The Types of Coffee Beans and Their Differences

The types of coffee beans are arabica, robusta and kona. What makes them so different?

Coffee beans are not physically beans when cultured from the plants. They are actually the seeds of the fruits of the coffee tree. Most coffee trees grow in areas with sub-tropical climates from the sea level of around six thousand feet.

Nowadays, coffee is an intensive commodity that requires much labor. Once the fruits of the coffee trees ripen at specific times they should be picked up with the use of hands.

For a single coffee tree, there are about four thousand coffee beans picked up from two thousand fruits whereas these beans can produce two pounds of roasted coffee every year. Picking the beans from the fruits is done in two ways, which are the wet process and dry process.

For the dry process, the fruits are dried out in the sun, thereinafter are stripped with the use of machines once the fruits get dried.The coffee beans are stripped off from the dried fruits in this process.

For the wet process, the soaking method is done whereas the coffee beans come off from the fruit resulting as washed coffee. Once the coffee beans are pulled out from the fruits, they are sent to be dried wherein after drying they are sorted by grade and sizes that are usually done by hand.

After the sorting, the coffee beans are sent to the roasters where they will remain green until they get roasted. For green coffee beans, it is essential for it to stay fresh for a long period of time because freshness in coffee is always the major feature being a commodity.

If you're a coffee lover, you can easily distinguish various types of coffee beans the moment its taste laid into your tongue. However, with the many yet various types of coffee beans spreading in the market, it's quite hard to choose what to buy.

Types of Coffee Beans

Coffee beans on a branch

For the record of information, there are more than six thousand variations of coffee beans worldwide but only 25 of it are considered as the major types. And from these 25 major types there are only three important and common types used by the consumers.

The Three Types of Coffee Beans

Compared to Robusta and Arabica in the commercial world, Kona is much smaller yet very expensive. This type of coffee bean normally grows in the country of Hawaii. Though Kona is not being patronized as much by most common people in the market, it still has a very high demand worldwide due to its powerful aroma. Having a very powerful aroma and desirability, Kona is rarely blended with other kinds of drink flavorings.

Robusta or the Canephora type of coffee beans covers 40% of the coffee production in the whole world. It is easier to grow compared to Arabica as it has a very high resistance to weather and disease. Also, it is a lot cheaper compared to Arabica and Kona. Robusta can be blended with other coffee blends because of its strong flavor giving every coffee a "kick". It also does not vary in flavors compared to Arabica. Originally, Robusta was discovered while growing naturally in an area now called as the "Democratic Republic of Congo". Robusta coffee beans are lower grades of coffee that is commonly known at the lower elevations because of its feature of having an astringent flavorings and containing higher caffeine amounts.

Unlike Robusta, the Arabica type of coffee beans covers 60% of the coffee production in the whole world because of the large bush that Arabica plants have. Also Arabica plants are very vulnerable to pests, disease and frost. With this reason, the coffee beans of Arabica plants are extremely expensive. Arabica coffee beans can be used on its wholesome form as well as it can be used as a base with Robusta for coffee blends. However, Arabica has a very delicate flavor that can be used as add-ons on the flavorings of coffee blends.

But Arabica coffee beans still vary accordingly to the region where they are grown and used. In South and Central America, the Arabica coffee beans have the moderate aroma and body, which are used mostly for breakfast blends with American flavored coffees. Arabica coffee beans produce a superior grade of coffee known as the gourmet coffee because it contains half of the Robusta caffeine as well as more aromatic properties and desirable flavorings. Being a worldwide coffee variation, Arabica coffee beans are able to meet a fraction of the standard provide by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

The Arabica type of coffee beans has the most flavored profiles while Robusta is grown predominantly because of its ability and hardiness to thrive. Also Arabica has the various distinct flavors and characteristics of coffee beans.

Under the Arabica type of coffee beans there are variations as well that are named after the region or country where they are found predominantly or have originated. In some countries like Ethiopia, there are numerous expensive variations of Arabica coffee beans growing in every regions of the whole country.

There are more variations of Arabica coffee beans found in country of Africa because the country is the first one in the entire world that valued drinking coffee. Three of the topmost variations of Arabica coffee are found in Africa as well namely the Yirgacheffe, Sidamo and Harrar.

Kenya is also one of the countries where Arabica plants beans are cultured for coffee drinking. It calls its Arabica coffee beans as Kenyan. Other countries where Arabica coffee beans are produced include Uganda and Tanzania. Uganda also majorly produces Robusta coffee beans. Few of the variations of Arabica coffee beans are to be found in Indonesia and Java is the most popular variation in the country. Java variation adapted its name from the region of Java in Indonesia.

Throughout the time, it had become synonymous with the word coffee itself. More variations of Arabica coffee beans are also found in Hawaii where the popular variation was called the "Hawaiian Kona", which grows on the Mountain Hualalai's slopes.

Gourmet Specialty Coffee

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