Non-Arabica coffee is having a bit of a moment right now. Yes, Arabica still reigns supreme in the specialty coffee world, but with new species being discovered—like the six recently in Madagascar as well as Stenophylla in Sierra Leone, which “flourishes at higher temperatures and has an excellent flavor”—the emergence of high quality Robusta, and the occasional Eugenioides floating around (Gardelli has one right now and Onyx Coffee Lab just sold out of theirs), coffees existing at least partly outside the Arabica norm are taking up more and more space in the specialty coffee zeitgeist.
And a new limited-edition release from London’s Assembly Coffee is bringing another coffee species to the fore. With their latest Daterra Masterpieces Limited Edition set, a hybrid of Coffea Racemosa gets a spotlight.
For the new release, Assembly is offering two experimental coffee out of Brazil from experimental lots by producer Daterra. The first is the anaerobic fermented Arara, a wild hybrid of Arabica varieties Obata and Yellow Catuai. The second, and perhaps most interesting, is the Aramosa, a hybrid of Arabica and Racemosa. An heirloom species, Racemosa is naturally low in caffeine, giving it more sweetness (if you’ve ever had Eugenioides or Laurina, a low-caf Arabica, you know how significantly it can impact perceived sweetness). The Aramosa is considered to be a “pre-cultivar”; while it is known to be a hybrid of Arabica, the variety is unknown and its genetics are still being studied.
The wild fermented Aramosa has notes of passionfruit, pomegranate, and dark chocolate.
Each coffee coming in 100g bags, the Daterra Masterpieces Limited Edition is a collaboration with Alex Delany, host of Sound Radio, a weekly radio show on Spotify existing at the intersection of food and music. Also included the collab is a reusable black turtle shopping bag.
The Daterra Masterpieces Limited Edition is currently available for £29 ($40 USD) via Assembly Coffee’s official website, with free shipping within the UK and £10 ($14 USD) worldwide. The future of specialty coffee is shaping up to be less reliant on Arabica. The Daterra Masterpieces is just a taste of what may come.