believe we as a planet with almost 8 billion people and expanding have a choice but to use the miraculous technology developed but in a responsible way that is not monopolized by any group or company. This includes IMO food production, clean energy, clean up and biodiversity (ecology and species preservation).

DamianWarS
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#9: Post by DamianWarS »

Oddly enough Hoffmann just posted a video on this species of coffee (makes me wonder if Hoffmann is hiding in this thread under an alias). I myself made a post regarding this species a while back but didn't generate any interests. Although this rediscovery is important for the coffee industry and climate change I am actually more interested in how it tastes. I'm happy Hoffmann has done a video on it as it will get more discussion going regarding this. In Indonesia, this species seems ideal as it's just a bit too hot for Arabica and a species better suited for a hotter climate would do better here it still can be high grown but it not demanding 1200 ASL means more coffee can be cultivated at sub-1000 which has excellent economic potential. I think on a global scale a hybridized arbica-stenophylla will probably be what takes. Catimor is from Caturra crossed with Timor. (timor is a natural robusta/arabica hybid that happened on the island of timor). I can see stenophylla crossed with some heirlooms or classic varieties for higher production like a catura so maybe we'll get a catphylla in the end. Like all the varieties a dwarf version should eventually come out which usually is higher production and gets people more excited about it's potential.

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LBIespresso
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#10: Post by LBIespresso »

another_jim wrote:
We've been creatively meddling with genes since the Neolithic, but modern DNA tech combined with the current industrial style mono-culture farming, has all kinds of very imaginable problems. A commitment to maintaining biodiversity in our developed regions would help.
Modern DNA tech is much more precise than blasting seeds with chemicals or radiation and then just hoping you get a good result. Mutagenisis has been used to create many of the fruits and veggies in the organic foods aisle. Personally I'd be slightly more comfortable drinking coffee that was intentionally modified rather than rolling the dice.

There is a lot of money and influence in the food/ag sector so finding good science is tough. But it is out there if you want to be informed.
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