Ruiru 11 coffee variety was developed in Kenya in response to a coffee berry disease epidemic that caused significant losses in the country’s coffee production. The cultivar was created to be compact, high-yielding, and resistant to diseases and pests, making it a popular choice among farmers in Kenya and other coffee-growing regions.
Ruiru 11 owes its name to the Kenyan Coffee Research Station, where the cultivar was produced. The variety is an F1 hybrid, meaning it was created by crossing two different parent plants. In Ruiru 11’s case, the cultivar was created by crossing the SL28 variety, which is known for its exceptional cup quality, with other varieties that have disease resistance and genetic stability.
Today, Ruiru 11 is grown in various coffee-producing countries around the world, including Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. While the cultivar has faced some controversy over the years, particularly regarding its cup quality and susceptibility to certain diseases, it remains a popular choice among farmers who value its high yields and disease resistance.
History of Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree
Ruiru 11 is a coffee variety that was developed in Kenya in the 1980s. The variety was created to address the challenges that Kenyan coffee farmers were facing at the time, including low yields and susceptibility to diseases such as coffee berry disease and leaf rust.
Developed by the Coffee Research Institute (CRI) in Kenya, Ruiru 11 is a hybrid of the Kent and Caturra coffee varieties. It was first released to farmers in 1985 and quickly gained popularity due to its high yields and disease resistance.
Compared to other coffee varieties, Ruiru 11 is known for its compact size and high yield potential. It is also able to thrive in a variety of growing conditions, including areas with low rainfall and high temperatures.
Despite its success, Ruiru 11 has also been controversial due to its perceived negative impact on cup quality. Some coffee experts argue that the variety produces coffee with a less complex flavor profile compared to other Kenyan varieties such as SL28 and SL34.
Today, Ruiru 11 remains a popular coffee variety in Kenya and is grown by many smallholder farmers throughout the country.
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Characteristics of Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree
Ruiru 11 is a coffee tree variety that was developed in Kenya to address the challenges of coffee production, particularly the devastating effects of coffee berry disease (CBD) and leaf rust. Here are some of the characteristics of Ruiru 11 coffee tree:
- Ruiru 11 is a compact and small coffee tree variety that can grow up to 2.5 meters tall.
- It has a high yield potential and can produce up to 3 tons of coffee cherries per hectare per year.
- Ruiru 11 coffee tree is resistant to CBD and leaf rust, which are two of the most destructive coffee tree diseases.
- It has a good cup quality, with a balanced acidity and a medium body.
- Ruiru 11 coffee tree is a hybrid variety, which means it is a cross between two different coffee tree varieties. It is a result of a breeding program that started in the 1960s.
Ruiru 11 coffee tree has been widely adopted in Kenya and other coffee-producing countries because of its disease resistance and high yield potential. However, it is worth noting that some farmers have reported challenges in growing Ruiru 11, particularly when it comes to top-working with other coffee tree varieties.
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Cultivation of Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree
Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree is a hybrid variety of coffee that was developed in Kenya to combat the effects of coffee berry disease (CBD) that wiped out 50% of the country’s coffee production in 1968. The Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree is a compact, high-yielding variety that is resistant to diseases and pests, making it an ideal choice for coffee farmers who want to increase their yield while minimizing losses.
The Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree is grown in Kenya and other countries with similar climates. The tree is planted in well-drained soil and requires regular watering and fertilization to promote healthy growth. The tree is usually planted at a density of 3300 trees per hectare and produces between 2.5 and 3.0 tons of coffee per hectare per year.
The Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree is harvested once a year, usually between October and December. The coffee cherries are picked by hand and then processed using either the wet or dry method. The wet method involves removing the skin and pulp from the coffee cherry before drying the beans, while the dry method involves drying the whole cherry before removing the skin and pulp.
One of the challenges of growing Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree is that it requires careful management to ensure that it produces a high yield while maintaining its resistance to diseases and pests. Farmers must monitor the trees for signs of disease and pests and take appropriate measures to prevent their spread. They must also prune the trees regularly to promote healthy growth and ensure that the branches do not become too dense, which can lead to poor air circulation and increased risk of disease.
In conclusion, the Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree is a hybrid variety that was developed to combat the effects of coffee berry disease. It is a compact, high-yielding variety that is resistant to diseases and pests, making it an ideal choice for coffee farmers who want to increase their yield while minimizing losses. However, it requires careful management to ensure that it produces a high yield while maintaining its resistance to diseases and pests.
Harvesting and Processing of Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree
The Ruiru 11 coffee variety is known for its high yield and resistance to coffee berry disease and leaf rust. Harvesting of Ruiru 11 coffee berries is typically done by handpicking, and the berries are usually harvested when they are fully ripe. The harvesting season for Ruiru 11 coffee trees is usually between October and December.
After harvesting, the coffee berries are processed to remove the outer layers of skin and pulp. There are two main methods of processing coffee: the dry method and the wet method. The dry method involves drying the coffee berries in the sun, while the wet method involves washing the coffee berries to remove the outer layers of skin and pulp before drying them.
For Ruiru 11 coffee trees, the wet method is typically used, as it results in a cleaner and higher-quality coffee. After the coffee berries are harvested, they are sorted to remove any defective or unripe berries. The sorted berries are then washed in water to remove the outer layers of skin and pulp. The coffee beans are then dried in the sun or using mechanical dryers until they reach a moisture content of around 10-12%.
