Four types of coffee beans: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, Excelsa

Exploring the Four Types of Coffee Beans: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa

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When it comes to our beloved cup of coffee, each sip carries a unique story influenced by the type of coffee bean used. The world of coffee is rich and diverse, with a multitude of flavours and characteristics attributed to different coffee bean varieties. To celebrate the diversity of coffee, let’s embark on a journey to explore the four primary types of coffee beans: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa. From the delicate and nuanced flavours of Arabica to the bold and rustic profile of Robusta, each type of coffee bean takes you on a distinct sensory journey. Whether you're a coffee aficionado or simply curious about the wonders of your favourite morning brew, this exploration will deepen your understanding and appreciation of the diverse world of coffee beans.

Introducing The Fantastic Four of Coffee

What is Arabica Coffee?

Arabica coffee is the most popular type of coffee bean, accounting for around 60% of the world's coffee production. It originates from the high-altitude regions of Central and South America, as well as some parts of Africa and Asia. Arabica growing regions include places like Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Guatemala. The Arabica coffee plant is actually a small tree that stands between 2m and 8m tall and has evergreen, usually shiny leaves. The flowers are white and sweetly scented, and the fruits are red, but sometimes yellow or purple. Each fruit produces two green seeds, which are commonly known as coffee beans.

Arabica Coffee Taste Profile

One of the key factors that distinguish Arabica coffee is its incredible flavour profile. Arabica beans are known for their delicate and nuanced notes, offering a wide range of taste experiences. The taste can vary depending on factors such as the region, soil composition, climate, and processing methods. Common characteristics include hints of fruitiness like berries or citrus, floral undertones, and aftertastes of chocolate, caramel, or nuts. Arabica coffee is often celebrated for its well-balanced acidity, which lends brightness and liveliness to the cup.


Get some 100% Arabica Coffee: Aussie Arabica, Baba's Beard, Brekkie Blend, Crema Koala, No Worries Brew

Arabica coffee beans

Arabica Coffee Beans

Robusta Coffee Beans

Robusta Coffee Beans

What is Robusta Coffee?

Robusta coffee is the second most commonly cultivated coffee species globally – accounting for nearly 40% of global coffee production. It is often used in commercial blends and instant coffees due to its affordability and ability to provide a consistent flavour profile. Additionally, Robusta's higher caffeine content makes it appealing to those seeking an extra energy boost.

Robusta Coffee Taste Profile

Robusta coffee is characterised by its robust nature, often described as earthy and strong. It possesses a higher bitterness and lower acidity compared to Arabica. It can exhibit notes of dark chocolate, nuts, and even hints of grain-like or woody flavours. Robusta is commonly used in espresso blends due to its ability to produce a rich crema.


Have a Robusta blend: Blend Down Under, Kangabrew, Outback Roast

What is Liberica Coffee?

Liberica coffee is a rare and unique coffee bean that stems from the liberica tree, which is huge in stature and grows up to 18 metres tall. However, it is often overlooked due to its scarcity as it currently accounts for less than 2% of the global coffee crop. Originating from West and Central Africa, liberica has gained popularity in recent years but remains underutilised in the global coffee market. Today, Liberica coffee is grown primarily in Southeast Asia, including countries like the Philippines and Malaysia.

Liberica Coffee Taste Profile

Liberica coffee has a distinct and unique flavour, often described as bold, smoky, and sometimes floral. It tends to have a full-bodied and intense taste, with prominent woody and fruity notes. Liberica is known for its low acidity and can offer a different sensory experience for coffee connoisseurs seeking something out of the ordinary.

Liberica Coffee Beans

Liberica Coffee Beans

Excelsa coffee beans

Excelsa Coffee Beans

What is Excelsa Coffee?

Excelsa coffee, which is classified as a subspecies of liberica, is a lesser-known variant, making up a tiny portion of worldwide coffee production and consumption. This type of coffee bean still offers a distinctive flavour profile and its own unique characteristics. Excelsa coffee beans are typically grown in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines. This variety is known for its versatility, as it can be used as a standalone coffee or blended with other types to enhance their depth and complexity. 

Excelsa Coffee Taste Profile

Excelsa coffee is often described as complex and multidimensional. It can exhibit a wide range of taste notes, including fruity, tart, and even dark and smoky flavours. Excelsa is known for providing a distinct and adventurous sensory experience, making it an intriguing option for coffee enthusiasts.

Differences Between the Beans

The key differences between these coffee beans lie in their origin, taste profiles, and market prevalence. Arabica is the most popular and widely consumed, known for its delicate and nuanced flavours. Robusta, on the other hand, has a bolder taste, higher caffeine content, and is often used in espresso blends. Liberica and Excelsa offer distinct and unique sensory experiences, with Liberica being deep and smoky, while Excelsa provides a more complex and multidimensional experience.

Choosing The Coffee Bean For You

When it comes to choosing the best coffee bean for you, it ultimately boils down to personal preference. Arabica is a safe bet for those with more refined and delicate tastes, while Robusta appeals to those seeking a bolder and more robust experience. Liberica and Excelsa offer unique and adventurous options for those looking to explore new sensory experiences. By understanding the characteristics of each coffee bean type, you can make an informed decision and embark on a coffee journey that excites your taste buds. So, go ahead and savour the world of coffee, one bean at a time.

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