Batian coffee is a relatively new coffee variety that has been making waves in the coffee industry. It was created in Kenya in 2010 by the Coffee Research Institute (CRI) and is a hybrid of SL-28 and Ruiru 11. Batian coffee variety are known for their resistance to coffee leaf rust and coffee berry disease, which are two of the most common diseases that affect coffee plants.
One of the unique features of Batian coffee trees is their tall, deeply rooted body with a conical to cylindrical tree shape. They tend to grow upright at first but then turn horizontally and tend to droop after successive crops. Batian coffee trees have long internodes on both the main stem and branches compared to other popular Kenyan coffee varieties like SL28 and SL34.
Since its introduction, Batian coffee has been gaining popularity among coffee farmers and roasters alike. Its unique flavor profile and disease resistance make it an attractive option for coffee growers looking to improve their yields and produce high-quality coffee. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Batian coffee, from its origins and characteristics to its flavor profile and brewing methods.
History of Batian Coffee Tree
Batian coffee tree is a relatively new variety of coffee that was developed in Kenya. It was created at the Coffee Research Station (CRS), which is now called the Coffee Research Institute (CRI), in Ruiru, Kenya. The development of Batian was a response to the challenges that Kenyan coffee farmers were facing.
One of the biggest challenges that Kenyan coffee farmers were facing was coffee leaf rust. This fungus produces spores that attack green cherries and can cause significant damage to coffee crops. Another challenge was coffee berry disease, which is caused by a fungus that attacks the coffee berry and can also cause significant damage to coffee crops.
In the 1970s, the researchers at the Ruiru station began experimenting with breeding different CBD and rust-resistant breeds. The result was Ruiru 11, which was released in the 1980s. However, Ruiru 11 had some drawbacks, including low yield and poor cup quality.
Researchers at the CRS continued to work on developing a coffee variety that was resistant to both coffee leaf rust and coffee berry disease, had high yield, and excellent cup quality. They developed Batian coffee tree via single-tree selections from fifth filial (F5) generations from the male parent of some Ruiru 11 progenies. Batian was released in Kenya in 2010.
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Characteristics of Batian Coffee Tree
Batian coffee is a variety of coffee tree that was created at the Coffee Research Station (CRS) in Ruiru, Kenya. It was released in Kenya in 2010 and is known for its resistance to coffee leaf rust and coffee berry disease. Batian coffee tree is a tall and deeply rooted plant with a conical to cylindrical shape. The tillering habit is to grow upright at first but then turn horizontally and tend to droop after successive crops.
One of the notable characteristics of Batian coffee tree is its long internodes on both the main stem and branches compared to other coffee varieties. This feature allows the tree to produce more leaves, which in turn helps the tree to photosynthesize more efficiently. The long internodes also make the tree less susceptible to wind damage and provide a better environment for the growth of coffee cherries.
Batian coffee tree has a high yield potential and can produce up to 5 tons of clean coffee per hectare (within a distance of 2m x 2.5m) thanks to its outstanding properties. The tree has deep and wide roots, which make it suitable for all coffee-growing regions. Batian coffee tree is also known for its high-quality coffee beans, which have a bright acidity and a fruity flavor profile.
Compared to other coffee varieties, Batian coffee tree has a shorter lifespan of around 20 years. This is due to its high productivity, which puts a lot of stress on the tree and reduces its overall lifespan. However, with proper care and maintenance, Batian coffee tree can produce high-quality coffee beans for many years.
Cultivation of Batian Coffee Tree
Batian coffee trees are well adapted to high altitudes and cooler temperatures, making them an ideal coffee variety for Kenya’s highlands. The trees are grown in well-drained soils with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. They require regular rainfall and thrive in areas with an annual rainfall of 1500-2000mm. The trees also need to be grown in areas with good drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.
Batian coffee trees require regular pruning to promote good air circulation and sunlight penetration. This helps to prevent diseases and pests, and also encourages the growth of new shoots, which produce more coffee cherries. The trees also need to be fertilized regularly with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to promote healthy growth and high yields.
When it comes to harvesting, Batian coffee trees typically produce their first crop after 1.5 years. The cherries are handpicked when they are ripe, which is usually between October and December. The cherries are then processed using the wet or dry method, depending on the preference of the farmer and the quality of the coffee they want to produce.
Overall, the cultivation of Batian coffee trees requires careful attention to detail and regular maintenance. However, with the right growing conditions and management practices, farmers can produce high-quality coffee that is prized for its complex flavor profile and excellent cupping scores.
Harvesting and Processing of Batian Coffee Tree
Batian coffee trees are typically harvested between October and December. The ripe cherries are picked by hand, and only the red cherries are selected for processing. The cherries are then sorted to remove any underripe or overripe cherries, as well as any debris or foreign matter.
