Within the Coffea genus, there are two major species of coffee beans. The considerable typical and economically suitable are Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, which make up over 90% of global coffee production.
What makes each coffee bean type unique, and how to choose the most suitable coffee beans?
Arabica coffee makes up most coffee grown, accounting for approximately 60% of retail coffee production. It originated in Ethiopia, where it grows wild. Nevertheless, people first cultivated it in Yemen, and it is from there, it takes its name.
Characteristics Of Arabica Coffee Beans
Arabica coffee beans are the best globally, favored for creating unique, gourmet coffee blends.
Arabica beans have sweeter and more complex flavors than Robusta coffee beans, so they presently loom coffee markets, especially speciality coffee markets. These beans have a sugary nuance to them, which provides a naturally sweeter profile. Furthermore, they provide soft, gentle tones. As a result, Arabica presents a broader and more refined spectrum of origin flavors, such as nutty, chocolaty, and fruity, than any other coffee bean.
They have a naturally higher PH balance that gives them bright and fruity flavors. Arabica coffee has a larger size than other beans and an elliptical shape.
Coffea Arabica plants are sensitive to their environment. They do best at more high elevations, with plenty of rain, well-draining soil, natural shade, and minimal temperature variations. Specifically, they thrive in volcanic environments, which offer all of the above and mineral-rich soils. It can be difficult and resource-intensive to grow Arabica coffee beans in environments that do not naturally meet those criteria.
As the most popular coffee bean, Arabica has many varieties (also known as varietals). Some of my resources reported as many as 40 different varietals.
The most common types are:
Batian is a high-yield variety resistant to coffee leaf rust and berry disease.
Bourbon produces a very high-quality cup of coffee and features very red and rich coffee berries.
Casiopea typically produces a high yield and thrives in areas above 4,265 feet (or 1,300 meters).
Robusta is the second numerous naturally grown type of coffee bean. Robusta’s name comes from being more robust than the Arabica plants so that they can grow it in a broader range of environments. Thus, it is less inclined to disease. Nevertheless, despite these advantages, it remains less popular than Arabica because its flavors and aromas are not as desirable.
Characteristics of Robusta Coffee Beans
Robusta beans are known for having a darker, earthier flavor, and for this reason, they are most often subjected to a darker roast to better match their natural character. Robusta beans also have nearly twice the caffeine of Arabica beans.
High-quality Robusta can produce a thick and surprisingly smooth texture, perfect for espresso blends. But overall, its flavor profile has been compared subtly to burnt rubber.
A good quality Robusta bean can have immense depth and a balanced flavor to Arabica blends. Robusta beans are most valuable when prepared as espresso. Most espresso blends contain at least some percentage of Robusta beans. They create a richer crema than Arabica beans. Their inherently dark and earthy character is the perfect foil for sweet steamed milk in drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, where the subtleties of an Arabica bean would be lost.
Robusta doesn’t have numerous varietals because it’s not as high in demand as Arabica. Many blend the two types of beans to produce a hybrid.
This step helps to cut back on the intensity of the Robusta bean and makes their coffee a bit more enjoyable. Options like Kopi Luwak, Icatu, Rondonia beans, and a few other options.
How to Choose Coffee Beans
When picking the coffee beans you want to buy. There are many factors to consider. Thousands of coffees are on the market, and no two are alike. So it can be challenging to select just the right one to suit your taste. These tips will assist you in narrowing it down.
Understanding The Broad Varieties
Understanding the different varieties of coffee is critical when choosing a type of coffee. There are many ways to categorize coffee: by type, by flavor profile, by roast level, by caffeine content, by grind, by additives, and so on..
Knowing Your Preferred Taste
Each coffee bean can produce various flavors depending on its type, processing methods and roasting.
If you prefer naturally sweeter coffees with a light body and bright acidity, then Arabica beans are the only way to go. They are characterized by various flavors, including fruits, florals, nuts, and chocolate. On the other hand, if you prefer more bittersweet and earthier tasty coffees with a heavy body, Robusta coffees are all excellent options.
Determine The Amount Of Caffeine You Want
Not all coffee beans are equal in caffeine amount, so knowing how much caffeine you want is perfect to decide which coffee to buy. Arebica coffee beans have the lowest caffeine content, about 1.61 g/100 g, and Robusta is the most caffeinated lot, with 2.26 g/100 g.
Evaluate Health benefits
Arabica coffee beansare naturally sweeter than Robusta coffee beans. The Arabica coffee’s sweetness is anotheraspect it is considered more healthful. If you’re looking to avoid added sugars in your diet, you may benefit from the inherent sweetness of an Arabica coffee, while you might be more willing to add sugar to a bitter Robusta brew.