4 Types Of Coffee Beans Every Beginner Should Know

types of coffee beans

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As a beginner in the coffee world, have you ever wondered how many types of coffee beans are there?

What does coffee each bean taste like? Do you know what type of bean to buy to get the best tasting beverage?

These are all the questions that many people may have when looking for their next cup of java.

Take your next morning and afternoon break and read up on these four types of coffee beans so you can brew up a nice hot dose in no time.

I am sure that you would like to know more about the various types of beans out there.

This article will give you an overview of 4 different types of coffee beans.

You will be able to see how they are different and what kind suits your taste best!

How Are Coffee Beans Obtained?

Coffee beans are actually seeds of cherries found in coffee fruit. The coffee fruit is usually red in color when ripe, but it may also come in other colors like yellow or purple.

Coffee beans are one of the few commodities that can still be picked by hand.

At present, over half of the world’s coffee comes from developing countries, including Ethiopia, Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam.

Coffee beans are usually picked when they are ripe and ready to be processed.

Coffee beans can be many different colors! You may see them green, yellow or even red when you buy them.

The color of coffee beans does not affect their quality in any way at all, so you do not need to worry about that!

Now that you know how coffee beans are obtained let’s look at the four main types of coffee beans available today.

According to reports, there are over 100 types of wild varieties of coffee plants globally, each having its distinct characteristics.

However, only four types are widely available on the market today.

Let’s take a look at the different types of coffee beans and characteristics of each for you to know the best type of coffee bean for you.

What are the 4 Types Of Coffee Beans?

Arabica Coffee Beans

This is the most popular type of bean that is cultivated worldwide.

Arabica plants are best known for their fragrance which can be identified by the citrusy aroma when they are roasted.

Arabica plants have thick hard leaves which makes them resistant to diseases and pests.

Today, about 70% of the coffee produced worldwide is made from arabica plants!

It is also considered the most expensive coffee in the world with a single cup costing more than $100.

Next time you are in for a coffee break, you may opt for an arabica coffee to savor its delicate aroma and mild taste.

Characteristics of Arabica Coffee Beans

The characteristics of Arabica Coffee Beans are that they are generally small, round, and grow in clusters.

They also have a tightly curled seed-coat exposing the coffee beans throughout the fruit.

The plant can reach heights of up to 5 meters and it can be grown at various altitudes. It is found in tropical and subtropical climatic regions of South America, Africa, and Asia.

The high altitude of this plant allows it to withstand the lower temperatures which are more prevalent in these regions.

The rich soil that they grow in gives them higher yields.

Robusta Coffee Beans

Robusta plants are commonly found in Africa, India and Brazil.

They are easy to grow and sometimes it is called the “workhorse” of the coffee industry because it can survive low-quality soil conditions.

When compared to Arabica, Robusta has a slightly more bitter flavor and contains more caffeine content.

It is usually used in instant coffees or ground coffee due to its higher resistance to molds when exposed to humid environments.

Robusta coffee beans can also be used in cooking and baking.

Characteristics Of Robusta Coffee Beans

Robusta beans, while not a popular coffee type, do have a few distinguishing features that make them worth the time of any coffee drinker.

They’re typically smaller and denser than arabica beans, and they offer a more pronounced coffee-bean flavor than arabica beans.

This flavor is often described as sour, often with exotic taste notes.

Therefore, if you have a taste for the exotic, robusta is a great choice for you.

Excelsa Coffee Bean

Next, there is the Excelsa coffee bean. Excelsa coffee is known as the mildest of the four with less caffeine.

It has a “distinctive” flavor and is often used in blends to add body and fullness.

It’s difficult to know what makes an Excelsa coffee bean so special when you can’t actually see them in the wild.

Unlike Arabica, the beans are perennial meaning it takes longer for them to grow.

This also makes them very expensive as they only grow in Brazil, Colombia and Central America.

Characteristics Of Excelsa Coffee Beans

Excelsa coffee beans are grown in Peru. They are harvested between November and December, which is just before the rainy season.

This coffee is grown at high altitudes, has a low acidity level, and has low caffeine content compared to the other types of beans.

Liberica Coffee Bean

Last but not least we have the Liberica coffee bean.

Liberica coffee beans come from the country of Liberia and are known for their chocolate and nutty flavors, as well as a good caffeine count.

Liberica is a highly prized coffee bean but only accounts for approximately 1% of the world market for coffee beans.

Characteristics of Liberica coffee bean

Liberica coffee beans are small, heart-shaped beans that originate in the West African country of Liberia.

Liberica coffee beans are similar to Arabica coffee beans, but have a distinctive taste and aroma.

