From Arabica to Robusta: Exploring the Different Types of Coffee Beans

From the popular Arabica to the robust and bold Robusta, the type of coffee bean used can have a significant impact on the taste and quality of your coffee. 

Arabica vs. Robusta - What's the difference?

The two most popular types of coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are the most widely used coffee beans, accounting for about 60% of the world's coffee production. They are grown at high altitudes, require specific soil conditions, and are more expensive than Robusta beans. On the other hand, Robusta beans are more robust and are grown at lower altitudes. They have a higher caffeine content and are less expensive than Arabica beans.

Arabica beans are known for their complex and delicate flavours, which vary depending on the region in which they are grown. They have a sweet and fruity taste with a slight acidity, making them a favourite among coffee lovers. Robusta beans, on the other hand, have a more earthy and bitter taste, with a higher caffeine content. They are often used in blends to add body and depth to the coffee.

While Arabica coffee beans are considered to be of higher quality than Robusta beans, it's essential to note that this is not always the case. The quality of coffee depends on several factors, including the growing conditions, harvesting methods, and processing techniques used.

Other types of coffee beans - Excelsa, Liberica, and more

While Arabica and Robusta beans are the most popular types of coffee beans, there are other types of coffee beans worth exploring. One of these is Excelsa, which is grown in Southeast Asia and has a unique fruity and tart flavour. Liberica is another type of coffee bean grown in Asia, which has a smoky and woody taste.

Other types of coffee beans include the Maragogype, which is a mutation of the Arabica bean and is known for its large size and mild taste. The Catimor is a hybrid of the Arabica and Robusta beans, which has a high yield and is resistant to disease. The Geisha is a rare and expensive coffee bean grown in Panama, which has a floral and tea-like taste.

Characteristics of Arabica beans - Flavour, aroma, and acidity

Arabica coffee beans are known for their complex and delicate flavours, which vary depending on the region in which they are grown. The beans have a sweet and fruity taste with a slight acidity, making them a favourite among coffee lovers. The acidity in Arabica beans can give the coffee a bright and lively taste, with hints of citrus or berries.

The aroma of Arabica beans is also unique, with floral, fruity, and nutty notes. When brewed, the coffee has a soft and smooth body, with a caramel-like sweetness. Arabica beans are typically roasted to a medium level to enhance their unique flavours and aromas.

Characteristics of Robusta beans - Flavour, aroma, and caffeine content

Robusta beans have a more earthy and bitter taste, with a higher caffeine content than Arabica beans. They are often used in blends to add body and depth to the coffee. The beans have a nutty and chocolatey flavour, with a hint of smokiness.

The aroma of Robusta beans is less complex than that of Arabica beans, with notes of burnt rubber and wood. When brewed, Robusta coffee has a thick and creamy body, with a lingering aftertaste. Robusta beans are typically roasted darker than Arabica beans to enhance their unique flavours and aromas.

Growing regions and cultivation practices for each type of bean

Arabica beans are grown at high altitudes, between 600 to 2000 meters above sea level. They require specific soil conditions and a cooler climate to thrive. Arabica beans are primarily grown in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Robusta coffee beans, on the other hand, are grown at lower altitudes, between 0 to 800 meters above sea level. They are more resistant to pests and disease than Arabica beans and can be grown in a wider range of conditions. Robusta beans are primarily grown in Asia, Africa, and Brazil.

The cultivation practices used for each type of bean vary depending on the region and the farmer. However, both Arabica and Robusta beans require specific conditions to produce high-quality coffee. This includes proper irrigation, fertilization, and harvesting techniques.

Processing methods - Washed, natural, and honey

After the coffee beans are harvested, they are processed to remove the outer layer, or the cherry. There are several processing methods used, including washed, natural, and honey.

Washed processing involves removing the cherry from the beans and washing them with water to remove any remaining fruit. This method produces a clean and bright coffee with a crisp acidity.

Natural processing involves drying the beans with the cherry still intact. This method produces a coffee with a fruity and sweet taste, with a heavy body.

Honey processing involves removing some of the cherry from the beans, leaving a sticky layer of mucilage. This method produces a coffee with a syrupy sweetness and a heavy body.

The importance of roast level in coffee flavour

Roasting plays a significant role in the flavour and aroma of coffee. The longer the beans are roasted, the darker and richer the flavour becomes. However, roasting for too long can result in a burnt and bitter taste.

Arabica beans are typically roasted to a medium level to enhance their unique flavours and aromas. Robusta beans, on the other hand, are roasted darker to enhance their bold and earthy flavours.

The roast level can also affect the caffeine content in coffee. Darker roasts have less caffeine than lighter roasts since the caffeine is burned off during the roasting process.

Brewing methods for each type of bean

There are several brewing methods used to make coffee, including drip, cafetiere, espresso, and more. The type of coffee bean used can affect the brewing method and the resulting taste.

Arabica beans are best brewed using pour-over methods, drip, or French press. These methods allow the coffee to retain its delicate flavours and aromas. Robusta beans are best brewed using espresso or Italian-style methods, which can enhance their bold and earthy flavours.

