In the years since the 2012 leaf rust epidemic, Guatemalan farmers have planted an increasing amount of modern, rust-resistant hybrids. The two major categories of these, Catimor and Sarchimor, are based on crosses between the Timor hybrid and the dwarf varieties Caturra and Villa Sarchi, respectively. The Timor hybrid, a cross between arabica and robusta, has robusta’s resistance to leaf rust and other pathogens such as coffee berry disease; its cup quality is intermediate between the two species. The various varieties derived from these crosses have represented an attempt to restore the cup quality of the arabica parents whilst retaining robusta’s disease resistance. These hybrids are typically high yielding and drought resistant. All are, however, susceptible to the fungal disease ojo de gallo (Mycena citricolor) which attacks the leaves of coffee plants, creating spots or holes in the leaves, eventually causing them to drop from the plant.
A coffee leaf affected by ojo de gallo (Mycena citricolor). Image from CAB International Plantwise, published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.
The Catimor varieties found in Guatemala include Lempira and Costa Rica 95, selected from the Catimor cross designated T-8667; Anacafé 90 and Ihcafé 90, selected from the Catimor cross T-5175; and Catimor T-5269.
One particularly successful Catimor hybrid in Guatemala has been Anacafé 14, the result of a natural cross between Catimor T-5175 and Pacamara. Anacafé 14 was released as a variety in 2014. It is drought tolerant and produces high yields, with the potential for very good cup quality when grown at higher altitudes, up to 1,600 metres (5,250 feet) above sea level.