What are the different kinds of coffees? Coffee Bean Guide

Are You Wondering What Types of Coffee Beans are Out There? Here’s a Breakdown of the Four Different "Kinds of Coffees"...

Welcome to our useful guide on the different kinds of coffees available! By the end of this guide, you'll have all the information you need to confidently choose your next brew. 


Types of Coffee Beans: There are Four Main Kinds of Coffees 

Coffee is a versatile drink and comes in diverse forms, such as espresso, americano, latte, and breve. Moreover, there are different roasts available, including light roast, dark roast, and green coffee. To determine which coffee type suits your taste, it's essential to understand what kinds of coffees there are, ergo, the main coffee bean varieties. So, let's start by discussing the primary types of coffee beans!

If you're unsure which type of coffee to try based on the bean, you have two main options: Arabica and Robusta. These beans have various strains and can be grown in different regions, and are readily available for purchase in the US and Europe. Additionally, there are two less common types of coffee: Liberica and Excelsa. Not to mention, coffee blends can consist of a variety of bean types mixed together. We're here to help you make the best choice for your taste buds. So, here’s a breakdown of the four main kinds of coffee beans. 


Arabica: The Reigning (Yet Temperamental) King of Coffee

Arabica coffee beans are distinct because they have a smoother, sweeter taste and more intricate flavors compared to other coffee beans. They can have notes of chocolate, caramel, nuts, citrus, and more, making them deliciously flavorful and subtly sweet.

The taste characteristics of Arabica coffee beans are determined by their variety and the location where they are cultivated. Additionally, they contain a moderate amount of caffeine.

Arabica coffee beans can be grown all over the world. You can find Arabica plantations in Indonesia, Guatemala, Sumatra, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, Hawaii, and the list goes on. Most agree that Arabica coffee is the best kind. For those who want to savor the distinct flavors of various Arabica coffee beans, it is suggested to purchase a batch of single-origin, 100% pure, high-quality Arabica beans like those available for purchase here.

Arabica Coffee at a Glance: 

  • Arabica beans account for over 60% of the world's coffee production.
  • The best Arabica plants are grown at high altitudes with steady rainfall and shade.
  • Arabica is delicate and easily influenced by its environment and prone to disease. It must be farmed with great care and can take double the effort to keep them healthy in non-native climates.
  • Growing Arabica in large quantities can lead to a massive outbreak of disease that will contaminate the entire crop. So, small-batch plantations exist to produce premium Arabica coffee with a delicious taste. 
  • Arabica coffee beans can have different flavor nuances depending on their type, origin, and how they are grown. These can include nutty, citrusy, sweet, chocolatey, smokey, bright, caramel-like, or fruity flavors.y, sweet, chocolatey, smokey, bright, caramel-like, or fruity flavor nuances. 


Robusta: A Tough Bean with a Bitter Taste 

As the name suggests, Robusta coffee beans are robust. However, this robustness has less to do with flavor and more to do with the coffee plant’s actual toughness. You see, Robusta coffee plants tend to be resistant to pests and better acclimated to harsh growing conditions than Arabica. Although it is true that Robusta coffee beans are more bitter than Arabica coffee beans, they do not possess the bold, smooth, sweet, or nuanced flavor notes that Arabica beans do.

Instead, these types of coffee beans are cultivated in climates that have less-than-ideal crop-growing conditions. Since Robusta coffee can be grown in harsher circumstances, it is sometimes considered a cheaper alternative to Arabica coffee. 

Robusta Coffee at a Glance:

  • Robusta is the second most produced coffee next to Arabica.
  • It is very tolerant of a harsh environment and resistant to coffee rust and other diseases.
  • Some Robusta coffee beans have almost double the amount of caffeine compared to Arabica beans, as caffeine is the plant's self-defense against disease.
  • Bitter Robusta coffee is best sampled on the back palate due to the heavier body. 
  • Higher-quality Robusta beans have a smooth texture, low acidity, and hints of chocolate in their flavor profile.
  • When buying Robusta coffee, look for information on how it was grown for the best tasting experience.


Liberica: The Nutty Unsung Hero of Coffee History

Liberica coffee beans are pretty uncommon in the mainstream. Sometimes known as a Liberian coffee, most people either absolutely love or totally hate its flavor. Many describe Liberica coffee as being smokey and chocolatey with a spicy finish. This species of coffee is entirely separate from Arabica and Robusta species. The beans are described as almond-shaped and exotic. 

Liberica coffee played an important role in coffee history. In 1890, coffee rust destroyed over 90% of the world's Arabica stock. Farmers turned to the Liberica plant as a solution, and the Philippines was the first to try it. The Philippines became the only coffee supplier for a time, greatly helping their economy. However, Arabica coffee made a comeback and is now the reigning coffee champ. Liberica made a comeback in 1995 thanks to conservationists salvaging the last remaining plants. Because of the flavor notes, Arabica remains the king coffee varietal of the world today, despite Liberica's fascinating history.

Liberica Coffee at a Glance:

  • Liberica coffee has a fascinating history. 
  • Liberica coffee can have many flavor nuances and is often described as smokey or nutty in taste. 
  • Liberica coffee is a separate species from Arabica. 


Excelsa: A Unique and Dense Coffee Bean 

Excelsa coffee beans have a minimal to non-existent presence in the global coffee market. This coffee grows on tall trees instead of shrubs. Excelsa coffee is a wholly different species from Arabica or Robusta coffee. The flavors of Excelsa coffee are often described as nutty and woody. Some say this coffee even has a peanut-like taste to it. Dense Excelsa beans produce fewer dissolved solids and may contain less caffeine than Arabica or Robusta beans. Recently, Excelsa was classified as a Liberica varietal.  

Excelsa Coffee at a Glance:

  • Excelsa is a coffee bean that was recently reclassified as a member of the Liberica family. 
  • It is different enough from Liberica that some still consider it a separate species.
  • Excelsa grows mainly in Southeast Asia and accounts for only 7% of the world's coffee circulation.
  • It is often used in blends to add flavor and complexity to the coffee. 
  • Excelsa has a nutty body with both light and dark notes.


Kinds of Coffees: Final Thoughts

There are four main kinds of coffee, which are determined by the type of coffee plant they come from. These are Excelsa, Liberica, Robusta, and Arabica. Arabica coffee is the most popular and comes in a wide range of styles with countless flavor variations and regional differences. Robusta coffee is the second most common type in the United States and Europe. It has a bitter taste and contains more caffeine than Arabica coffee. Lastly, there are the lesser-known types of coffee, Excelsa, and Liberica.

If you're looking for the best coffee experience, then pure Arabica coffee beans are the way to go. When these coffee beans are responsibly sourced and grown in ideal conditions, the taste is simply unparalleled. You can find a fantastic selection of 100% pure Arabica coffees on this website. For a variety of different flavored Arabica coffees, check out this link. We hope that this informative guide to the different kinds of coffees has been helpful to you. Cheers!

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