The Story of Different Types of Coffee Beans

You just can’t simply find out a huge number of people who don’t drink coffee. It’s very rare. But the rarest is who actually knows the story of the coffee beans and their types.

Coffea” is one species of plant that produces coffee beans. Coffee fruits are mainly berries. The processed seeds of the fruits are the ones we call the beans. Different species of coffee, produce different types of coffee beans.

A perfect cup of coffee depends on coffee bean types and their nature to a great degree. Most of the time, we brew beans in hot water and make coffee to drink. Sometimes in other ways.


Names Of Different Coffee Beans Types

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Principal Types

We can sort coffee beans into various categories, based on different parameters. But the main difference comes from plants. High-quality beans help produce high-quality coffee.

There are several types of coffee beans based on plants. Two of them are considered the primary category. 

  • Arabica
  • Robusta

Coffee – Arabica

Low caffeine, Delicious, and Aromatic are the words for arabica coffee. Arabica is considered a higher-quality bean.

You will be surprised to know, around 60 – 80% of the coffee produced in the world is arabica.  Arabica coffee is produced from the plant “Coffea Arabia”, one of the species of Coffea plant, which is also known as Arabian Coffee.

In the 12th Century, the Coffea Arabica plant was found and documented in Yemen. The origin of this plant is believed in the highlands of Ethiopia, where the history of coffee started.

coffee beans types

Coffee – Robusta

Another type of coffee bean, which is strong in strength and contains more caffeine, is named robusta coffee. Around 20-40% of the world’s coffee produced is robusta.

The origin of the Robusta coffee plant is in Saharan Africa. The plant has another name, ‘Coffea Canephora’. The most prominent difference between arabica coffee vs robusta coffee is the presence of caffeine content. 

Arabica beans contain 0.8–1.4% caffeine depending on the species. On the other hand, Robusta beans contain 1.7–4% caffeine. 

There is another major difference between robusta coffee and arabica is the amount of sugar. Where arabica contains 6-9% sugar, robusta contains 3-7%.

Almost 70 countries in the world produce coffee bean plants. Let’s have a quick look at top coffee-producing countries with the type of coffee they produce –

  • Vietnam – Robusta
  • Indonesia – Robusta & Arabica
  • Brazil – Arabica
  • India – Arabica & Robusta
  • Colombia – Arabica
  • Ethiopia – Arabica
  • Uganda – Arabica & Robusta
different types of coffee beans


Consequential Types

There are some other types of coffee beans based on plants which are subspecies of arabica and robusta. They are mainly produced for commercial purposes.

Liberica Coffee

Produced mostly in the Philippines, a variant of the Coffea Arabica plant. The originality of the plants in the area of western and central Africa. Country-wise it covers Liberia Uganda and Angola. Later the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and others started producing it.

Excelsa Coffee

A member of the Liberica family. In the past, Coffea Excelsa was considered a separate species. But it was reclassified as a synonym for Coffea Liberica later. Coffea Excelsa is very rare.

Blue Mountain Coffee

This type of coffee grows on ‘Blue Mountain’ in Jamaica. Also, a variant of arabica coffee. In 1728, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee was introduced. Blue Mountain coffee lacks bitterness. And the flavor is mild. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is highly expensive, and the fun fact is, Japan imports 80% of them. 

Bourbon Coffee

Produces mostly in Reunion Island (an overseas department and region of the French Republic) in the Indian Ocean. Though, the origin of bourbon coffee is in Yemen. This is another variant of Arabica.

You would be surprised to know, there are more than 100 species of Coffea plants that exist. Different coffee beans act differently. Like, some of the plants naturally contain very small amounts of coffee. They are known as low-caffeine coffee. Some of us may confuse low-caffeine coffee with decaf coffee. They are not the same.

type of coffee beans

As we mentioned earlier, 70 countries produce coffee. Based on the production quantity, a list of top coffee-producing countries (Data: International Coffee Organization) –

  • Brazil
  • Vietnam
  • Colombia
  • Indonesia
  • Ethiopia


Learn To Pick The Best Coffee Beans

Coffee lovers, old and new, all have one common dream: acquiring the ability to pick the right coffee for our everyday brew. The process of selecting the right beans for that is more mind-boggling nowadays with all the crazy labels and claims.

