Different Types of Coffee Beans Explained

By August 7, 2017

types of coffee beans

Among all crucial elements that contribute to a great cup of coffee, we tend to lay more press on the type of beans we choose. It is because coffee beans of high quality play an irreplaceable role in the final taste. However, sometimes we just pursue proper coffee bean varieties used for different brewing methods, such as cold brew and espresso. Read and keep on exploring its types.

There are actually two main types of Coffee beans around the world. One is Coffee Arabica, accounted for the market source of nearly three-fourths that is sold worldwide, and the other is Coffee Robusta. And people are used to combine the two to make cups of blending drinks for their preference. (Learn: The Journey of Coffee from Seeds to Cup )

Coffee Arabica

coffee Arabica

Coffee Arabica makes up about 70% of the world market for coffee beans. It is sold mostly through specialty coffee shops. Growing on steep terrain, it is possible for mechanical harvesting. Also, the hand picking with less under/over ripe beans ensures a better quality and taste. 

Here is a profile of Coffee Arabica.

Main origin Tropical regions of the middle and south America
Growing place Alpine slopes in high altitudes of 900-2000 meters
Shape Small, presenting as oblong on the adaxial surface and narrow and tortuous in the middle crack
Caffeine content Lower than Coffee Robusta; containing 1.2% caffeine content
Taste Rich and more sweet
Price Higher than Coffee Robusta; about 163 US cents per pound
Requirement Need care and use manual

Main coffee supply of Coffee Arabica

  • Colombian coffee (really bold in taste)
  • Typica (It is mainly cultivated in Latin America and Asia.)
  • Bourbon

Still, there are some other Arabica beans are named after its country or region. The Common coffee beans known to us are Ethiopian Arabica which possesses smooth and easy flavor and Kenya Arabica.

Coffee Robusta

Coffee Robusta

Unlike coffee Arabica, sold in specialty coffee shops, Coffee Robusta is often served in local supermarkets because of its inferior quality. This high caffeine content species makes up about 27% of the world coffee bean market. Being a cheaper to produce coffee bean but with a lower taste profile, this coffee is often sold for use in instant coffee.

Look at the contrasted information about Coffee Robusta.

Main origin Central and west Africa and Indonesia
Growing place Lower elevations than Coffee Arabica; an altitude of 200-600 meters
Shape Big, presenting as round on the adaxial surface and more circular than Coffee Arabica
Caffeine content Double the amount of caffeine of Coffee Arabica
Taste More of astringent and bitter flavor; oatmeal-like and smoky
Price Nearly half lower than Coffee Arabica
Requirement Comparatively less care and manual work needed

Other species

In fact, more than one hundred species exists and contains unique varieties all over the world. These may not be used commercially as Arabica and Robusta. Some of them are Barako coffee (Filipino coffee varietal); Bengal coffee; Congo coffee;Liberian coffee; Coffea bonnieri and so on.

Hope the article above gives you some useful information about the different types of coffee beans and helps you to choose the proper one. If you have any question or perspective, please edit in the comment box below.

Related: 9 Major Types of Coffee Drinks Explained

What is the Difference between Decaf and Regular Coffee

Does Dark Roast Have More Caffeine Than Light Roast

Tags: Coffee 101

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