Different Coffee Bean Types

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Written By Anh Dung Pham

Are you tired of ordering the same type of coffee every day? Have you ever wondered what makes different coffee beans taste unique? If so, then this comprehensive guide to different coffee bean types is for you.

As avid coffee drinkers, we know that the type of coffee bean used can drastically affect the taste and overall experience.

In this article, we will explore the four main types of coffee beans – Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa – providing detailed information on their origins, flavor profiles, and best brewing methods.

Additionally, we will delve into lesser-known varieties from around the world to expand your knowledge and palette. Get ready to transform your daily cup of joe with this ultimate guide to understanding coffee beans!

Overview of Coffee Beans Types

You’ll find a concise summary of the various types of beans and their characteristics in this section.

Coffee beans come in many different varieties, and each one brings its own unique flavor profile to your cup. The processing method that is used to prepare the beans for roasting can also have a significant impact on their taste.

There are two main types of coffee beans: arabica and robusta. Arabica beans are generally considered to be superior in quality, with a more nuanced flavor profile that includes floral and fruity notes.

Robusta beans have a stronger, more bitter taste that is often described as earthy or woody.

In addition to these two main types of coffee beans, there are also several sub-varieties that you may encounter when exploring different blends. These include bourbon, typica, caturra, and geisha (also known as gesha).

Each type has its own unique flavor profile based on factors such as the altitude at which they were grown, the climate conditions during cultivation, and the specific processing methods used by farmers.

Overview of Coffee Beans Types

When it comes time to roast your coffee beans at home or brew them using any number of methods from drip machines to french presses or pour-overs, you can experiment with different techniques to bring out the best flavors possible while considering sustainability practices around sourcing your coffee from ethical sources around the world.

Different Coffee Bean Types

Arabica (Coffea arabica)

If you’re looking for a smooth and flavorful coffee experience, Arabica is the way to go. It is the most popular coffee bean type in the world, accounting for almost 70% of global coffee production.

Arabica grows at high elevations in countries like Colombia, Ethiopia, and Brazil. The growing conditions are crucial to its flavor profile; hence, it’s often referred to as specialty coffee.

Here are some factors that make Arabica beans stand out from others:

  • Flavor Profile: Arabica has a wide range of flavor notes that vary depending on the region where it was grown. Some common flavors include chocolate, caramel, fruitiness, and nuttiness.
  • Processing Methods: Arabica beans undergo various processing methods such as washed or natural processing. Washed process produces cleaner cups with bright acidity while natural process creates sweeter cups with fruity notes.
  • Popular Blends: Many famous blends use Arabica beans due to their superior flavor profile and quality. For instance, Blue Mountain Coffee from Jamaica is made entirely of Arabica beans.
  • Health Benefits: Studies suggest that drinking moderate amounts of coffee made with Arabica beans can have numerous health benefits like reducing the risk of heart disease and liver cancer.

Arabica is considered one of the highest-quality coffee types worldwide due to its unique growing conditions and distinct flavor profiles.

While other varieties may be cheaper or easier to grow under different circumstances, there’s no match for this variety’s smoothness and complexity.

Whether you prefer it black or with milk-based drinks like lattes or cappuccinos – try brewing a cup today!

Robusta (Coffea canephora)

When it comes to choosing a coffee bean for a bolder, more robust flavor, you can’t go wrong with Robusta.

This variety is known for its high caffeine content and earthy notes that make it perfect for espresso blends.

While Arabica is the most commonly cultivated type of coffee bean, Robusta (Coffea canephora) has gained popularity in recent years due to its unique characteristics.

Robusta beans are typically grown in lower altitudes than Arabica beans, such as the regions of Central and West Africa and Southeast Asia.

These areas have warmer climates and higher rainfall levels, which are ideal conditions for Robusta cultivation. The flavor profile of Robusta is often described as strong and bitter with hints of chocolate or nuts.

Its high caffeine content gives it an intense kick that many coffee enthusiasts crave.

Cultivation methods for Robusta differ from those used for Arabica beans. While Arabica plants require shade and careful pruning, Robusta grows best in direct sunlight with minimal pruning needed.

The processing techniques also vary between the two types of coffee beans – while Arabica is washed before drying to remove any remaining fruit pulp, Robusta is often left unwashed to enhance its natural earthy flavor.

