Types of Coffee Beans from around the Globe

While sipping your cup of amazing Joe, bought in a bag that says 100% Arabica or when relishing espressos made from your favorite blends; you might have wondered how many and what types of coffee beans are there??? Well, here is some insight for you.

Coffee Bean Types

The Coffee plant has been grown in many places around the world since ancient times and its beans have been consumed in various ways, to revel the awesomeness that is coffee. There are actually four main types of coffee beans that are commercially sold and served, globally. Let’s have a closer look at them:-  

Black arabica, robusta coffee bean isolated on white background.

  

Arabica (Coffea arabica)

Accounting for 60 – 70% of the coffee produced worldwide, Arabica beans are the most common and widely used coffee beans. 

Origin

Dating back to 1,000 BC, the beans were discovered in the Kingdom of Kefa (now Ethiopia). The name Arabica was coined once the beans crossed the Red Sea in the 7th century, reaching the land of Yemen and lower Arabia. 

Harvesting Requisites 

Growing on elevated lands, the plant thrives in areas receiving steady rainfalls and lots of shade. The plants are easy to prune and handle, owing to their short heights that reach a max of 06 feet, however, they are the most delicate of the four types and are vulnerable to diseases, as they are highly influenced by the environment.

Characteristics of Arabica

Known for their multi-layered intricacy of flavors and natural sweetness, the Arabica beans taste softer and tend to blend in with added flavoring. They are generally the most preferred beans being bought, for their light flavored charm and low acidity levels.

What to look for?

  The best Arabica beans have a full-bodied flavor and the acidity levels should be quite low.

Top Farming Nations

Arabica is grown in many places around the world, such as:

Arabica Farming Nations
  • Brazil
  • Vietnam
  • Colombia
  • Indonesia

Robusta (Coffee caniphora)

Being the second most popular coffee beans, the Robusta holds true to its name. Everything about is speaks for its robustness. 

Origin

Originating in the sub-Saharan Africa near Congo, the coffee tree was first discovered in the 1800s. It was introduced to South East Asia in the 1900s, when all the Arabica variety growing there was infected with disease and a tougher plant was needed.  

Harvesting Requisites 

High amounts of caffeine in the Robusta beans act as a natural insect repellant, making the specie resilient to disease and infection. Due to its hardy nature, the plant survives at a number of different altitudes and can withstand environmental stress. It is relatively drought tolerant and the plant can grow as high as 10m with a wide canopy. Warmer climates are more suited for the growth of Robusta beans.

Characteristics of Robusta

The strong and harsh taste of Robusta beans is well known and is traditionally a preferred drink in many cultures. The oily beans have a bitter and overpowering taste, with very high caffeine content and relatively higher acidity. They are the perfect choice for sugary / milky drinks, as the coffee’ own flavor is preserved due to its strength.

What to look for?

  The best Robusta beans have a smooth texture, low acidity and often have hints of chocolate added to their flavor profile. Single Origin beans are always preferable.

Top Farming Nations

Robusta plants are cultivated in:

Robusta Farming Nations
  • Brazil
  • Vietnam
  • Uganda
  • Indonesia

ProductsRatingPrice
Dark Brazilian Santos⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
AmazonFresh Colombia⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Climb's Roast Gourmet⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Barbarossa Ethiopian Yirgacheffe⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pure Arabica Wild⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Liberica (Coffee liberica)

Though hard to locate in the contemporary coffee world, the Liberica holds an impotant place in the history of coffee. 

Origin

In 1890 the coffee rust took over 90% of the world’s coffee plantation and during these times farmers resorted to other varieties. Philippines was the first to cultivate the Liberica and the decision greatly helped the country’s economy as they were the only coffee supplier for a time, however, Liberica’s availability has declined over time.     

Harvesting Requisites 

Growing up to the heights of 20 meters, the Liberica plant is an evergreen tree sensitive to environmental requirements and therefore, its production is far too scarce for farmers to scale their operations to satisfy the global marketplace. It only accounts for around 1% of the global coffee yield.

Characteristics of Liberica

Liberica beans are larger in size and often asymmetrical, making them the only coffee bean in the world that has an irregular shape. The coffee beans are said to have a unique aroma, consisting of floral and fruity notes, with a full body that possesses a smoky taste. 

What to look for?

  Those who have tried Liberica coffee say that it is unlike any coffee they have ever tasted, with many stating its flavors as “woody”.

Top Farming Nations

Liberica is still grown in:

Liberica Farming Nations
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines

Excelsa (Coffea excelsa)

Making up for 7% of the world’s coffee circulation, Excelsa is mainly used in blends to give the coffee an extra boost of flavor. 

Origin

It was considered a separate coffee type till 2006, when an English botanist classified it as a form of Liberica.     

Harvesting Requisites 

The trees can grow as tall as 20 – 30ft in height and require specific environmental conditions to grow.

Characteristics of Excelsa

The beans possess a tart and fruity flavor and have the unique taste that is reminiscent of both light and dark roasting, a main reason for its attraction to coffee enthusiasts. 

What to look for?

  The beans are extremely aromatic and textured with full-bodied resonant flavors.  

Top Farming Nations

Excelsa cultivation is carried out in:

Liberica Farming Nations
  • Brazil
  • Venezuela
  • Guianas
  • Colombia
  • Peru

Coffee in all its glory and luscious varieties is a treat to the sensations. The types and numerous blends can either be bought from grocery stores or purchased online from a vast range of available brands, to satisfy your love for coffee. 

Leave a Comment