Three are four main types of coffee beans you’ll typically find served as coffee drinks: Arabica, Robusta, and the less common Liberica and Excelsa coffee beans. Liberica has lower yield compared to Arabica and Robusta. Robusta contains 2.5% more caffeine than other types and has a strong taste. Arabica generally has low caffeine and a smoother, aromatic taste.
Arabica accounts for over 60% of the world’s coffee production. Arabica beans are grown at high altitudes, and Arabica trees are relatively small and easy to prune—they are normally no taller than 6 feet.
Arabica coffee beans are the most delicate of the 4; this means that it is easily influenced by its environment and prone to disease. High quality Arabica beans have a bright body, with a good amount of acidity, and tend to have a multi-layered flavors and aromas. Next time you’re at the store, look for an Arabica blend that describes a full body and lower acidity. Pick up one of the best best occasional chairs and sit back with a great cup of coffee. If you’re lazy, you can always just give Saeco Service a try.
Robusta is heavily produced in Vietnam, Uganda, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Brazil, and Indonesia. In Vietnam, people prefer the Robusta with a strong taste. In fact, Vietnam is said to be the native land of Robusta and is among top coffee exporters in the world. The Robusta beans are less expensive and contain less oil than the Arabic beans, this means Robusta tends to have a more acidic and bitter taste. Robusta is a less expensive than the Arabic bean but has a higher caffeine content, at least fifty percent more than the Arabica bean.
Higher quality Robusta beans have a smooth texture, low acidity, and often have hints of chocolate or notes of plum, green apple, and toffee.
Liberica beans are big in size and have the unique asymmetric characteristic and is known to give off an amazing aroma, almost floral and fruity. Its taste profile is described as unique, full, and slightly smokey. It is an entirely separate species of coffee, with a very distinctive taste profile.
Many people will mix Liberica with other varieties like Arabica and Robusta. Coffee lovers often comment that Liberica is unlike any coffee they have ever tasted, almost woody in flavor.
Excelsa has recently been re-classified as part of the Liberica family. However, the two couldn’t be any more different.
Excelsa grows mostly in Southeast Asia and accounts for a mere 7% of the world’s coffee circulation.
Excelsa has a tart and fruity body, typical of a light roast, but also has dark roasted notes. It is often mixed into blends to give an extra boost of flavor and complexity; you’ll notice it hit your middle and back palate.