Cannabis technology at the service of coffee making
Cannabis and Coffee affect the same regions of the brain, that’s been written about earlier, now, Leslie writes next on how cannabis planting techniques are helping grow quality coffee at places where normally coffee wouldn’t grow.
Cannabis for them is not the psychotropic substance that it is for everyone else. For them, Cannabis is a new found love that helps coffee, and since cannabis helps coffee, Leslie is interested in it. Because, in the end, it helps their industry of branded coffee cups and accessories by boosting quality and availability of coffee.
Coffee and Paper Cups industry is watching closely, so are the coffee industry insiders. Together they wish for higher quality gourmet coffee at lower costs.
Cannabis technology at the service of coffee making
At first glance, coffee and cannabis are completely two different plants. Nonetheless, the production techniques of cannabis are being applied to the production of coffee plants to create the healthiest ones even in those regions where they do not grow naturally.
Front Range Biosciences, a Colorado-based company focusing on modern agriculture, tissue culture, and in particular the production of pathogen-free high-value cannabis plants, is behind this innovative approach.
It has recently announced that it will provide Frinj Coffee more than 3 million rooted cuttings of coffee plants over the next four years.
Using a clean stock technology to produce South Californian coffee
Since its inception, Front Range Biosciences has evolved with a vision that specialty crops detain the potential to positively impact the world through medicine, nutrition, and recreation. With that strong belief, it has focused on the application of science to agriculture through biotechnology.
Using scientific tools such as tissue culture and marker-assisted breeding, it produces disease-free clones of varietals as well as new varietals that are resistant to diseases, have higher yields and better agronomic traits, and that require the lower use of pesticides. It equally has a nursery- Cultivas Bio- serving as a provider of industrial cannabis in Colorado.
Growing cannabis can be a difficult task as cannabis plants have a short life during which they can be the prey of fungi and viruses. Producers who clone their plants can see the risks intensify as cloning a seemingly healthy yet afflicted plant can prove to be disastrous.
In 2016, Front Range Biosciences launched itself in the development of a method of tissue culturing that avoided all these issues. When collecting samples of cannabis, the team ensures that they are absolutely free of bacteria and viruses.
The plants are then grown in their own respective containers and they are fed with the correct nutrients and amount of light. Certain processes such as rooting, shooting, and elongation are controlled through the use of hormones. During this “manufacturing process”, there is no need to use pesticides because the environment is fully under control.
The same technology and techniques used for cannabis cultivation can be extended to coffee plants. Even if in Southern California there are no traditional diseases that affect coffee regions, Frinj Coffee, a company that launched itself in the production of coffee since 2002, prefers not to take any risks while trying to make South California the next specialty coffee capital of the world. As a result, the company has opted for the clean stock program proposed by Front Range Biosciences.
These coffee plants are already growing up the hills near Santa Barbara, far from the tropical climate. This special variety flourishing is called Geisha. Frinj Coffee wanted to make sure that it is preserving the precious genetics of its plants.
Generally, a coffee plant is cultivated from the seeds obtained from another plant that is liked for its growth, production or tastiness of its beans. A coffee plant produces about 1,500 seeds but they do not keep well.
But due to wind pollination from other trees or some cross-pollination, there is always a risk that the seeds naturally start to hybridize.
To avoid this, Front Range Biosciences can culture the tissue again and again in its laboratories, yielding perfect genetic copies without the least alteration. Working with various varieties of Frinj’s coffee plants, the company has begun building a database of the finest coffee plants for future use.
In this manner, its geisha varietal that grows well in the South Californian climate, will not be at risk of getting altered by accidental cross-pollination.
Taking the risk of losing genetic diversity
The genetic selection of coffee production may entail certain problems. Genetic diversity is regarded as a positive aspect of Nature: in a coffee plantation, the coffee trees are not all identical. While some may fall victim to certain diseases, others may stay immune thanks to their “lucky” genetics. In such a scenario, the crop does not entirely fail if certain plants are diseased.
However, this will not be the case once genetic diversity is lost. The risk of losing a whole bunch of plants is far higher. But this is a risk that Frinj Coffee is ready to take. The reason behind is that they will be keeping hundreds or even thousands of unique varieties safe and sound like a tissue vault instead of a seed vault. Thus, if certain crops are wiped out, they can go over and deploy the plantation again.
Seemingly, biotechnology is poised to give a new face to the worldwide coffee production. The major coffee growing regions in the world are tucked between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Originating from Africa, its production has expanded to the East and to the West. This process is known as the Bean Belt. Since the last 150 years, Brazil is dominating the world market in coffee production. Currently, it is producing about 3 million metric tons in about 27,000 km2. In North America, Mexico is the leader, positioned as the 9th exporter of coffee in the world.
In Central and South America, Guatemala and Colombia are the coffee growing regions with their rugged landscapes and rich volcanic soil that favour the healthy growth of plants. In terms of imports, the European Union is the leader, with the United States following far behind.
In the past recent years, specialty coffee has gained much attention. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, coffee that scores 80 points or above on a 100-point scale is graded as a specialty.
Specialty coffee is grown in specific and ideal climates and differ from other types by their unique taste and flavours and little to no defects.
However, from the consumer’s point of view, coffee is broadly categorized as specialty or commercial grade. While commercial coffee is sold in little bottles as instant coffee or packed, specialty coffee is stored and delivered as whole beans and needs to be ground before brewing.
Source: 420 Intel – Europe