Together with Typica, Bourbon is the top produced C. arabica variety in the world. The name comes from its original origin of cultivation - the island that was once known as Île Bourbon. Peter Giuliano suggests, that other varieties from Africa or Yemen were possibly planted there as well, therefore the unique variety of Bourbon emerged on the island either by spontaneous mutation of a single variety or by open crossbreeding of multiple varieties.

Nowadays, you can still find the remnants of the original bourbon variety on Reunion, under the namesake Bourbon Pointu (exclusively sold in Japan).

Bourbon was later transplanted to Brazil in the 1860s, and from there spread throughout Latin America. Bourbons tend to be "bushier" than Typicas, with a rounder leaf shape. New leaf shoots are bright green. Bourbon seeds are much rounder and more compact than Typica seeds. Bourbon variety has approximately 30 % more yield per tree than Typica.

Bourbon variety matures into red, yellow, and orange colors. It is known to produce a complex acidity with extraordinary balance and caramel-like sweetness.!