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A Brand New Guide to Different Types of Coffee

Many #coffee drinkers don't realize that there are many different types of coffee beans in coffee shops than neatly packaged coffee beans.

The truth is, in coffee shops you usually only have a choice between Arabica, Robusta, or a blend of two coffee beans. In most cases, if you're not paying attention, your drink is Arabica beans; This is the taste your palate has become accustomed to over the years.

Because of the way coffee is marketed, most of us are only starting to talk about specific roast profiles or the source of origin. Sure, this information can help you determine what to expect from a particular coffee, but the coffee world is a big place - why limit yourself?

The humble coffee bean comes in many shapes, sizes, and types, but unfortunately these variations are not of interest to many regular coffee drinkers. But if you like coffee, that is, you really enjoy everything about it, you owe it to yourself to try as many different types as possible.

But of this wide range, only three or four species are grown in large commercial quantities: Arabica, Robusta, and the less common Liberica and Excelsa coffee beans.

Four Main Different Types of Coffee

In this article, I will focus on four different types of coffee beans currently in commercial circulation. As you continue reading, we will break down these different varieties for you to better understand these coffee varieties.

Arabica (Coffea Arabica)

Arabica is one of the best-known types of coffee. A big name in the Americas and worldwide, Arabica accounts for about 75 to 80 percent of total commercial coffee production.

The preferred growing climate for Arabica coffee beans is high altitude, light shade and even rainfall. The Arabica coffee tree is quite small in size compared to other types and can be easily pruned and kept at a height of 6 feet, making it easy to harvest.

Over the years there have been several subspecies of Arabica, with modifications made to grow in different regions and even special cultivars that yield purple or yellowish fruits.

However, with all this, Arabica is one of the most susceptible coffee plant varieties and is more vulnerable to plant diseases and pests. Due to demand, Arabica is often grown in large quantities in the same areas (Monoculture), which helps in the spread of diseases and pests.

Farmers also try to pinch off as many plants as possible, often where Arabica usually doesn't thrive. This results in unhappy trees that require more fertilizer to survive and thrive. As a result of the large number of toxic sprays, Arabica is not the most environmentally friendly choice.

The best Arabicas have a highly complex flavor and aroma with many delicate layers that even beginners will appreciate. On the other hand, cheap, low-quality Arabica coffee tastes sour or bitter, and it should be easy to distinguish between a good and a bad batch of Arabica coffee.

It's also worth noting that Arabica is among the most acidic coffees and can be made worse if the coffee is roasted too dark or light. Also, if you have stomach sensitivity, Arabica may not be the best option for you.

Robusta (Coffea canephora)

The Robusta coffee bean takes second place in the popularity contest. However, this strain was more popular in the past - than Arabica.

Unlike Arabica, Robusta coffee fruit prefers to be grown on larger trees, in heat and in erratic rainfall. Robusta can tolerate a number of different altitudes making this strain easy to grow. Due to its robustness, it can be grown in suboptimal environments even by farmers with little knowledge of coffee plant cultivation.

Robusta coffee also requires far less fertilizer and toxic spraying, with almost twice the caffeine content of Arabica. Caffeine is a natural defense against pests and diseases – more caffeine means less threat. Because Robusta is more cost-effective to grow and grow, you will find Robusta added to popular instant coffee ground mixes and prepackaged coffee drinks.

Compared to Arabica in terms of aroma, Robusta coffee feels heavier on the mouth and body. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on a good quality Robusta, you'll find that it's low in acid, free of bitterness, and incredibly smooth with a chocolate undertone.

You will know whether you are drinking a good or bad Robusta, the difference in taste is extremely obvious.

Because of Robusta's versatility, don't be afraid to add steamed milk, milk froth, or sugar (to create a great latte or cappuccino), which can enhance and unlock Robusta's secret flavor profiles. Dark roasted Robusta is also the secret ingredient in street espresso, due to the Robusta, which visibly improves the crema.

Note: Robusta, cold-brewed or lightly roasted iced coffee, this guarantees a coffee drink with an out-of-the-world flavor profile.

Liberica (Coffea Liberica)

For many of you reading this, the Liberica variety is one you probably haven't heard of, let alone drinking. What makes Liberica bean so unique is that it's a completely different type of coffee with a very different flavor profile.

The size of Liberica beans is very large compared to Arabica and Robusta. Liberica coffee also has the unique feature that one side is lower than the other, which gives the coffee bean a hook shape at the bottom. It is the only coffee plant in the world with this unique shape.

Unlike Arabica and Robusta, which require specialized growing media, Liberica grows on vigorous 30-foot trees in forest environments in southeast Asia. Fortunately, the Liberica can grow almost effortlessly in the forest environment, otherwise it would have gone extinct many years ago.

As the number of plants decreased, a conservation study was conducted in the Philippines in 1995. Authorities gathered the last 500 plants they could find and started a cooperative replanting program in Philippine coffee growing regions.

Today, you will struggle to find “pure” Liberica, and although efforts are made to preserve this coffee strain for future generations, the world's obsession with Arabica has resulted in a dwindling amount of commercially grown Liberica. Only time will tell if Liberica can stand the test of time.

In terms of flavor, #Liberica has a slight smokiness. These hooked coffee beans also have an extraordinary aroma that comes across as fruity and floral. Some say Liberica doesn't taste like "coffee" or has given up on its woody flavor. In contrast, others enjoy the refreshing flavor profile. The best way to enjoy Liberica is to add 10% to your regular coffee blend and combine it with steamed milk - the aroma it will add will give your brew a great factor!

Excelsa (Coffee Excelsa)

Excelsa coffee is another rare type of coffee that accounts for about 7% of the world's coffee production. It shares similar characteristics with Liberica and was recently reclassified as a Liberica variety. However, although they share a similar classification, the Excelsa core is so strikingly different that you would easily be fooled into thinking of Excelsa as an entirely separate species.

You will mainly find Excelsa in Southeast Asia, where it grows on large, vigorous trees at mid-altitudes. Like Liberica, Excelsa beans have a distinctive shape, but are slightly smaller in size.

Excelsa is loved in and around southeast Asia, where it is typically used in coffee blends, particularly house blends, to add depth and an extra layer of complexity to its distinctive fruity flavor.

The aroma of Excelsa coffee is not appealing to many coffee drinkers, and while #Excelsa has a unique and appealing flavor once brewed, its scent is the reason why many coffee shops offer the pleasant aroma of Arabica or Robusta instead.


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