Overall, if you’re looking for a bold and flavorful cup of coffee with a strong caffeine kick, give Robusta a try. Though not as widely popular as Arabica beans, this variety offers a unique taste experience that may just become your new favorite brew.

Growing RegionsFlavor ProfileCaffeine Content
Central/West Africa; Southeast AsiaStrong & Bitter with hints of chocolate or nutsHigh

Liberica (Coffea Liberica)

Let’s take a closer look at the lesser-known Liberica coffee bean and discover its unique flavor profile.

Liberica, also known as Coffea liberica, is a rare type of coffee that originated in West Africa and was later introduced to Southeast Asia in the late 19th century.

It is one of the four main species of coffee plants, along with Arabica, Robusta, and Excelsa.

When it comes to flavor profile, Liberica beans have a distinct taste that sets them apart from other types of coffee. They are often described as having a fruity and floral aroma with hints of smokiness.

The taste itself is bold and full-bodied with notes of dark chocolate and black pepper. Despite its strong flavor, Liberica has low acidity levels which makes it an excellent choice for those who prefer less acidic coffee varieties.

If you’re looking to brew up some Liberica coffee at home, there are several methods you can try out. One popular option is using a French press or pour-over method to extract the full-bodied flavors from the beans.

Alternatively, you can use an espresso machine or Aeropress for a more concentrated cup of coffee with pronounced flavors.

When comparing Liberica vs Arabica or Robusta beans, there are some notable differences worth mentioning. While Arabica is known for its delicate flavors and high acidity levels, Robusta tends to be more bitter but also has higher caffeine content than other types of coffee beans.

In contrast, Liberica stands out due to its unique flavor profile that combines boldness with fruity and floral notes while maintaining lower acidity levels than Arabica varieties.

Whether you’re an avid coffee lover or just starting out on your journey into the world of specialty coffees, trying out different bean types like Liberica can open up new possibilities when it comes to experiencing rich flavors and aromas in every cup without sacrificing quality or taste.

Excelsa (Coffea excelsa)

Get ready to experience a whole new level of flavor with the unique and often overlooked Excelsa coffee bean.

This type of coffee is native to West and Central Africa, and it has a distinct fruity and tart taste that sets it apart from other coffee beans. The flavor profile of excelsa coffee usually includes notes of grapefruit, raspberry, and even a hint of nuttiness.

The uses of excelsa beans go beyond traditional brewing methods. Some roasters use these beans as a blend with other types of coffee to create a more complex flavor profile.

Additionally, the fruit-like taste makes it an excellent choice for cold brews or iced coffees during hot summer months.

When it comes to processing methods, excelsa beans are usually processed using the dry method which involves drying them in the sun after harvesting. This method results in a complex and flavorful cup of coffee that draws out the natural sweetness of the bean.

While excelsa may not be as widely grown as other types of coffee beans such as Arabica or Robusta, they can be found growing in regions such as Southeast Asia, East Africa, and parts of South America.

In comparison with other coffee bean types, Excelsa stands out due to its unique flavor profile that cannot be found elsewhere.

Additionally, while it is similar in size to Liberica beans, its taste differs significantly from it’s West African cousin’s harsher profile which is why many specialty roasters seek this rare gem out when looking for new and exciting flavors for their customers’ palates.

Exploring another Coffee Bean Types in the World

We’re excited to dive into another set of coffee bean types that have made waves in the industry. Typica, Bourbon, Geisha, and Ruiru 11 are all varieties of Coffea arabica that offer unique flavors and characteristics.

As coffee enthusiasts ourselves, we’ve had the pleasure of trying these beans and can attest to their distinct profiles. Let’s explore each one in detail and discover what makes them stand out from the rest.

Another Coffee Bean Types in the World

Varieties of Coffea Arabica

Typica (Coffea arabica var. typica)

You’ll love the rich flavor and complex notes found in Typica coffee, a variety of Coffea arabica that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Cultivated in countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, this coffee bean type is known for its exceptional quality and unique taste profile. Typica beans are grown using traditional cultivation techniques that involve handpicking the cherries at their peak ripeness.

The flavor profile of Typica coffee typically consists of a balanced acidity with fruity notes such as oranges or berries.

