Coffee isn’t just a simple drink we grab on our way to work in the mornings. Today coffee is a separate cultural phenomenon and a true coffee lover knows just how important is the taste of high-quality coffee. If you are familiar with different coffee characteristics, you probably know that aroma, strength, taste and an aftertaste depend not on preparation process, but also the type of coffee beans. In addition, the conditions of growing and processing are also very important for the taste.
There are numerous types of coffee beans, but the main ones are: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica. What are they and how they differ from each other? I invite you to join me on a journey, where you can learn more about different types of coffee beans and their characteristics.
Arabica – the most popular coffee type in the world
Arabica are the first beans used in coffee industry, as well as the most popular to this day. High quality coffee will have a sweet taste combined with hints of chocolate, nuts and caramel. Fruit and berries felt in the taste provide mild acidity and some bitterness to the whole palette. Taste also depends on roasting, place of origin or even the soil where coffee beans were grown.
Arabica coffee beans are best when grown in a tropical climate near the equator, and the best quality coffee beans come to us from South America and Africa. Most of them are grown in Brazil.
Robusta, Liberica and coffee blends
Robusta coffee is significant for its stronger and slightly more bitter taste with a grain and peanut aftertaste. This type of coffee has a considerably higher amount of caffeine when comparing with Arabica coffee beans. Coffee blends that contain Robusta beans work really well on milk-based coffee drinks. Even if you add a large amount of milk, the strong flavour of coffee would still remain.
Bitter and stronger taste says a lot about the way coffee beans were grown. They are more resistant to pests, can grow at a lower altitude, and are less sensitive to weather conditions, that’s why they can grow in Africa and Indonesia, with the vast majority growing in Vietnam.
The rarest type out of the three is Liberica. This coffee doesn’t have an exceptionally rich taste, therefore it’s usually used for instant coffee, or in production of cosmetics. This type of coffee beans hold only 1% of total coffee beans market in the world.
When roasting, coffee beans change their colour and flavour. In order to maintain a stable taste in the whole production series, manufacturers combine various types of Arabica coffee beans, or supplement blends with Robusta. Even though in coffee blends the beans looks similar, Arabica can be easily distinguished from Robusta. Robusta coffee beans are more oval and a little bit smaller than Arabica type.
We talked this much about different types of coffee beans and their origins for a reason. It’s one of the main criteria when choosing the most suitable coffee, since everyone could taste coffee and smell the aroma differently.
Here are some tips to remember when searching for your favourite flavour:
1. Different manufacturers, different flavours
You’ve already got acquainted with different types of coffee beans, now all is left – choose which flavours should dominate in your cup of coffee: mildness, fruit flavours, or maybe slight bitterness? Or would you prefer them all together? If so, it is time to make our way to the tasting stage. In our assortment you will find 8 different manufacturers’ products, and the journey to find your favourite one will be narrowed down by deciding which flavours you want to feel in your cup the most.
2. Roasting levels – from light to strong
Different roasting levels impact different features of the bean. Light roasting is usually used for high-quality Arabica beans, because it reveals the most characteristics and doesn’t hide unique flavours. For example, Coffee Mate’s “Maragogype” coffee is roasted lightly, and has a subtle fruity flavour, which later develops into a tingling and spicy herb aftertaste.
Medium roast is one of the most popular among coffee blends. It ensures the balance between all different types of coffee beans inside the blend, and gives a solid brown colour and a little bit of a natural oil gloss. Medium roasted beans could develop baked caramel or bitter chocolate flavours. These flavours will become familiar if you try “Caprissimo Fragrante” or “Caprissimo Belgique” coffee, both roasted in Belgium according to a custom Coffee Mate’s order.
Strongly roasted coffee beans are leading the intensive, strong coffee competition. These coffee beans often come with a phrase “espresso”, and usually have Robusta beans in the blend, for even more flavour and a higher caffeine level. If you are looking for this type of coffee, we have this particular one in our assortment – dressed in black “Caprissimo Espresso” coffee beans package.
If you want to enjoy the freshest coffee possible, always pay attention to the roasting date. Not every manufacturer are determined to mark the date of roasting or validation dates, so think carefully if those beans deserve your attention. A little hole on the packaging allows carbon dioxide get out of the bag, and blocks oxygen of getting in. This technique keeps the coffee beans as fresh as possible.
4. Whole beans or ground coffee?
In order to enjoy fresh coffee every day, firstly get to know the manufacturer, his coffee assortment, and exceptional qualities for each type of coffee he’s offering. Delicious, high-quality coffee isn’t always the most expensive, everything depends on the taste you like and prefer.
Of course, the taste also depends on a preparation process. So the next step – a suitable way to prepare your coffee just the way you like it.
Those who prefer their coffee prepared quickly and of high-quality, should consider a fully automatic coffee machine. And those who enjoy coffee preparation with pre-ground coffee, will find only medium ground coffees in our assortment – meaning that when brewing coffee grounds will stably sink to the bottom of the cup and you will be able to taste the whole palette of flavours every time.