In 1961, Colombia’s Coffee Research Institute, CENICAFE, began research and field trials with Hibrido de Timor. By 1968, the same organization was combining Timor hybrid with the popular Caturra cultivar, a program that was to continue in even fuller force throughout the 1970s. In 1982, CENICAFE released the Colombia cultivar, a product of five generations of breeding and backcrossing in the Catimor line in order to marry disease resistance with good cup quality and productivity.
Research continued throughout the 1980s and 90s and, even, accelerated in the race to discover a truly resistant strain that didn’t sacrifice flavour. In 2002, CENICAFE introduced the Tabi cultivar: a variety obtained by crossing Typica, Bourbon and Timor Hybrid. One of the most important attributes is its resistance to coffee leaf rust, but it also displays the good cup quality characteristics of its Bourbon and Typica parents.
Tabi is morphologically very similar to Bourbon and Typica, being tall with long branches; however, its fruits and seeds are slightly larger. It can be grown in high density (up to up to 3,000 trees per hectare) and adapts well to high altitudes.
The name Tabi means “good” in the Guambiano (a native Colombian tribe) dialect.