There are also regional variations depending on where the beans were grown; for example, beans from Central America tend to have a nutty undertone while those from Ethiopia may have a wine-like taste.

To bring out the best flavors in Typica coffee, it is recommended to brew it using methods such as pour-over or French press.

With its historical significance and distinct taste profile, it’s no wonder why Typica remains one of the most popular coffee bean types around the world.

Bourbon (Coffea arabica var. bourbon)

If you’re looking for a smooth and sweet coffee with notes of caramel and chocolate, then Bourbon coffee might just be the perfect pick.

This variety of Coffea arabica is believed to have originated on Reunion Island (formerly known as Bourbon Island), hence its name. Today, it’s grown in various countries including Brazil, Rwanda, and Colombia.

The flavor profile of Bourbon coffee is characterized by its sweetness and medium acidity. It has notes of caramel, chocolate, and fruitiness that make it a popular choice among coffee lovers.

Brewing recommendations for this variety include using a French press or pour-over method to fully bring out its complex flavors. Compared to other coffee bean varieties like Typica or Caturra, Bourbon has a smoother taste with less bitterness.

Its unique flavor profile makes it stand out among other coffees and worth trying for anyone looking for something new.

Geisha (Coffea arabica var. geisha)

Moving on from the Bourbon coffee bean, let’s now explore something truly unique and highly valued in the coffee world – the Geisha (Coffea arabica var. geisha).

This rare variety originated in Ethiopia but gained popularity in Panama where it is extensively cultivated today.

One of the most striking features of Geisha coffee beans is their distinct flavor profile. The taste is often described as floral with notes of jasmine, bergamot, and citrus fruits.

These delicate flavors are complemented by a light body and bright acidity that make for an incredibly refreshing cup of coffee. Due to its exceptional taste, Geisha coffee has become a favorite among connoisseurs and specialty cafes alike.

However, this exclusivity comes at a price – Geisha beans can range from $60 to over $100 per pound.

Despite its high price point, Geisha coffee continues to be one of the most sought-after varieties in the world due to its origin history and brewing methods.

As mentioned earlier, it was first discovered in Ethiopia but only gained traction when it was brought to Central America in 1953 by an American missionary named Richard Bowers.

It wasn’t until 2004 when Hacienda La Esmeralda won first place at a global competition with their Geisha beans that it became widely recognized for its unique flavor profile.

To fully appreciate this type of bean’s delicate flavors, experts recommend brewing it using pour-over or drip methods rather than espresso-based drinks like lattes or cappuccinos which can mask its subtle qualities.

Ruiru 11 (Coffea arabica var. ruiru 11)

Let’s now delve into the unique and distinct Ruiru 11 coffee bean, a variety that offers a delightful taste with hints of berries and sweetness.

These beans are known for their resistance to coffee berry disease and leaf rust, making them a popular choice among coffee farmers in Kenya.

The Ruiru 11 plant is characterized by its medium-sized leaves and dense canopy, which provide shade for the cherries as they mature.

The growing conditions for this variety require high altitudes of at least 1,600 meters above sea level and well-drained soils. When brewed, Ruiru 11 yields a medium-bodied cup with notes of blackcurrant, red grape, and caramel.

It is best enjoyed as a pour-over or drip coffee but can also be used in espresso-based drinks such as lattes or cappuccinos. Some popular roasters that offer this variety include Verve Coffee Roasters and Counter Culture Coffee.

Peaberry coffee beans

Peaberry coffee beans are renowned for their distinctive shape. Unlike regular coffee beans, which consist of two halves, peaberry beans are oval-shaped and come from a single seed instead of two halves. This happens because, during the growing process, only one seed develops within the coffee cherry, resulting in the peaberry shape.

Peaberry coffee also boasts of a unique flavor profile. Due to its unique shape, peaberry beans roast more evenly and have a higher concentration of flavor compounds.

Consequently, it can result in a brighter, more complex flavor with hints of fruit, floral, and citrus. Often considered premium coffee, peaberry coffee beans can be more costly than regular coffee beans. Coffee connoisseurs favor it for its exceptional taste and shape.

Mocha Coffee Beans

Mocha coffee beans have a distinctive flavor profile that’s both rich and complex, known for their smooth, chocolatey taste, often accompanied by subtle hints of fruit and nut. They typically grow in warm, humid climates like Ethiopia, Yemen, and Indonesia.