These qualities make Liberica coffee beans highly prized and sought after. The coffee is bright and fruity and has a rich aroma.

Flavor Profile

Now let’s take a look at the different types of coffee beans and taste of each variety.

I think this is equally important to know the varying tastes of each type of coffee beans.

Arabica Coffee Bean

Out of all the different types of coffee beans, Arabica is the most widely produced type of coffee bean around the world.

It is great for brewing any coffee drink, even espresso blends are best when tasted with Arabica beans.

It has a velvety smooth taste with a hint of citrusy aroma that makes it one of the most sought-after coffees in the market today.

Robusta Coffee Bean

This is also one of the most commonly used types in the producing industry.

in terms of flavor, it has a strong and earthy taste.

This bean is robust enough to withstand humid conditions and poor environments (comparing to Arabica) which makes it ideal for quick grinding and instant brews.

These beans are typically used for instant coffee, ground coffee, and also blended with arabica beans for specialty coffees.

These robusta beans are slightly oily, acidic, and full-bodied in taste.

Excelsa Coffee Bean

The least bitter of the four types of beans, but it still packs a good punch.

This type of coffee bean is great for brewing stronger espresso blends as it adds body to the drink.

Liberica Coffee Bean

Drinking Liberica has become popular in recent years.

It has a unique taste that is heavy on the chocolate flavor.

This coffee bean is best brewed at high altitudes where it can maintain its natural sweetness.

Is Arabica Good For You?

The health benefits of Arabica coffee beans are well documented.

Arabica coffee is high in antioxidants and phytonutrients that provide many health benefits.

For example, Arabica beans contain compounds that act as natural pesticides.

Consequently, coffee drinkers may have to take less medication than if they drink beverages made with other coffee types.

Due to the antioxidant content of Arabica beans, they inhibit the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol and other potentially harmful substances.

Their antioxidant activity also assists in repairing cellular damage caused by free radicals.

Most importantly, Arabica is good for your heart because it contains high levels of the amino acid L-theanine.

This not only makes it good for the body but also for improving cognitive performance.

Cons Of Using Arabica Coffee Beans

The best coffee beans, as a result of their volatile price, are those made from Arabica plants.

These coffee beans are the most expensive and have been used since the 1600s.

The reason they’re so expensive is that they’re grown at high altitudes, which makes them more vulnerable to environmental factors.

Although this does increase the quality of Arabica beans, it also makes them relatively scarce.

Are Robusta Coffee Beans Good?

On the other hand, Robusta is low in antioxidants and has not been thoroughly studied in relation to health benefits.

It is often mixed with Arabica to give it a stronger flavor and create blends.

The majority of the Robusta beans are cultivated in Africa, so if you’re looking for high-quality coffee beans, these are not the ones you want.

However, this bean is perfect if you’re looking for something that will keep you awake.

Some say that the caffeine levels in this bean are higher than any other type of bean.

Cons of Using Robusta Coffee Beans

The biggest issue with using robusta beans is the taste.

When you use robusta beans, your coffee will taste like it’s been mixed with dirt and chemicals.

Also, people who like bold and rich flavors often find that Robusta beans don’t compliment their tastes well and that the bitterness gets in the way of their tasting experience.

Just like Arabica, this type of bean has a negative effect on the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol and other potentially harmful substances.  

Are Excelsa Coffee Beans Good For You?

Excelsa coffee beans are often mixed with Robusta or Arabica to increase the flavor of their beans. However, this does not mean that Excelsa is not good for you.

There really aren’t any health benefits to be had by drinking coffee made from Excelsa, due to its moderate caffeine content.

However, some people do prefer the taste of this type of bean.

Cons of Using Excelsa Coffee Beans

The biggest issue with the Excelsa coffee bean is the fact that it is not as widely available as Arabica or Robusta.

Excelsa is not the best coffee bean to use for specialty coffee drinks.

It does not have a lower acid content than other beans, so it can affect your body’s ability to absorb cholesterol and other potentially harmful substances.

It doesn’t always produce a high-quality cup of coffee either.

If prepared poorly, the taste of this bean becomes overpowering, and it can make you cringe.

This is why using Excelsa beans in combination with Arabica and Robusta is such a popular trend in the coffee industry, especially in countries like Colombia and Brazil.

Liberica Coffee Bean Benefits

The Liberica coffee bean has a higher concentration of phytonutrients than Arabica or Robusta.

It also contains good levels of both caffeine and Catechins.

This means that these beans can be just as effective as Arabica in terms of brain function and the cardiovascular system.

