There are 4 types of coffee beans. Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica. All four have radically different taste profiles.
How do you enjoy your coffee?
In the same breath, how much do you know about coffee beans? Coffee is the gold standard of beverages. Estimations show that 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed globally on a single day. For context, Coca-Cola sells around 1.9 billion servings daily. One cannot assume coffee is more popular than coke but data validates the global acceptance of coffee.
In this article, we take a memory trip to unearth how this magical bean came to conquer and dominate the world. From green coffee beans to the exquisite flavor you all enjoy gobbling down to calm your nerves or brighten your day; that’s the story and power of coffee beans.
Where did coffee originate?
The coffee plant is native to Ethiopia and coffee as a drink originated in Arabia. According to coffee history, coffee was first discovered by Kaldi, an Ethiopian goatherd. Kaldi noticed his goats frolicking around energetically after nibbling on certain red berries.
He tried the berries himself and felt more awake than he had ever been. Kaldi dutifully reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery. The abbot made a drink with the berries and found that it kept him awake at night to pray. He shared his concoction with other monks.
The word coffee spread through Arabia, Persia, Egypt, and Turkey. Coffee reached Europe in the 17th century and coffeehouses became popular in England and then all over Europe.
The coffee plant grows coffee berries or coffee cherries. A coffee berry contains a coffee bean surrounded by pulp. Once the coffee berries are harvested, the coffee beans have to be extracted from the berries.
Types of Coffee Beans
When it comes to coffee beans, there are three main types: Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica.
Coffee fun fact
The Oromo tribe of Ethiopia used to enjoy coffee beans as a snack as early as the 7th century. It wasn’t until green coffee beans found their way to the Middle East that modern coffee came into existence.
It took a lot of simmering for the Arab coffee to come out as desired. The Arab scholars managed to spend long hours studying. Consequently, the magic of the coffee beans spread like the infamous Australian wildfires.
Climate and Arabica Coffee Flavor
Arabica coffee beans are grown in high altitudes, about 3,000 feet above sea level. The coffee trees also need a lot of rainfall and well-distributed humidity. The coffee beans grow more slowly in such conditions, which is why they cost more than Robusta coffee beans.
The coffee flavor profile is also more delicate and has higher acidity than Robusta coffee. The coffee is also sweeter and has floral notes. Its bitterness is considerably low.
Arabica coffee beans make up about 70% of the coffee consumed globally. Brazil is the biggest producer of Arabica coffee, followed by Colombia and Ethiopia.
Historians contend that Robusta coffee was discovered late 19th century in Congo. When the Coffee Leaf Rust struck in 1869, the Arabica coffee was almost wiped out but indigenous coffee, Coffee Canephora, growing in Ugandan tropical forests saved the day. Robusta coffee is immune to viruses, produces faster than Arabica, and grows in slightly warmer environments. Though its reputation as a strong coffee bean is divisive, it’s used for blending with the Arabica. Affordability remains its key selling point.
Climate and Coffee Flavor
Robusta coffee beans are grown at lower altitudes, about 1,600 feet above sea level. The coffee trees also don’t need as much rainfall and can withstand hotter temperatures. The coffee beans grow more quickly in such conditions, which is why they cost less than Arabica coffee beans.
The coffee flavor profile is also more intense and has higher bitterness than Arabica coffee. The coffee is also less sweet and has more earthy notes. Its acidity is considerably low.
Robusta coffee beans make up about 30% of the coffee consumed globally. Vietnam is the biggest producer of Robusta coffee, followed by Indonesia and Brazil.
The underdog of the coffee beans. It makes up about 2% of the global production and originated from Liberia. Arose from a need to save the world from coffee extinction following the Coffee Leaf Rust. The emergence of new coffee roasting methods is popularizing this coffee bean which found its way to Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The three countries widely consume Liberica as it’s not liked across Western countries.
Liberica coffee beans are the least popular type of coffee bean, and they are grown in countries like Liberia, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
These coffee beans are often used to create blends with other types of coffee due to their strong flavor. As such, this type of bean can be found in certain Starbucks specialty drinks, such as its limited-edition Reserve coffees. The Cauvery beans are a rare find in Starbucks stores, but they may appear on the menu from time to time.