You can enjoy mocha coffee in various ways, including as a classic espresso shot or pour-over coffee, and it makes delicious cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas.

Some coffee lovers even use mocha beans to make cold brew or iced coffee, as its rich flavor profile suits these drinks well. Overall, mocha coffee beans offer a unique and delicious coffee experience that any coffee lover is sure to enjoy.

Kona Coffee Beans

Kona coffee beans grow on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano in the Kona district of Hawaii. The perfect growing conditions for this highly sought-after coffee arise from the unique combination of rich volcanic soil, sunny mornings, and rainy afternoons.

Kona coffee is renowned for its smooth, rich flavor with a hint of sweetness and low acidity. Due to its limited production and high demand, it is one of the world’s most expensive coffees. Many coffee enthusiasts believe Kona coffee to be one of the best in the world. Specialty blends and gourmet coffee shops often feature it.

Racemosa Coffee beans

Racemosa coffee beans are often referred to as the “lost coffee,” as they were once thought to be extinct. However, in recent years, efforts have been made to revive the production of this unique coffee variety.

The racemosa plant is known for its tall stature, with some trees growing up to 30 feet tall. It is also resistant to pests and diseases, making it a hardy crop for farmers to cultivate.

One of the most unique characteristics of racemosa coffee is its taste. It has a distinct floral aroma and a flavor profile that is described as sweet and fruity, with notes of grapefruit, apricot, and plum.

Due to its rarity and unique taste, racemosa coffee is often considered a specialty coffee and can be quite expensive. It is typically grown in small quantities and is often used for blending with other coffee varieties to create a unique flavor profile.

Coffea liberica var. dewevrei

Coffea liberica var. dewevrei is a subspecies of Coffea liberica, which is commonly known as the Liberian coffee plant. It is native to West Africa and is one of the three primary coffee species that are commercially cultivated for their beans, alongside Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta.

Coffea liberica var. dewevrei is known for its large leaves, which can grow up to 50 cm in length, and its relatively low caffeine content compared to other coffee species. This makes it a popular choice for those who are sensitive to caffeine or prefer a milder coffee flavor.

Although Coffea liberica var. dewevrei is not as widely cultivated as Coffea arabica or Coffea robusta, it is still an important crop for many coffee-producing countries in West Africa.

The coffee beans produced by this species are typically used in blends to add complexity and depth to the flavor profile.

Coffea liberica var. dewevrei is also prized for its unique flavor profile, which is often described as having a bold, earthy taste with notes of dark chocolate and spice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the health benefits of drinking different types of coffee beans?

Different types of coffee beans offer health benefits, including antioxidant properties, caffeine content, and unique flavor profiles, making them an essential part of daily routines.

What are the ethical and sustainability concerns surrounding coffee bean production?

Fair Trade Certification, shade grown coffee beans, Rainforest Alliance certification, direct trade, and organic farming promote ethical and sustainable coffee production, ensuring fair prices, safe working conditions, and biodiversity preservation.

How does the roasting process impact the flavor profile of different coffee bean types?

Roasting techniques and grind size significantly influence coffee flavor, aroma, and taste. Understanding these factors helps choose beans that suit your preferences and brewing methods.

What is the most expensive coffee bean in the world and why?

Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee bean, is produced by civets digesting cherries, resulting in a labor-intensive, time-consuming process with a smooth, low-acid flavor.

How do the growing conditions affect the taste of the coffee beans?

Coffee bean flavor is influenced by factors like soil composition, altitude, moisture levels, temperature, and farming techniques. Understanding these factors helps appreciate the complexity and diversity of coffee.


So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to different coffee bean types. From the popular Arabica and Robusta to the lesser-known Liberica and Excelsa, each type has its own unique characteristics that contribute to the flavor profile of your cup of coffee.

As a coffee lover myself, I find it fascinating to learn about the various types of beans and how they are grown and processed. It’s amazing how something as simple as a coffee bean can have such a complex impact on our taste buds.

So next time you’re sipping on your favorite brew, take a moment to appreciate the journey that those little beans went through to end up in your cup.

And who knows, maybe you’ll even be inspired to try out some new varieties and expand your coffee horizons.