In order to understand the relationship between the sensory attributes of coffee (including factors such as acidity, flavor, and aftertaste), and given the possible influences of genetic factors on coffee quality, we evaluated the sensory quality of 10 commercial cultivars of Coffea arabica in three important coffee regions of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and examined, via path analysis, the interactions of the attributes that determine coffee quality. The experiments were conducted in three cities (Lavras, Patrocínio, and Turmalina) in three separate regions of cultivation in Brazil. Beverage quality was evaluated by assessing the sensory attributes of the cultivars Oeiras MG 6851, Catiguá MG 1, Sacramento MG 1, Catiguá MG 2, Araponga MG 1, Paraíso MG H419-1, Pau Brasil MG 1, Catiguá MG3, Topázio MG1190, and Bourbon Amarelo LCJ10, the last of which was used as the control cultivar. Experiments were designed in a randomized block consisting of 3.5 m × 0.7 m plots containing 10 plants of the various cultivars, with three replicates of each plot. We concluded that cultivation environment greatly influences the quality of the coffee produced by the cultivars. The cultivars Bourbon LCJ10, Araponga MG1, Paraíso MG H419-1, Sacramento MG1, Oeiras MG6851, and Catiguá MG2 exhibiting high potential for cultivation in the regions of Lavras, Patrocínio, and Turmalina.
Key words: Coffea arabica, sensory analysis, path analysis, genotype-environment interactions.
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