The coffee beans mainly grow in the Philippines, and they contain more acidity than Arabica beans. This type of bean gives coffee a unique flavor profile with herbal and earthy notes that make it an interesting choice for coffee connoisseurs. These regions experience heavy rainfall, which contributes to the unique flavor of these beans.
With their distinct taste and aroma, Excelsa coffee beans make an excellent addition to any cup of coffee. They provide a smooth and balanced flavor that pairs well with other beans in espresso blends or can be enjoyed on their own as a single-origin coffee.
Irrespective of your choice of coffee beans, it’s important to understand the flavor profiles associated with each variety so one can choose the right bean for their desired cup. From the smooth and low acidity of Arabica beans to the bold flavor and high caffeine levels of Robusta beans, each type has its own unique appeal that makes it special. Finding the perfect bean can be an enjoyable journey with so many different types available!
What type of coffee bean is the best?
This question has been debated amongst coffee enthusiasts for years. The answer depends on personal preferences, but there are five main types of coffee beans that are commonly used in brewing coffee: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, Excelsa and Cauvery.
Arabica coffee beans are the most popular type of bean due to their smooth flavor and low acidity. They are grown in high altitudes and require more care than other types of beans, making them the most expensive variety.
Robusta coffee beans have a bolder flavor with higher levels of caffeine than Arabica beans, but also come with an unpleasant bitterness that can overpower a cup of coffee. Robusta beans are often used in espresso blends because of their higher levels of crema.
Liberica coffee beans are less common and have a unique, smoky flavor that is often described as earthy or herbal. These beans also contain more caffeine than Arabica beans, making them popular for espresso drinks.
Excelsa coffee beans are similar to Arabica beans but contain more acidity and a bitter flavor. These beans are often used to create blends with other types of coffee due to their strong flavor.
Finally, Cauvery coffee beans have a milder taste than the others and are often used in specialty coffees. They have lower levels of caffeine than Robusta beans and are grown in the foothills of India.
Ultimately, what type of coffee bean is best depends on personal taste. After trying each variety, you can decide which one suits your palate the most!
What coffee beans does Starbucks use?
Starbucks primarily uses Arabica beans in its coffee blends, but also may use Robusta or Liberica beans depending on the blend. Starbucks often sources its beans from Latin America, Ethiopia and East Africa. The company also offers a variety of single-origin coffees, which use only one type of bean sourced from a specific region. These single-origin coffees provide an array of unique flavors, from the smoky sweetness of Ethiopian beans to the bright acidity of Costa Rican beans.
No matter which type of coffee bean is used, Starbucks prides itself on its high quality and consistency, ensuring that each cup tastes as good as the last.
Climate and coffee flavor
Liberica coffee beans are grown in low altitudes, about 1,000 feet above sea level. The coffee trees also need a lot of rainfall and well-distributed humidity. The coffee beans grow more slowly in such conditions, which is why they cost less than Arabica coffee beans.
The coffee flavor profile was mainly strong caffeine with a bitter taste. Gourmet coffee machines make the Liberica coffee beans have full fruity flavors. Different flavors including lemon, chorizo, and chocolate, are associated with Liberica. Some coffee experts argue the Liberica brand is sweeter than Arabica!
Liberica coffee beans make up about 2% of the coffee consumed globally. Malaysia is the biggest producer of Liberica coffee, followed by the Philippines and Indonesia.
Favorite Coffee beans and why
Definitely going for the Arabica. The best coffee beans are because of their fruity undertones and full flavor. The main problem with Arabica coffee beans is their pricing.
Cost shouldn’t be an impediment. Try out different coffee beans to see which coffee bean best suits your palate!
Find your coffee bean!
When it comes to coffee beans, Arabica coffee beans are the best coffee beans. They have a higher acidity than Robusta coffee beans, and they also have higher caffeine content. Arabica coffee beans are also grown in more countries than Robusta coffee beans. From an expert opinion, they are highly recommended.
So, if you’re looking for the best coffee beans, Arabica coffee beans are the way to go!