After sorting, the cherries are processed using the wet method, which involves removing the outer layers of the cherry to reveal the coffee bean inside. This is done using a pulping machine, which separates the cherry pulp from the bean. The beans are then fermented in water for up to 48 hours to remove any remaining pulp and to develop their flavors.
After fermentation, the beans are washed and dried, either in the sun or using mechanical dryers. Sun-drying can take up to two weeks, while mechanical drying can take just a few hours. Once the beans are dry, they are sorted again to remove any defects or impurities.
Finally, the beans are roasted to bring out their unique flavors and aromas. Batian coffee is known for its bright acidity, floral notes, and citrus flavors, which are enhanced by a light to medium roast. The beans can be ground and brewed using a variety of methods, including drip, pour-over, and espresso.
Flavor Profile of Batian Coffee
Batian coffee is known for its unique and complex flavor profile. Its taste is influenced by various factors such as soil, altitude, and processing methods. Generally, Batian coffee has a bright and lively acidity with a medium to full body. It has a floral and fruity aroma with notes of citrus, berries, and chocolate.
One of the reasons for Batian’s exceptional flavor is its high sugar content. This is due to the plant’s ability to photosynthesize efficiently, producing more sugars that contribute to the coffee’s sweetness. Additionally, Batian’s resistance to diseases and pests means that it can be grown with fewer pesticides and chemicals, resulting in a cleaner and more natural taste.
The flavor of Batian coffee can vary depending on the region it is grown in. For example, Batian coffee from the Nyeri region in Kenya is known for its bright acidity and floral notes, while Batian coffee from the Kirinyaga region has a more complex flavor with notes of blackcurrant and chocolate.
In terms of processing methods, Batian coffee can be either wet-processed or dry-processed. Wet-processed Batian coffee tends to have a cleaner and brighter flavor with more pronounced acidity, while dry-processed Batian coffee has a heavier body and a more nuanced flavor with notes of fruit and chocolate.
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Uses of Batian Coffee
Batian coffee is a popular variety of Arabica coffee that is grown primarily in Kenya. This coffee tree is known for its high yields, resistance to coffee leaf rust and coffee berry disease, and good cup quality. Batian coffee has a unique flavor profile that makes it a favorite among coffee lovers. Here are some of the uses of Batian coffee:
- Brewing coffee: Batian coffee beans are used to brew coffee that has a unique and distinct flavor. The coffee has a bright acidity, floral aroma, and a sweet citrusy taste. It is a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts who appreciate the taste and quality of specialty coffee.
- Blending: Batian coffee beans are often blended with other coffee varieties to create unique and complex coffee blends. The beans are known for their ability to add body and flavor to coffee blends, making them a popular choice among coffee roasters.
- Export: Batian coffee is a popular export crop in Kenya. The coffee is grown in high altitude regions of Kenya, and the beans are carefully harvested and processed to ensure their quality. The coffee is then exported to different parts of the world, where it is appreciated for its unique flavor and quality.
Batian coffee is a versatile coffee variety that is used in different ways. Whether you want to brew a cup of coffee, create a unique coffee blend, or export coffee beans, Batian coffee is a great choice. Its unique flavor and quality make it a favorite among coffee lovers around the world.
The Batian coffee tree is a relatively new variety of Arabica coffee that was developed in Kenya to combat the devastating effects of coffee berry disease and leaf rust. It is a true breeding variety that is highly resistant to both diseases, making it a popular choice among Kenyan coffee farmers.
While Batian coffee trees have not yet fully grasped root in Kenya, they are increasingly being planted alongside traditional SL varieties and Ruiru 11 on small farms. The growth habit of the Batian coffee tree is tall statured, with vegetative vigor and high yields.
If you are a coffee lover, you should definitely try Batian coffee. Its unique flavor profile, which is characterized by bright acidity, floral notes, and a hint of citrus, is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Moreover, you can feel good about drinking Batian coffee, knowing that it was grown sustainably and with minimal impact on the environment.
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Source: Gichimu, Bernard M., C. O. Omondi, and E. K. Gichuru. “Early agronomic performance of some new and existing Arabica coffee varieties in Kenya.” (2015). Links: http://repository.embuni.ac.ke/handle/123456789/64
GICHIMU, BM. “BATIAN COFFEE; ITS MERITS AND DEMAND TRENDS.” Links: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernard-Gichimu/publication/281627022_Batian_Coffee_Its_Merits_and_Demand_Trends/links/55f0825408aef559dc46d178/Batian-Coffee-Its-Merits-and-Demand-Trends.pdf