dlodewyk asked: I think what is another step in quality in this industry is individual farm single varietal coffee. Four varieties blended on a farm is a lot of variation to work with (in my opinion). I think the proposed type of a lot would have a smaller spread in the distribution of green moisture, surface area, water activity (increased consistency with processing/drying at origin), ect. This would in my experience would make roasting, grinding and brewing more consistent, allowing for more control/quality.
A very few farms have a single variety planted on them. Since coffee plants can live for decades, and replanting is a significant cost both in hard costs and productivity, it’s not an easy thing to do to convert a mixed-variety farm to a single-variety farm. In addition, it can be tough to find reliable, variety-specific seedlings to plant on your farm. So, advocating for single-variety farms might be a tall order for many farmers.
Although I am personally a strong advocate for varieties- and single-variety farms, it should be noted that some of the greatest coffee origins in the world- particularly the Yirgacheffe region- practice mixed-variety farming. You’re probably right that growing a single variety would lead to increased drying consistency, but there is no evidence that this consistency would either increase or decrease quality. A strong argument againstsingle-variety farming would be increased susceptibility to disease of single variety farms: heterogeneity is a proven way to protect a population from disease epidemics.
My point is that, while I agree with you that variety-conscious farming would be a significant positive step in coffee quality, that we should expect to support variety-specific with increased premiums for these coffees. It’s a significant expense and risk for farmers to engage in variety-specific farming, and this should be supported by roasters, coffeeshops, and consumers.