NPO World Coffee Research is making dramatic change in its focus of operations. It will increase investments in breeding, nursery and seed development and begin to move away from coffee variety trials.
The NPO has shut down its Global Coffee Monitoring Program, which had been a complex global network of on-farm variety trials.
World Coffee Research stated that their goal was to pinpoint their focus on their primary strength—improving and modernizing the industry for the benefit of farmers and the industry.
World Coffee Research also stated that their variety monitoring program would continue in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Philippines, Peru and Nicaragua. National research institutes and local organizations that WCR has worked with have plans to continue their work in other countries.
The Global Coffee Monitoring Program began in 2016 with 10 year, $18 million plan. After a 2020 consultation that included hundreds of interviews and almost a thousand surveys stakeholders decided on a new directions for the NPO between 2021-2025.
Scientists recently took a deeper look into how cold brewing coffee works; the chemical changes; how to brew the perfect cup. They couldn’t meet as planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic so they had a virtual meeting.
They looked at the diffences in types of coffee used to see the different compounds left in the coffee. The looked at different ratios as well.
They found that caffeine contents and antioxidant levels were similar in hot and cold brewed batches for lighter roast beans but it varied more for medium and dark roast beans. They found the hot brewed coffee had more antioxidants in the darker beans. The darker the beans the more the difference. Also in the darker roast, the acidic content was less.
Nick Brown from Daily Coffee News wrote about a new genome sequencing project – however this isn’t the human genome, but rather that of a coffee bean. Coffea arabica, to be precise. Researchers believe their work will lead to “new high-quality, adaptable coffee varieties.”
The research is being done at the University of California, Davis. University researchers collaborated with Jay Ruskey of Good Land Organics farm in California’s Central Coast Region near Santa Barbara.
23 samples of Geisha coffee trees at varied levels of development were collected from Good Land Organics to be sequenced along with 22 other Geisha samples within 13 alternative varieties. Researchers’ goal was to best understand genetic diversity within the various varieties.
The research looked at 1.19 million base pairs—to give you an idea of the magnitude of the project, that is about 1/3 of the base pairs examined in the human genome. This initial study, while one of a kind, found little genetic diversity among the samples.
The new genome sequence has been posted to Phytozome.net, the public database for comparative plant genomics.