The Story Behind Maragogipe Coffee and Its Unique Taste

Last Updated on May 5, 2023 by Timothy Byron Smith

Coffee lovers are often on the lookout for the perfect cup, one that offers a unique taste and flavor. And this is where Maragogipe coffee comes in.

Also known as an “Elephant Bean,” this rare coffee variety from Brazil is known for its large-sized coffee cherries and leaves and incredible taste. In this article, we will delve deeper into the story behind Maragogipe coffee and explore what makes it so unique.

What is the Origin of Maragogipe Coffee

Maragogipe coffee hails from Brazil, where it was first discovered in 1870. Its name is derived from a Brazilian city located near its source. The exact origins of the bean are not known, but many believe it is a genetic hybrid of the Typica and Bourbon varieties.

However, it is clear that Maragogipe is a spontaneous mutation with distinct characteristics from other varieties.


From Brazil, Maragogipe spread to other countries, including Columbia and Central American nations such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Today, it is also grown in Mexico and Hawaii. The coffee varietal thrives at high elevations but is highly susceptible to diseases like coffee leaf rust and coffee berry disease.

This has led many farms, especially Brazilian ones that often favor high-volume production, to phase out the bean. However, thanks to a rapidly expanding market for specialty coffee, growers in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua are showcasing the best of the bean.

What flavors does Maragogipe Coffee offer?

Maragogipe coffee has a full body, giving each cup a richer mouthfeel. The flavor is elegant and refined without any robust undertones. Additionally, the acidity is balanced, with no excess of tangy flavors that overpower other components. Most Maragogipe coffees undergo washed processing, resulting in cleaner palates with fewer sugars from fermentation.

The location of growth combined with the harvest season also impacts the tasting notes of Maragogipe coffee. For instance, when grown in Nicaragua, the coffee has a natural sweetness resembling toffee, accompanied by floral notes like those found in wildflower honey. Hawaiian beans boast more fruit-like peach flavors underpinned with herbal touches akin to hops.

Guatemalan beans often have more nut-like undertones punctuated by characteristic floral notes at the finish. Such a range of flavor variations makes the bean all the more enticing for coffee enthusiasts.

How to Brew Maragogipe Coffee?

To showcase the full spectrum of Maragogipe’s aroma, it’s necessary to take extra care when brewing the coffee. Firstly, it’s not recommended to take this varietal with milk since the lactose in dairy will overpower the coffee’s, natural sweetness.

Additionally, the bean doesn’t do as well with espresso since the more concentrated extraction diminishes the floral flavors. Instead, opt for brewing methods like French Press or pour-over.

Coffee Brewing with an Espresso Machine

It is also important to get the right brewing recipe based on the roast of the coffee. A ratio popularized by established baristas is one part coffee to sixteen parts water. Make sure to bloom and pour carefully to highlight the best of the bean. Fine-tuning each brew is the fun part of the process as each lot has different flavor variations.

Where to Buy Maragogipe Coffee?

To get the best quality Maragogipe coffee, it is advisable to buy from a reputable roaster. If not roasted to precision, the delicate details of the brew will not be discernible. Additionally, it’s important the coffee is roasted and bagged relatively soon after harvest, or flavors start to diminish if it’s left in storage for more than six months.

Coffee roasting and processing

The best time to search for it at a local roaster is from fall through spring when Maragogipe coffee is in season. Alternatively, order online from a purveyor with a large collection of esteemed coffee beans on Maragogipe coffee.

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