When choosing a coffee bean, consider your personal taste preferences and the brewing method used. Whether you prefer a sweet and fruity taste or a bold and earthy flavour, there is a coffee bean out there for you. 

 

Comments 0

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

All Blogs

Kyoto-Style Slow Coffee Cold Brew Method

By Alex Wardle on Apr 15, 2024

Unveiling the Kyoto Chill: A Redber Coffee Guide to Slow Coffee Cold Brew Unwind and savour the exquisite taste of Kyoto-style slow coffee.  Here at Redber Coffee, we'r...

Read more
The Art of Slow Coffee

By Petra Jones on Apr 07, 2024

Slow coffee is more than just a method; it's an experience that emphasises manual brewing techniques, allowing you total control over the brewing variables. Slow coffee...

Read more
Crafting the Perfect Italian Espresso: A Journey Through Beans, Roasts, and Rituals

By Andrea Agostini on Apr 05, 2024

Ah, espresso. It has a deep, inviting smell and a creamy top that promises rich flavours. It wakes you up with a strong boost of energy. But espresso is more than ...

Read more
How Filter Paper Influences Your Coffee Extraction

By Petra Jones on Mar 20, 2024

When it comes to brewing the perfect cup of coffee, every detail matters. From the grind size to the water temperature, each element plays a crucial role in the final flavour of your coffee. One often-overlooked component is the filter paper used in your coffee maker. But how exactly does filter paper influence your coffee extraction?

Read more
Ocean Bottle: Leading the Charge in the Battle Against Plastic Pollution

By Petra Jones on Mar 06, 2024

In today's environmentally conscious society, Ocean Bottle stands as a shining example of innovation and hope. Launched in 2018, this visionary social impact company has set its sights on a monumental missio...

Read more
What is Filter Grind for Coffee?

By Graham Jones on Feb 29, 2024

Filter grind refers to the consistency of coffee grounds optimized for use in filter brewing methods. This encompasses a broad spectrum of devices from the classic drip coffee maker to pour-overs and the Aeropress. The grind size for these methods is typically medium, resembling coarse sand. This size ensures that hot water can properly extract the coffee's flavours and aromas without passing through too quickly, as it might with a finer grind, or too slowly, as with a coarser grind.

Read more
How to Fine-Tune Your Coffee Grind with Baratza ESP

By Petra Jones on Feb 20, 2024

As avid coffee lovers, we can all agree that the secret to a perfect cup of coffee is largely in the grind. With the right grind size, coffee flavours and aromas are accurately extracted, resulting in a delicious cup of coffee. For many of us, there is an ultimate grinder that perfectly accomplishes this task - the Baratza ESP coffee grinder. 

Read more
The Ultimate Guide to the Best Coffee Beans in the UK: 2024 Edition

By Andrea Agostini on Feb 14, 2024

Embark on a gourmet journey with our comprehensive 2024 guide to the UK's most exceptional coffee beans. This essential read takes you through the nuanced art of selecting beans that resonate with both the palate and the principles of sustainability. From the aromatic heights of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe to the robust depths of Brazilian Santos, we cover the beans that define the coffee landscape. We also spotlight the craftsmanship of leading local roasters like Redber Coffee, whose dedication to quality ensures your espresso is a luxurious ritual of taste and aroma.

Read more
The Best Valentine Gifts for Coffee Lover

By Petra Jones on Feb 06, 2024

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and if your loved one is a coffee enthusiast, you're in luck! We've curated a list of the best Valentine gifts for coffee lov...

Read more
Exploring Baratza Grinders: Which One is Right for You?

By Graham Jones on Jan 28, 2024

Choosing the right coffee grinder can significantly impact the quality of your coffee. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is best for you. Baratza, a company dedic...

Read more
Tips for Making a Better Cafetiere Coffee at Home

By Petra Jones on Jan 14, 2024

Making a great cup of coffee with a cafetiere can be tricky especially if you are new to the world of coffee. But don't worry, with a few tips and tricks, you can make a delicious cup of coffee every time.

Read more
Top 5 Coffees to Try If you Love Cappuccinos & Lattes

By Petra Jones on Jan 02, 2024

When selecting the best coffee beans for cappuccinos and lattes, it's essential to choose beans that are medium-bodied and have a balanced flavour profile. Some of the our most popular coffee beans for cappu...

Read more
Coffee Of The Month January 2024 - Kenya Bora

By Petra Jones on Jan 01, 2024

Grown at high altitudes, between 1500-1700 meters above sea level, the coffee beans benefit from the perfect combination of rich volcanic soil, ideal climate, and skilled farmers. The coffee is made of varie...

Read more
Introducing Yes! Definitely Bottled Water with Breath-taking Illustrations from Independent Artists

By Petra Jones on Dec 05, 2023

Yes! Definitely, the bottled water brand that is making a difference in South Africa, is now making its big debut in the UK. And it's not just any ordinary bottled water - each bottle is a work of art, showc...

Read more
Best Tea Gifts for Tea Lovers

By Petra Jones on Nov 16, 2023

If you have a tea lover in your life and you're looking for the perfect gift, look no further. We've curated a list of the best tea gifts that are sure to delight any tea enthusiast.

Read more