While coffee is a staple component of daily routine, not many people know where it comes from.
Most of us would want to have a cup of this rich and strong beverage before we start our day. It helps us to clear our minds and get the caffeine boost that will allow us to perform our daily activities.
However, not many of us ponder upon the thought of knowing the origin of coffee. This article will give you an insight into the different kinds of coffee beans available in the market.
It will help you to get a better idea about what type of coffee beans to choose since they have a significant impact on the taste and flavour.
What is the Source of Coffee Beans?
The source where the farmers get the coffee beans is a coffee plant. These plants are known to grow very high, which is why the farmers have to trim them so they are at a manageable height. Few cherries will grow on the coffee plants which contain beans inside them.
It will take around 12 months on average before the coffee plants start producing white flowers. After that, it will take around 4 years for the coffee plant to start bearing fruit. Usually, it takes around a decade for the plants to start producing coffee beans.
These coffee beans provide the highest value to the farmers. On average, a coffee plant has a lifecycle of 3 to 4 decades but it can survive longer than that if you take proper care of them.
The berries will start to turn red, indicating that the beans are ready for picking. However, it requires vigilance to know when the berries are ready for harvest. This is because picking up the berries before or after the time of harvest can significantly impact the taste of the coffee.
Different Coffee Beans Types that You Need to Know
You might wonder whether different plants produce different types of coffee beans. The answer is yes as there are more than 100 different types of plants that produce a variety of coffee beans. However, it usually comes down to types of beans: Arabica and Robusta.
What are Robusta Coffee Beans?
The Robusta coffee beans contain lower acidity than the Arabica coffee beans. Therefore, it has a more bitter taste than its Arabica counterparts. They are usually grown in altitudes that are not more than 1,000 meters. It is usually produced in the South East Asian countries like Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Some countries in the African region also have an optimal environment for harvesting Robusta coffee beans. Since it has a lower acidity level than Arabica coffee beans, Robusta has deeper and stronger flavour elements. It is also the reason most people choose it for making espresso.
The rich flavour and the thick layer of crema make it an optimal choice for espresso lovers. In addition to the coffee beans, the Robusta plants can also produce rubber and wood.
One of the best things about the Robusta plant is that they are much quicker in producing fruits compared to the Arabica. Usually, Arabica trees have a lesser yield per tree than Robusta and can take many years before they reach maturity level.
Also, they have a better resistance level to harsh weather conditions, insects, and pests. It is one of the primary aspects of why the Robusta is less expensive than the Arabica.
Besides that, the higher caffeine content is also the reason why people would prefer to buy these coffee beans. The characteristics of the Robusta beans are that they have a smaller size and are more circular.
What are Arabica Coffee Beans?
The Arabica coffee beans are believed to be the oldest coffee species that have existed since 1,000 BC. It is the most popular type of coffee bean that is consumed today. According to statistics, the value of the global coffee market was around $107.93 billion in the year 2020/21.
The physical features of the Arabica beans are that it is in oval shape and are larger than the Robusta beans. Moreover, their centre crease is also quite striking. Coffee connoisseurs around the world love to consume Arabica beans because of their complex and dynamic flavour.
While they have a higher acidity level compared to Robusta beans. Its sweet and softer taste makes it a preferable choice. Additionally, coffee drinkers will find notes of floral, caramel, fruits, nuts, and chocolate.
However, Arabica coffee beans have a relatively higher price than Robusta. The primary reason is that the cultivation process of these coffee beans requires much more specification. They need to be handled delicately and require certain altitude and weather conditions for proper growth.
Usually, the altitude for the optimal growth of Arabica coffee beans is between 500 meters to 2,500 meters. These types of coffee beans have a lower caffeine content and are usually found in Latin American countries such as Brazil.
Also read on: Which coffee is better Arabica or Robusta?
Are there Decaf Coffee Beans?
Whether it is the Arabica, Robusta, or any other type of coffee bean, there will always be some level of caffeine in each of them. Coffee producers can carry out the decaffeination process before the roasting to remove the caffeine from the beans.
It usually involves swelling the beans with steam or water and then removing the caffeine through the solvents or carbon. Next, the producers will dry the beans to remove the excess moisture from the beans.
Even then, there would be some level of caffeine still present in the bean. No matter how many times you pass the beans through the decaffeination process, it will not completely remove the caffeine.
We hope you now have a clear idea about the different types of coffee beans available in the market, you can purchase the one that is suitable for your needs and preferences. A reputable brand will always give you a clear idea regarding the coffee beans they are providing you with.