The two most well-known type of coffee beans is Arabica and Robusta. Both species have variants and subvariants, moreover, different bred coffees also exist. Most coffee manufacturers and distributors processes and sell the crop of these two coffee beans. In this article we will discuss the Arabica species.
The flavor and the aroma of the Arabica coffee is superior to Robusta and even it’s caffeine content is lower, approx. the half or the third of the Robusta’s.
Arabica is grown on high altitudes (1000-2000 m), on volcanic soils and mountainous landscapes of tropical climates.
Arabica coffee beans also contain less acid and also have a long-lasting, caramel aftertaste.
Arabica coffee is more sensitive to environmental conditions (temperature, moisture) therefore it is more expensive than robusta.
The arabica species has many varieties, the most well known is Peaberry, whose crop only contains one bean (the rest of the coffee bushes have a crop containing two beans).
This is small bean is little and pea-shaped (hence the name), unlike other beans where the oval shape is typical.
To highlight the different flavor and aroma effects, certain variants are mixed together, for example Mocha-Java is such a popular bean mix, where the chocolate overtones of the Mocha beans harmonizes well with the spicy corpulence of Java.
The 60-70% of world’s coffee production is of Arabica.
The best-known Arabica Coffee Varieties
We distinguish three main coffee-producing area in the world in terms of taste:
- The American continent
- The Indonesian archipelago
South American and Central American Coffees
South and Central America’s countries look back to a very long coffee-producing history. Worldwide, more than the half of the coffee is produced in Brasil and Colombia.
Colombia is one of the world’s largest coffee-producing country. The espresso made from freshly roasted Colombian coffee beans is characterized by richness in body and aroma and lively acidity.
Costa Rican coffees have a balanced acidity, with a slight smoky flavor. They are lightweight and less full-bodied. It is perfect for latte if roasted to medium.
Guatemala has medium-bodied coffees with a lively acidity and spicy chocolate notes.
Mexico Maragogype is the world’s largest sized coffee bean. It has a smooth taste with a chocolate and hazelnut finish.
Jamaica produces the special and expensive Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
Hawaii‘s volcanic soil produces Kona, this coffee specialty which is characterized by sweet, caramel, slightly spicy flavor.
Africa is the homeland of coffee bean, certain of it’s areas are world leaders in the production of coffee.
Kenyan coffees are medium-bodied and sweet, they evoke fruit aromas. The true coffee experts claim that some Kenyan coffee’s taste is reminiscent of wine.
The Ethiopian coffees typically have a floral and fruity aroma. Ethiopia is famous for it’s three variants of coffee.
- Ethiopian Sidamo: This variant comes from Ethiopia’s Sidamo territory, it has a spicy, chocolate flavor and a floral aroma.
- Ethiopian Yirgacheffe: Also part of Sidamo in Ethiopia, within that the surroundings of Yirga Chefe city.
- Ethiopian Harar
Tanzania Peaberry: the name ‘peaberry’ comes from the fact that instead of the usual two there is only one bean in the crop of the coffee. This strong-flavored, aromatic coffee grows on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Yemen: the Yemen Mocha coffee variety is produced on the mountains of Yemen (Mocha is a port-town at the Red Sea coast). Their character is similar to the Ethiopian.
The Yemeni coffee is among the world’s most sought-after coffees due to it’s complex spicyness, and it’s chocolate, earthy, slightly fruity taste.
Coffees from the Indonesian Archipelago
High-quality coffee is growing on islands with subtropical climate, particularly in Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi island.
The taste of coffees produced in India is similar to the Indonesian coffees.
Coffees from the Indonesian archipelago are usually bodied, slightly acidic and obtain rich, earthy flavors.
Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee on the world is an Indonesian coffee specialty.