Once the coffee beans are dried, they are hulled to remove the parchment layer that surrounds the beans. The beans are then sorted to remove any defective or discolored beans. The sorted beans are then roasted to bring out their unique flavors and aromas.
In summary, the Ruiru 11 coffee variety is harvested by handpicking and processed using the wet method to produce a high-quality coffee with unique flavors and aromas.
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Cup Profile of Ruiru 11 Coffee
Ruiru 11 coffee is known for its unique cup profile that sets it apart from other coffee varieties. Although it may not have the same level of quality as SL 28 and SL 34, Ruiru 11 still offers a distinct flavor that is worth exploring. Here are some of the characteristics that define the cup profile of Ruiru 11 coffee:
- Acidity: Ruiru 11 coffee has a bright and tangy acidity that is reminiscent of citrus fruits. This acidity is well-balanced and adds a refreshing zing to the cup.
- Body: Ruiru 11 coffee has a medium body that is neither too heavy nor too light. It has a smooth and creamy texture that coats the tongue and leaves a pleasant aftertaste.
- Flavor: Ruiru 11 coffee has a complex flavor profile that combines fruity, floral, and nutty notes. It has a sweet and caramel-like taste that is complemented by hints of blackcurrant, apricot, and jasmine.
- Aroma: Ruiru 11 coffee has a floral and fruity aroma that is both inviting and intriguing. It has a strong and distinct fragrance that fills the room and lingers in the air.
Overall, Ruiru 11 coffee is a unique and flavorful variety that is worth trying for any coffee enthusiast. Its distinct cup profile makes it a great option for both single-origin and blended coffees. While it may not have the same level of quality as some of the more renowned varieties, Ruiru 11 coffee still offers a great cup that is sure to satisfy any coffee lover.
Pros and Cons of Ruiru 11 Coffee Tree
Ruiru 11 coffee tree is a hybrid variety that was developed in Kenya to combat the coffee berry disease (CBD) epidemic in 1968. The tree is known for its high yield and disease resistance, making it a popular choice among farmers. However, like any other coffee variety, Ruiru 11 has its own set of pros and cons.
- High Yield: Ruiru 11 is a high-yielding coffee tree that produces more beans per tree than other varieties. This makes it a popular choice among farmers who want to maximize their coffee production.
- Disease Resistance: Ruiru 11 is resistant to coffee berry disease, which is a major problem for coffee farmers in many parts of the world. This makes it a low-maintenance coffee variety that requires less pesticide use.
- Good Cup Profile: Ruiru 11 has a good cup profile, with a bright acidity and a fruity flavor. This makes it a popular choice among coffee roasters who want to produce high-quality coffee.
- Controversy: Ruiru 11 has been a controversial variety since its release in 1985. Some farmers and coffee experts believe that it has a negative impact on the cup quality of Kenyan coffee, while others argue that it has helped to increase coffee production and improve the livelihoods of farmers.
- Lack of Diversity: Ruiru 11 has become a dominant coffee variety in Kenya, which has led to a lack of diversity in the coffee industry. This can be a problem in the long term, as it increases the risk of disease and pests affecting the entire coffee industry.
- Lower Cup Quality: While Ruiru 11 has a good cup profile, some coffee experts argue that it is not as good as other Kenyan varieties, such as SL28 and SL34. This can be a problem for coffee roasters who want to produce high-quality coffee.
Overall, Ruiru 11 is a popular coffee variety that has both pros and cons. While it is a high-yielding and disease-resistant variety that produces good-quality coffee, it has also been a controversial variety that has led to a lack of diversity in the coffee industry. Ultimately, the decision to grow Ruiru 11 or another variety will depend on the specific needs and goals of each farmer.
Ruiru 11 is a hybrid coffee variety that was developed in Kenya to address the challenges of coffee farming in the country. The variety was created by crossing Catimor and SL cultivars, resulting in a plant that is resistant to coffee berry disease and coffee leaf rust, two of the most devastating coffee plant diseases.
Ruiru 11 has proven to be a high-yielding variety, with a good cup profile, and is suitable for growing in high-density plantations due to its dwarf-like stature. However, it is important to note that the variety is not without its challenges. Some farmers have reported that Ruiru 11 is susceptible to root-knot nematodes, which can cause significant damage to the plant’s root system.
Despite its challenges, Ruiru 11 remains an important coffee variety in Kenya, and its success has inspired the development of other hybrid varieties that aim to address the challenges of coffee farming in the country. As coffee farming continues to evolve in Kenya and around the world, it is likely that new varieties will be developed to meet the changing needs of farmers and consumers alike.
Also Read: Coffee Farming In Kenya
Sources: Opile, W. R., and C. O. Agwanda. “Propagation and distribution of cultivar Ruiru 11: a review.” Kenya Coffee The Coffee Board of Kenya Monthly Bulletin (1993). Links: https://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=KE19940063266
Omondi, C. O., et al. “Resistance of Coffea arabica cv. Ruiru 11 tested with different isolates of Colletotrichum kahawae, the causal agent of coffee berry disease.” Euphytica 121 (2001): 19-24. Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1012056622969