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About the French mission bourbon coffee

French Mission Bourbon Coffee

The French mission bourbon coffees is of the Bourbon group of Arabica coffees. Culturally and genetically speaking, these are among the most important coffee groups in the world. Let us now learn about the history of the French mission Bourbon coffees and the Typica varieties of coffee plants.

French mission bourbon coffee beans
French mission bourbon coffee beans

What is the history of Typica and Bourbon Seeds

  1. Coffee seeds evolved in the ancient world of what is now called as Ethiopia
  2. From the great coffee forests found in Southern and Southwestern Ethiopia, coffee seeds were transported across the world to Yemen
  3. In Yemen, these coffee beans were cultivated as a proper crop instead of wild seeds as was the case in Ethiopia.
  4. So why this long story?
  5. A lot of scientific research and genetic tests confirmed that the seeds taken from Ethiopia to Yemen were of the type… drumroll…….. you guessed right, it was of the type Burbon and Typica .
  6. And from Ethiopia to Yemen, the Bourbon and Typica and their entire lineage spread around world thus resulting in what you see in the world today!!!!

Typica Coffee Beans explained

  1. Once coffee had moved from Ethiopia to Yemen and then becoming popular, we had reached the late 1600s.
  2. Coffee trees had left Yemen and were growing in the great plantations of India.
  3. The typica coffee beans and the French bourbon coffee beans were the sole variants used in the massive and world renown coffee plantations in the Mysore region which was at that time known as Malabar .
  4. Both Typica coffee beans as well as Bourbon coffee seeds varieties were included in the transportation from Yemen to India.
  5. It is widely regarded that the Typica branch separated from Bourbon when the Dutch sent seeds in 1696 and 1699 from Malabar coast of India to Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, which is located on the island of Java.
  6. From this Typica group introduced in Indonesia, a single coffee plant was taken in 1706 from Java to Amsterdam.
  7. This was given a home in the botanical gardens. This single plant gave rise to the Typica coffee bean variety that colonized the Americas during the 18th century.
  8. In 1714, the mayor of Amsterdam offered a coffee plant to King Louis XIV; it was planted in the greenhouse of the Jardin des Plantes
  9. From the Netherlands, plants were sent in 1719 on colonial trade routes to Suriname and then on to French Guianna in 1722
  10. The next travel would be in 1727 to the northern part of Brazil.
  11. It finally reached southern Brazil between 1760 and 1770.
A nice hot cup of French mission bourbon coffee
A nice hot cup of French mission bourbon coffee

What was the history behind the French Bourbon Coffee?

  1. So where does the French come into the picture?
  2. The French tried to introduce this coffee from Yemen to Bourbon Island which is now called as “La Réunion”.
  3. In fact they tried it not once but three times, in 1708, 1715 and 1718
  4. However the weather was not conducive and only only a very small number of plants were successful.
  5. However, until the mid-19th century, Bourbon coffee did not leave the island.

Introduction of the French Bourbon Coffee in Africa…

  1. French missionaries were known as Spiritans and they played a major part in the dissemination of French Bourbon Coffee in Africa.
  2. In 1841, the first mission was established in La Reunion.
  3. A mission was established in Zanzibar in 1859.
  4. From Zanzibar, one mission was established in 1862 in Tanzania
  5. Another mission was established at St. Augustine which is Kenya
  6. Another mission was established in 1893 in Bura, Kenya
  7. In each of the missions, coffee seeds originating from La Réunion were planted.
  8. The French Bourbon coffee seedlings from St. Augustine were used to plant in Keny
  9. The French Bourbon coffee seedlings from Bagamoyo were used to establish plantations in Kilimanjaro (Tanzanian).

The Origin of French mission Coffee

  1. The French Bourbon coffee seedlings from Bura, Kenya were brought to Nairobi in 1899
  2. Seeds were then distributed to settlers and farmers who were interested in growing coffee.
  3. These introductions of these special coffee beans are the origin of “French Mission” coffee since it was spread on by the French mission.

French Mission Coffee in India

  1. The old Indian Bourbon coffee varieties which are planted in Coorg and Kent are of the Bourbon varieties.
  2. Thus we have proof that in the late 1600s, seeds sent out of Yemen and Ethiopia to India definitely included French Bourbon Coffee Seedlings and Typica Coffee Seedlings

French Mission Coffee in the Americas

  1. French Bourbon Coffee Seedlings were introduced to the Americas in 1860. It was introduced initially in southern Brazil, near Campinas.
  2. From there, it spread north into Central America.


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