A species of naturally caffeine-free coffee from the Cameroon, Coffea charrieriana, has been named one of the top ten new species described in 2009 by the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) at Arizona State University.
The coffee was actually collected in 1983. Cuttings were cultivated in a research collection and remained unstudied by taxonomists until 1997. It wasn’t until last year that a description of it as a newly described species was published. The original cuttings from the plants were collected in wet, primary rainforest on a steep, rocky slope in the Bakossi Forest Reserve, Tombel Division, Southwest Province, Cameroon, at an elevation of 160 m. It is one of only a few species of caffeine-free Coffeas, and the first from Central Africa.
The top ten species from the previous year are announced by the IISE along with the release of the annual State of Species report, which discusses the status of our knowledge of earth’s species and summarizes the number of species newly described in the most recent year for which complete data are available. The 2009 report discusses the over 18,000 new species discovered in 2007. The report is produced in partnership with the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the International Plant Names Index, Thomson Reuters (publisher of Zoological Record) and the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.
Stoffelen, P., M. Noirot, E. Couturon & F. Anthony. 2008. A new caffeine-free coffee from Cameroon. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 158: 67-72.