But, this is our chance to take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand – understanding the key factors to take into consideration before buying coffee beans.

There are just 2 main coffee beans that are sold commercially, Robusta and Arabica. Robusta tastes bitter and makes a full-bodied coffee. Arabica tastes exotic, is slightly acidic, and has fruity notes. So, pick according to your preferences.

Understanding Coffee Roasts

The roasting time has a direct impact on the flavor profile of the coffee. If you like smoother-tasting coffee, pick the dry and lightly roasted beans. If you like bolder and more bitter-tasting coffee, darker roasts are your best bet.

Caffeine Content

Dark roasts don’t have a higher caffeine content because of their longer roasting session. For the exact opposite reason, light roasts are high in caffeine content. Additionally, Robusta beans are naturally more heat-resistant and have double the caffeine content of Arabica. So, lightly roasted Robusta will give you a stronger brew.

Blends And Single Origins

Single-origin beans are grown and sourced from a single location. They’re seasonal, grown in smaller batches, and roasted in a way to preserve their true and unique flavors. The blends offer flavorful notes of different beans. The blends mostly feature exotic notes of chocolate, citrus, hazelnut, and more.

Brewing Methods

Each brewing method requires a specific type of bean. Each method produces varying flavors of coffee. For example, the French press requires medium-dark roasted beans. On the other hand, the drip method requires a light roast for a light-bodied, subtle-tasting brew.


Some Of The Highest-Quality Coffee Beans

  • Hawaiian Kona: Originating from the volcanic lands of Kona, Hawaii, it’s an Arabica type that offers sweet herbal tastes with floral and nutty overtones. Perfect for drip and French press methods, it offers a vibrant acidic aroma with a smooth mouthfeel
  • Nicaraguan Arabica: Best for French press, pour-over, and espresso brews, this Arabica bean gives hints of caramel and woody notes, with robust, rich, and earthy taste notes
  • Jamaican Blue Mountain: Perfect for French press and drip makers, this smooth and mildly acidic tasting coffee offers that exotic Blue Mountain floral and nutty aroma
  • Kenyan AA: Offers fresh and floral aromas and sweet, wine-like, fruity taste notes. This Kenyan royalty is an Arabica varietal that tastes best when roasted lightly
  • Sumatran Mandheling: Another Arabica varietal that offers earthy, mossy, and funky aromas. The taste profile includes low-acidic sweetness with a smooth mouthfeel, ideal for espresso brewing
  • Ethiopian Yirgacheffe: Ideal for your drip and pour-overs, this age-old Ethiopian Arabica has a light body with sophisticated fruity and floral taste notes. When brewed correctly, it brings extraordinary aromas of strawberry and cinnamon


FAQs

What are the best types of coffee beans?

The best types of coffee beans are Arabica varietals from Tanzania, Hawaii, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Colombia.

Which is better: Liberica or Robusta?

If you love aromatic, less-caffeinated coffee, Liberica is better. Otherwise, Robusta is a better choice.

Is Starbucks coffee Arabica or robusta?

Starbucks Coffee uses only 100% Arabica beans to make their coffee.

Which coffee beans have the most caffeine?

Robusta beans have the highest caffeine content. It’s 2.9 mg per bean.

Can you mix Robusta and Arabica?

Yes, you can! In fact, a lot of specialty blends are a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans.


Final Words

Like all other agricultural products, the quality of coffee also depends on the plants, soils, weather, and other agricultural factors. From that perspective, some countries are considered to have the height quality beans. Like – Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, The Arabian Peninsula, Ethiopia, and Jamaica.

Coffee beans are the most important part of making coffee. The whole process of coffee planting, picking, and processing is done very carefully. Each type of coffee plant and its beans have unique tastes and values. Additionally, coffee has quite a good number of health benefits. Hawaii & California produce coffee, in only two states of the United States.

We hope we have been able to serve a little bit of information about different types of coffee beans while you enjoy your coffee.

Enjoy Your Coffee!

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