Bourbon Pointu – one of the best and rarest coffees in the world
- Originally, only wild coffee grew in the humid forests of Réunion – C. mauritiana, also called café maron.
- In 1708, the French brought some coffee seeds and 60 coffee plants from Yemen to the island, but they did not survive.
- Only from plantations of 1715 and 1718 6-7 plants survived and adapted to the very precipitous climate.
- The coffee variety Arabica Laurina was first described in 1771, is one of the oldest Arabica varieties in the world and is also called Bourbon Pointu or Bourbon Rond.
- By the way, Reunion Island was called Île Bourbon intermittently until 1848 and gave its name not only to coffee but also to vanilla.
- Cultivated by slaves, the noble drink at the court of Louis XV was highly esteemed.
- But the coffee was increasingly forgotten when in 1767 the monopoly on supplies to the French kingdom was canceled and in 1806 two cyclones and a subsequent drought destroyed the plantations.
- The cultivation recovered after that, but due to the increased sugar demand the coffee trees were replaced by sugar cane.
- Only in the 2000s, the Pointu under the leadership of the Japanese Yoshiaki Kawashima (research director of the Ueshima Coffee Company) experienced a renaissance.
- As the name of the coffee says, it is an elongated, pointed coffee that grows on 800–1,500 m on the volcanic slopes of the Piton des Neiges.
- With great care, it is selectively harvested by hand at optimum maturity and wet-processed.
- Later, it is completely dried in the sun, before it is roasted by traditional methods.
- The Bourbon Pointu has little caffeine with 0.5 %, has a balanced taste and has aromas of shortbread and hazelnut to truffle and arugula, fruit notes of red fruits, lychee, grapefruit and orchids. The finish is dry with hazelnut and caramel notes.
- With only a few 100 kg of green coffee a year, this coffee is an absolute rarity, which has a surprisingly high price!
☕ Traditional Preparation
Café Amer (bitter coffee)
Previously, the Reuniones drank C. mauritiana mixed with Arabica beans.
Café Grègue/ Café Coulé
- The coffee is prepared with a traditional metal coffee pot on La Réunion – the Grègue.
- In the upper part of the pot is a metal sieve, in which one gives the coffee powder.
- This is gradually poured over with boiling water, and immediately drunk hot.