What is Pink Bourbon?

Pink bourbon is an ethiopian landrace this mean it does fall in the classic Typica/Bourbon category. Pink Bourbon coffee cherries have a distinct pinkish hue when ripe, giving the variety its name. The trees can be lower yielding.

Flavor profile of Pink Bourbon

Pink bourbon can have complex flavors I find that it expresses fantastic characteristics with honey processes.

  • Delicate floral notes like jasmine and rose
  • Citrus acidity
  • Stone fruit
  • Mint
  • Tropical fruits
  • Yogurt

That being said it is hard to pin down specific flavors considering that two Pink Bourbons might be different varieties or strains of the variety.

The history of Pink Bourbon

The history of Pink Bourbon is short and yet still surprising. It is believed to have first appeared the 1980s in little vereda of San Adolfo in Huila. No one was quite sure what it was but because of its appearance, the best guess was that it was some kind of natural hybrid between Red and Yellow Bourbon varieties.

But here's the plot twist: recent DNA tests led by RD2 vision and Cafe Import have shown that Pink Bourbon isn't even related to Bourbon at all! Turns out, it's actually an Ethiopian landrace variety that somehow made its way over to Colombia. Maybe it hitched a ride when they were trying to bring over other Ethiopian coffees like Gesha.

In the 2010’s when coffee leaf rust disease started wrecking crops in the area, more farmers started growing Pink Bourbon without even realizing it. Turns out, it was pretty resistant to the disease and grew well in the climate.It is now a very popular variety amongst consumers and amongst growers especially in the Huila region. At COTA we cannot believe the number of farmers there who offer us Pink Bourbon, so it is also becoming quite affordable for the cup quality.

Sources (where all our knowledge comes from)

  • https://perfectdailygrind.com/2023/10/pink-bourbon-specialty-coffee/
  • https://www.cafeimports.com/north-america/blog/2023/09/26/pink-bourbon-cryptozoology-and-genetics-in-specialty-coffee/
  • https://sprudge.com/one-lie-and-a-truth-pink-bourbons-true-origin-216268.html