Finca de Garces’ Catimor: From Shunned Varietal to Competition Champion

May 26, 2023

As a hybrid between an Arabica and a Robusta, the Catimor variety is often shunned in the specialty coffee industry. It is also susceptible to diseases and can be a difficult cultivar to grow in certain areas of the world. However, one farm in the Philippines is breaking barriers by producing its best version of the Catimor—at a level where it can secure first place in prestigious competitions.

The name "Catimor" is derived from its parent varietals, Caturra (an Arabica species) and Timor (a Robusta species), which combine to create this hybrid. When grown right, a Catimor can yield abundantly. Distinguished by its chunky and robust appearance, the Catimor varietal stands out among other coffee varieties. The proximity of its fruits, or cherries, creates a dense and compact arrangement by the internodes. Furthermore, the initial brown hue of its emerging leaves transitions to a rich dark green color as they reach maturity.

Due to its linkage to Robusta, the cultivar Catimor isn’t exactly a favorite crop for most coffee farmers. It is nodded with a low sensory profile where its yield often lead to an inferior cup score. As for production parameters, Catimor also requires far more tedious work than its counterparts. It is also susceptible to rust and leaf diseases.

But in a Southeast Asian country such as the Philippines, Catimor actually prospers well and has adapted to the tropical environment of the country.  In the flourishing microclimate of Philippines’ Finca de Garces, Catimor thrives to be a beautifully clean cup that garnered an impressive score of 87.1 in the first ever Northern Mindanao Coffee Quality Competition.

It is very rare for a Catimor varietal to score this high, let alone a naturally-processed one. This feat alone is what makes Finca de Garces such a remarkable farm: the combination of a lush microclimate and the precision and dedication of the producers that can transform even a Catimor varietal to reach such pristine standards.

With a back story this unique, it is truly a testament that no varietal is ever too inferior for a farmer that desires to bring out the best a crop can be.


Get ahold of one of the winning lots that graced the Finca de Garces farm. Click here to get a bag!