Types of Coffee Beans - Coffeo Couch

If your passion lies in coffee and the joy of sipping a warm cup, you’ve likely pondered the vast world of distinct types of coffee beans, each with its unique charm. Curious about what sets them apart? Look no further. We’ve got all the answers to demystify types of coffee beans and their exceptional qualities!

There are four types of coffee beans. Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and Liberica. All four have radically different taste profiles, Arabica and Robusta are the two types that dominate the world market. However, you could get fortunate and run into the alternative two. Keep browsing to learn about these flavorful beans and helpful buying tips.

1: Arabica Coffee Beans (Coffea arabica)

Arabica Coffee Beans-Coffeo Couch

Arabica beans are the most popular coffee beans in the world, making up nearly 60% or more of the world’s coffee production.

Why is it called “arabica”?

These tasty coffee beans originated in Ethiopia in the 7th century and went from Ethiopia to Arabia. These beans may even be the first coffee beans ever consumed!

The downside of Arabica beans is that they are tougher to grow. The arabica plant does not like intense climates; it likes humidity and can’t handle frost. The suitable temperatures are between 15°C and 24°C, and it wants to be grown in the shade. Because of this, these coffee beans are more expensive. Arabica beans usually require extra shade, water, and a high altitude of at least 1,900+ feet (600+ meters) from sea level. They’re also smaller plants and like to be grown on hillsides measuring between 8 to 15 feet when fully grown, and it takes seven years to be mature.

What does arabica coffee taste like?

Most coffee brands claim they use 100% Arabica beans because Arabica is believed to be the most high-quality variety. Arabica coffee should have a smooth and little sweet flavor.

Depending on where they’re cultivated, Arabica beans can offer many different tastes with hints of chocolate, caramel, and nuts and may also be fruit and berries from soil-like Indonesia to floral Ethiopia.
To surprise your tastebuds, pick a bag of single-origin Arabica coffee beans!

From where can you buy Arabica coffee beans?

Do you have go-to Arabica coffee? These beans are widely available, especially from epicure coffee brands, and they taste fantastic.

If you want to try Arabica, check the label to ensure it hasn’t blended with Robusta beans, the second variety.
A good quality arabica coffee might have cost a little more, but it’s worth it.

2: Robusta Coffee Beans (Coffea canephora)

Robusta Coffee Beans-Coffeo Couch

The second most famous variety of coffee beans is Robusta. It is made from the beans of the Coffea canephora plant. Robusta originated in sub-Saharan Africa and is now produced mainly in Africa and Indonesia. It’s also famous in Vietnam and often mixed into coffee blends. Robusta makes up 43% of coffee production worldwide. It’s a less-costly option for roasters due to its low price.

Robusta beans are bigger and better rounded than the other bean types. These plants usually grow much more significantly than Arabica, measuring between 15 to 20 feet. Robusta beans are generally more robust because they cultivate at lower altitudes and resist diseases. After new research, we found due to climate change; they don’t handle heat as well as we previously thought.

What does robusta coffee taste like?

Many people think Robusta is intenser and more bitter. Robusta has less acidity strong smell, and significantly more caffeine, making its taste a bit harsher than Arabica.
That’s why many coffee lovers turn up their noses at Robusta.

Where can you find Robusta beans?

So, do you think you’ll try Robusta? These beans are readily available since they’re common in blends. Some brands offer unique blends; you can check African and Vietnamese suppliers plus, instant coffees are typically 100% Robusta.

3. Liberica Coffee Beans (Coffea liberica)

Liberica Coffee Beans-Coffeo Couch

It’s a common perception that most coffee beans made commercially come just from two varieties: Arabica and Robusta. But actually, there are some other lesser-known varieties of coffee beans!

Liberica accounts for a small portion (roughly 1.5%) of the world’s coffee supply but is likely considered the third most famous bean.

It originated from central and western Africa, especially Liberia, thus its name Liberica. It’s also grown in the Philippines and central and south America, where it is most famous in a blend known as Barako.

Liberica is much loved for its flavorous aroma and solid fruity taste. This vital species is often mixed with other varieties to add uniqueness to the taste.

Liberica also tolerates hot and humid climates and grows at low altitudes. Because of it, Laberica beans are now produced, especially in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In Malaysia, around 95% of the coffee yield is Liberica beans.

What does Liberica coffee taste like?

Liberica coffee has a contentious reputation for wild inconsistency among coffee lovers. When people try Liberica, they either love it or hate it. It is bold and aromatic, and it features a solid fruity taste. But when made into coffee, it has a nutty, woody flavor.

Where can you buy Liberica beans?

The Philippines is the country where the most famous Liberica coffee is found, where it’s known as “kapeng barako,” which translates to “macho stud” in Philippine culture. It is still available in local markets and coffee shops across the country.

4: Excelsa Coffee Beans (Coffea excelsa)

Excelsa Coffee Beans-Coffeo Couch

One of the four main coffee types grown commercially is Excelsa, which has a share of 7% of the world’s coffee production. Until 2006 it was considered a separate coffee species, but now it is viewed as a type of Liberica variant, and they’re shaped relatively like Liberica beans. 

Production of Excelsa coffee beans is minimal, growing almost totally in Southeast Asia. It grows on 20 to 30-foot plants at medium altitudes.

What do they taste like?

Excelsa bean is unique in flavor, has a robust earthy taste, and is aromatic like Liberica. They are usually mixed with Arabica and Robusta to add complexity to the taste and enhance the flavor, making it more delicious.

Where can you find Excelsa beans?

Excelsa beans aren’t available as commonly as Arabica and Robusta beans, and it can be harder to find them outside of Asia. But luckily, some famous coffee brands offer Excelsa beans.

What Type of Coffee Beans Should You Choose?

Now you’re aware of the significant types of coffee beans, and it’s time to try them! If you want the finest coffee flavor and you want to save money and don’t want to pay extra, look for coffee that’s 100% Arabica and doesn’t mind a slight bitterness. Go for a Robusta or a blend of Arabica and Robusta. And if you’re looking for something more about the various roast levels, our guide “4 Main Types of Coffee Roasts” can provide you with detailed insights.

And if you have something remarkable in mind, look for Liberica or Excelsa beans, and be prepared for an extensive search! These rare coffee beans can be delectable but challenging to find. For those eager to explore a wide range of coffee drinks, you might enjoy our comprehensive list of “25 Different Types of Coffee Drinks”.

We always recommend buying whole coffee beans and grinding them just before brewing. This extra effort is well worth it, as you’ll get excellent flavor and freshness, no matter which coffee bean you choose.

To learn more about the fascinating journey of coffee beans from fruit to brew, explore our in-depth article here.