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Found: Climate defying coffee

In recent years fears have been expressed for the future of coffee growing around the world in the face of climate change, but the rediscovery of a rare species of coffee could secure the future of the drink.

Coffea stenophyllia from West Africa had not been seen in the wild since 1954, but a recent rediscovery by scientists has proved it still thrives in places such as Sierra Leone. The coffee made from this plant tastes similar to high-end arabica, the world’s most popular variety of coffee which is at threat from climate change.

The researchers, including from the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, say the species is thought to be drought tolerant, have partial resistance to coffee leaf rust and have a much higher temperature tolerance than Arabica.

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