Best 4 Coffee Beans You are Missing Out On

Robusta Coffee Beans

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Whether you have it in the morning to boost energy, to relax after a long day of work, or simply while conversing with friends at a café, coffee attracts us with its amazing aroma, fragrance, and taste. 

Coffee beans are grown in around seventy countries today. But there are only four main types of coffee beans. These include Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and  Excelsa. The interesting thing is that they all have different origins, taste profiles, and properties. Let’s dive further into their characteristics and understand what sets them apart.

Arabica Coffee Beans

Arabica coffee is one of the most popular coffee types in the world. It comes from the beans of a plant called Coffee Arabica. 

arabica coffee bean

Origin of Arabica Coffee Beans

The origin of Arabica coffee dates back to the 7th century. It was discovered in the highlands of the Kingdom of Kefa, now known as Ethiopia. During the 15th century, the Coffee arabica trees were brought to Yemen which is where they got the name Arabica. They continue to grow here as well as in other countries including Brazil (one of the top producers of Arabica coffee).

Characteristics of Arabica Coffee Beans

  • Arabica beans have a rather sweet and smooth taste with sugar and chocolate flavor notes.
  • They also have hints of berries and fruits.
  • Their acidity level is higher as compared to other coffee beans (Robusta) and so they also have a winey touch. 
  • The intensity of the taste and aroma of Arabica coffee beans is largely determined by how much they’re roasted.
  • When unroasted, they smell somewhat like blueberries and when roasted they become perfumy with notes of sugar and fruit.

Robusta Coffee Beans

Robusta coffee is made from the beans of the Coffea canephora plant. They are the second most popular coffee bean type. Robusta beans are relatively more rounded and larger than other beans.

Robusta Coffee Beans

Origin of Robusta Beans

The origin of the Robusta beans can be traced back to the 1800s in Africa. It was discovered in the sub-Saharan regions in the central and western parts of the country. Some of these include Uganda and the Belgian Congo which is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Characteristics of Robusta Coffee  Beans

  • Robusta beans are known to have a slightly strong, bitter, and harsh taste.
  • Robusta has twice the amount of caffeine in Arabica beans. This is why people who prefer a strong and rich cup of coffee, go for Robusta.
  •  High-quality Robusta beans produce a thick and smooth texture which is ideal for espresso blends.
  • It is also used for instant coffee and in numerous ground coffee blends to add flavor and depth.

Liberica Coffee Beans

Liberica is one of the rarest coffee beans in the world. The Liberica cherries come from a much larger plant than Robusta and Arabica. They tend to be larger and irregular in shape. Their size and appearance are somewhat closer to that of Robusta beans.

Liberica Coffee Beans

Origin of Liberica Coffee Beans

Liberica coffee beans were initially discovered in 1864 in Liberia, West Africa, hence the name. When the global leaf rust pandemic destroyed the majority of the Arabica coffee crops, Liberica beans were farmed as replacements owing to their resistance to the disease. This increased their popularity by leaps and bounds.

Characteristics of Liberica Coffee Beans

  • The Liberica coffee beans have a unique aroma that consists of fruity and floral notes along with hints of dark chocolate, nuts, and ripe berry.
  • Some compare its flavor and aroma to that of a tobacco plant which is why it has also been nicknamed ‘liquid tobacco.’ 

Excelsa Coffee Beans

Excelsa is the fourth major type of coffee bean. Earlier it was a separate coffee species but recently scientists have reclassified it as a variant of Liberica. There may be similarities as far as their shape and growing conditions are concerned, but their flavor profiles are totally different.

Excelsa Coffee Beans

Origin of Excelsa Coffee Beans

Just like Liberica, Excelsa coffee beans were first discovered in Central Africa in 1903.  They were known as dewevreié or Coffea dewevreié back then. Today they mostly grow in Southeast Asia and contribute only 7% to the world’s coffee circulation.

Characteristics of Excelsa Coffee Beans

  • Excelsa has very unique flavors.
  •  While Liberica has a smokey and wild profile, Excelsa has a rather sweet taste which is often compared to that of ripened fruit.
  • Excelsa takes on the characteristics of both dark as well as light roasts.
  • It is fruity and bright with a tinge of tartness.
  • Excelsa beans are frequently used in Robusta and Arabica blends to add complexity and balance of flavor.