Cons of Using Liberica Coffee Beans

Although Liberica is as nutritious as Arabica or Robusta, that doesn’t mean that it’s good for your health.

This coffee type tastes smokey and woody.

If you’re already trying to avoid bitter tastes, then this may not be the coffee bean for you.

How To Choose The Best Coffee Beans?

Learning how to choose the best coffee beans is a skill that takes time to master.

However, it is important that coffee enthusiasts learn how to distinguish between different types of beans so that they know what they are drinking.

Finding the Best Coffee Beans

The first thing that you need to do when buying coffee beans is to try out the various different types of beans.

When you are purchasing coffee beans, it can be easy to only focus on the price tag, even though there are many other factors that go into making your perfect morning cup.

The best way to begin your search is by using the term “dark roast” as a general reference point.

Dark roast coffees are those with stronger flavors and bolder flavors, which is why they are typically used for espresso blends.

On the other hand, light roasted coffees are weaker in flavor, which is why they are used in filter coffee brews.

If you are getting into brewing your own coffee, then it’s best to go for a lighter roast.

As you get more experienced at making coffee, you can start to experiment with darker roasts, such as the French roasts and Italian roasts.

Different roasting methods can also affect the taste of your coffee, especially when it comes to aroma and acidity.

Likewise, the origin of your beans will also begin to affect how they taste.

How To Tell The Best Coffee Beans From The Rest

Once you have selected your coffee beans, it is time to start tasting.

Although many people associate Robusta with lower quality, this does not mean that it is automatically low quality.

It just means that they are not as high in quality as Arabica out of all the different types of beans.

Whichever type of coffee bean that you choose to purchase, you will always want to pay attention to the way that they look.

If you are buying coffee beans in their raw form, then you will want to look for beans that are uniform in color.

You should also look for beans that have a shiny appearance.

However, if you are purchasing the pre-ground coffee beans, then this isn’t as important.

The reason why is because the darker roasted Arabica has a nicer appearance than the lighter roast Robusta.

The aroma of your coffee beans is another factor that can help you determine their quality.

If you open up a bag and take a whiff, then you should check to see if it has an earthy or smoky smell.

On the other hand, you should look for more appealing smells, such as fruity or berry scents.

Lastly, some coffee beans have stronger flavors than others, which is why some people prefer to buy their coffee beans professionally roasted.

The amount of caffeine that your coffee contains is another factor that can help you determine its quality.

If you are buying the pre-ground coffee beans, then this isn’t an issue since the more caffeine that it will contain is already mixed in with the other ingredients.

However, if you are using whole beans, then this does matter. Whole beans have more caffeine than pre-ground.

The reason why is that grinding coffee releases carbon dioxide, which can result in a loss of caffeine after the beans are roasted.

This is also where professional roasting comes in handy.

If you are buying whole beans, then it is important to look for the terms “specialty grade” or “fine grind” on the package.

These terms will help you know that you are purchasing higher-quality coffee beans.

Where To Buy Coffee Beans?

When trying to find the best coffee beans, you will want to purchase them from a reputable store. But choosing the right store can be hard to do.

There are many different stores that sell coffee beans and they all have their own unique styles and setup.

The first thing that you will want to do is decide which types of coffee beans you want.

If you are already using an appliance such as a French press, then the possibilities are even greater for finding the best coffee beans.

If there is one type of bean that you like to use, then such as filtered or espresso blends, then it may be better to stick with just that type of bean.

On the other hand, if you want to try out some new beans, then it would be best to purchase a variety of different types.

If you want to find more information about how coffee beans and the roasting processes work, then you should read this article on coffee bean roasting.

Last but certainly not least, look into where your store is located.

There are many different types of people out there who love coffee and for some, drinking their morning cup is one of life’s great pleasures.

But it’s not always easy finding the best coffee beans.

The process should begin by figuring out what kind of coffee tastes good to your palate to start with—whether it’s strong, mild, or flavored.

Final Thoughts on Types Of Coffee Beans

If you are deciding which of the many types of coffee beans to buy, then there are many different types of them to choose from.

There are both fresh and pre-ground coffee beans, along with dark roast and lighter roasted.

And while most people start out buying ground coffee beans because it’s easier, it’s usually not a good idea to ignore the other options since they still have different flavors and complexities.

In general, when choosing your coffee beans, it’s best if you pick something that will add up flavor because the more flavor there is in the bean, the more delicious your cup of coffee will be.

Once you have decided on the type of coffee bean that you want to use, then it’s time to think about how often you’re going to take your coffee.

Whether it’s every day or just a couple of times a week, think about how much you’re going to drink.

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