Varietal Deep Dive: Obata
Obata is a rarely seen varietal; we only featured one Obata coffee last year at The Roasters Pack. So, let’s take a deep dive and learn more about this mysterious varietal.
What is the Origin of Obata?
Obata is a hybrid varietal between Timor and Villa Sarchi. Timor itself is a hybrid varietal of Robusta and Arabica coffee beans. Whereas Villa Sarchi is a natural mutation on Bourbon. This gene mutation causes the plant to grow smaller and categorizes it as a “dwarf” plant. Obata was created by the Agronomic Research Center in São Paulo, Brazil, and was distributed for use in 2000.
The Obata plant
Obata is a rust-resistant plant with a high-yielding cup. The beans are large, and the plant grows best at low to medium altitudes. “This variety is less affected by sickness in the plant. They have a big problem in Mexico right now. A lot of plants are dying because of pests or leaf rust, but Obata is very resistant,” Marc-Alexandre Emond-Boisjoly, Founder of 94 Celcius Coffee Roasters, explained.
What does Obata coffee taste like?
Obata produces coffee with clarity and balance. They typically have a delicate acidity with notes of citrus. They can present themselves as rich and chocolate with a creamy body and long finish. But they can also have vibrant acidity, a lighter body and a floral aroma.
What do Producers Think?
Katia Duke, a producer of the Honduran Finca San Isidro, explained to us why she planted this varietal on her farm: “The year 2012 was a very difficult year for us. Between 60-80% of our plantation was destroyed by Hemileia Vastatrix - the coffee rust fungus. Our plant was mostly Catuai and Caturra. We were in love with the results of these varieties, but it was clear that we did not take into account the climatic changes that we were going to face! The Obata variety brought us a new alternative to keep us in business… its yields are incredible, it is a plant resistant to rust. However, it is demanding in terms of nutrients and management."