4 Different Types of Coffee Beans You Should Know About
The art of coffee is complex. There are numerous factors that affect the flavor of a cup of coffee, equally in production and preparation. Aside from the techniques of each individual coffee farmer, the type of coffee bean that is used also plays a big role in the outcome. Though Arabica and Robusta beans are more widely available, there are actually several types of coffee beans worth mentioning. Keep reading to learn the differences between these beans and how they could affect the taste of your coffee.
What Are the Different Types of Coffee Beans?
There are 4 different types of coffee beans that we’re going to discuss in this blog: Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and Liberica.
Arabica is known as being the popular choice among coffee lovers and is considered by many to be one of the highest-quality coffee varieties available. This type of bean is native to Ethiopia but can also be found in Colombia, Brazil, Indonesia, and other parts of the world. Arabica coffee is recognized for its complex flavor, which can include notes of fruit, chocolate, nuts, and floral undertones. It’s also known for having a light to medium body, making it a smooth roast.
One of the big contributors to its flavor is the environment in which it is grown. It’s typically grown at higher elevations than other coffee varieties, and it thrives in areas with a mild climate and large rainfall. This makes it the perfect match to be grown in the mountains of Colombia, for example, which is famously known by many as the best coffee in the world.
Robusta coffee is the second most widely produced coffee in the world, with its primary production in Africa and Asia. Robusta coffee differs from Arabica coffee because it’s recognized for its stronger and more bitter flavor profile, which is often favored by those who love a strong brew.
Its high caffeine content also contributes to its resistance to disease, allowing it to thrive in harsher growing conditions. This makes it a great option for farmers who don’t have the same growing conditions as required for Arabica beans. It’s often grown in lower elevations with high temperatures, and less rainfall than Arabica coffee. Robusta coffee is typically described by its bold, earthy, and sometimes chocolatey flavor profile.
This less-known variety originated in Africa but is mostly grown in Southeast Asia. This type of bean only makes up around 1% of the global coffee market, which is why it’s not well known outside of where it’s produced. Due to its lack of popularity, it’s not often grown or processed properly, leading many to believe that its quality is low. As with any variety of bean, though, it can produce a great cup of coffee when carefully handled.
Excelsa coffee is known for having a tart, fruity flavor with hints of dark chocolate and floral undertones. This may be due to its growing conditions, which include hot and humid climates and high elevations. In Southeast Asia, this bean isn’t only used in the coffee industry but also to produce blends that create a unique flavor profile and add complexity to different dishes.
Besides its flavor profile, the two things that set this bean apart from the rest are where it's grown and the shape of the beans. Excelsa coffee is often grown in areas where other coffee varieties are not able to thrive, such as in the Philippines and Vietnam. Its shape, elongated and asymmetrical, is distinct from other bean varieties.
Liberica coffee is another lesser-known species of coffee, which is why it’s often grouped with Excelsa coffee. This species is native to West and Central Africa, but similar to Excelsa coffee, it is now more common in Asia. What sets this coffee apart from the others is its unique flavor profile, which is often described as having a smoky, woody flavor with hints of floral and fruity undertones. And like the others, this is thanks to its environment, where it is commonly grown in hot and humid climates at high elevations.
This specific roast is known for being either hated or loved by coffee drinkers because of its flavor profile, so everyone should try it to form their own opinion. Since this bean isn’t popular, though, it may be harder to find outside of its native regions.
Experience Flavors From Around the World at Pax & Beneficia
Not only are there different types of coffee bean plants, but there are also different techniques used by coffee farmers, distinct preparations, and a wide range of preferences when it comes to choosing a coffee you enjoy. At Pax & Beneficia, we celebrate these differences and recognize them as one of the ways that we can express ourselves.
We invite you to explore our new coffee roasts, which have been carefully crafted by hardworking coffee farmers around the world. After reading more about where they come from, you can better choose which one best suits your preferences! Click here to check out our new roasts, and if you find one you love, sign up for our subscription so you can get it delivered to your door at the frequency of your choice.