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There are four main types of coffee beans. If you are a coffee lover, you may have seen the different varieties of coffee beans at your local grocery shop. It must have made you wonder about how many different types of coffee beans are there. But worry not, as I have all the answers to your questions. Just read further on to find out! Trust me when I say it is always a good thing to know what exactly you are drinking.
Though there are many types of coffee beans available, there are four primary types of coffee beans. These are the most commonly used coffee beans all over the world.These are Arabica, Robusta, Liberica and Excelsa. At the same time, the most common among all are Arabica and Robusta.
What exactly is a coffee bean?
It’s a very valid question that you, as a coffee drinker, must know about. A coffee bean is a seed of fruit in a coffee plant. The coffee fruit is known as the coffee cherry, But unlike the regular cherry that we eat. Coffee cherry or the coffee fruit part is not for eating. Instead, the seed of the cherry gets taken out while the inside part gets roasted. It gets further used for making different types of coffee beans.
Characteristics of coffee bean types
Now that you know how many different types of coffee beans are there. Let’s talk about the taste, flavor, and characteristics of the four types of coffee beans.
Since all coffee beans have radically different taste profiles from each other. It makes it more fun to discover what makes the coffee beans so different from each other.
Arabica (Coffea arabica)
Arabica is the most commonly used coffee bean. It takes up about 70 percent of the world’s coffee beans. Originating many centuries ago, the Arabica beans come from elevated areas above sea levels. They are grown in the area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Being super sensitive, Arabica beans require altitude and rainfall to grow properly.
The only problem with using Arabica beans is that they may be difficult and delicate to grow. Plus, the plants are very prone to catching diseases. It is why these come on a slightly pricey side. Plus, they also lose their original taste when combined with milk or creamer. They have a sweet and slightly less acidic taste in comparison. The coffee made with Arabica beans has a smooth and creamy texture. They get used mainly for making hot pour-over coffee brew.
Robusta (Coffea canephora)
In the popularity chart, the Robusta beans come second. After Arabica, the Robusta beans are the most commonly manufactured in the entire world. As their name suggests, they have a solid and harsh taste type with high caffeine content.
Robusta beans also need proper environmental conditions for optimal growth. But, compared to Arabica beans, they have a high level of tolerance. Also, they have good resistance to catching diseases. It is why the Robusta beans are grown in large quantities, mainly in Africa and Indonesia.
The Robusta beans have a low acidity with a much more robust and burnt taste. However, a lot of people don’t quite like the flavor profile of Robusta beans. But, if you are an avid coffee drinker, it sure is an experience that you need to try. These commonly come in combination with Arabica beans. The blend of both beans balances out the flavor profile, giving you a budget-friendly option. Some Robusta beans come with a hint of chocolate or a rum flavor profile.
Liberica (Coffea liberica)
At the end of the nineteenth century, a disease called “coffee rust” destroyed Arabica crops. Since, even back then, coffee was a beverage people couldn’t survive without. Instead, everyone started looking for alternatives. It was in the Philippines where the Liberia beans got harvested for the first time.
The Liberica coffee beans are very rare and are famous for their floral and bold flavor profile with a certain amount of smokiness. Nowadays, Liberica coffee beans don’t get used on their own. You can find it combined with different coffee varieties to balance or enhance the flavor.
Excelsa (Coffea excelsa or Coffea liberica var. dewevrei)
The Excelsa is the fourth coffee bean that is the most commonly used by all. It is a member of the Liberica family. They are grown in Southeast Asia and have a very distinct flavor.
Excelsa coffee beans have a very different flavor profile, with a note of tartness and fruity flavors at the same time. They are commonly used for making both regular and robust coffee. They are super popular because of their taste, but it is implausible that you may find this outside of Asia.
What coffee bean to buy?
Now that you know how many different types of coffee beans are there. Finding the coffee bean with a flavor profile to match your persona won’t be a challenging feat. In case you are looking for the most authentic flavor of coffee and mind spending a buck. Then the Arabica beans are best for you, But if you want a high dose of caffeine that fuels you throughout the day. Then a blend of Robusta with Arabica is a much better choice for you.
And if you are looking for a rare and exotic coffee-drinking experience, then I will recommend you try out Liberica or Excelsa coffee beans. You may need to search for them since these are pretty hard to find. In the end, no matter which coffee bean you get for yourself. Remember that grinding your coffee beans just before brewing coffee gives the most amazing flavor. Though grinding may take some time, the freshness and rich texture of coffee make it worthwhile. Your final choice is totally up to you since only you can decide what coffee types suit well for you.