Globally, coffee ranks among the top beverages. But among its varieties, one variety is widely consumed and accounts for 70% of the global’s production.
As a coffee drinker, you must be familiar with its distinctive bittersweet taste and the aroma drifting through the air in every brew.
Arabic coffee is one of the most popular java bean varieties in the world. Not only does it offer antioxidants and mood enhancement, but this variety of coffee also offers aromatherapy benefits.
Originally from Ethiopia’s highlands, it is commercially grown in Africa, Asia, and America within the tropics.
Arabica coffee has earned a reputation as the world’s “superior” grade of coffee for its notable characteristics: low acidity, higher caffeine, full-body, and mildly sweet taste.
So what is arabica coffee? And what makes it different? To address these questions and more, we shall look at;
Coffee Brands Made From 100% Arabica
100% Arabica coffee is the highest quality and most expensive coffee you can buy.
Arabica comprises over 90% of grade coffee beans.
For instance, most specialty coffee in North America, Australia, and Europe are Arabica coffees, ranging from $7 per pound to $20 per pound.
However, not all brands use 100% Arabica. They are often mixed with cheaper robusta because of their higher yields and better resistance to roasting.
The public has a negative perception of Robusta beans. But master coffee roasters know how to blend them into blends to get the best results.
Robusta is indeed inferior, but they have a strong flavor when blended with Arabica beans.
Robusta coffees have higher caffeine content per pound than arabica, and they produce a richer crema. Therefore, robustas are typically an excellent choice for espresso blends, accounting for 10%-30% of a blend.
Exclusive arabica coffee sold in the market is labeled 100% arabica. But if none is labeled as such, as an alternative, you can choose single-origin Arabica coffees.
Arabica Coffee Comes In Many Varieties.
Globally, arabica is – without a doubt – the most commonly favored variety of coffee among producers and consumers.
It makes up most of the world’s production and is known for having a higher quality and a flavor that stands out above the robusta coffee.
Nevertheless, this widely loved coffee is also divided into varieties, including
Bourbon and Typica are two of the world’s most distinct Arabica coffee varieties.
Scientists have developed many varieties, strains, and hybrids from them, further increasing the popularity of arabica coffee.
Coffee breeders genetically change coffee plants to produce strains, varieties, or hybrids specifically to;
- Improve the flavor of the coffee beans
- Make the tree healthier and less prone to diseases like coffee leaf rust
- Increase production
Even though this is an effective strategy to improve its flavor, disease resistance, yield, and variety, it takes longer to achieve the desired results.
In most cases, it can take up to 5 years for the trees to produce fruits.
Cultivation Of Arabica Coffee
Arabica Coffee, the most well-known and commercially significant species of coffee, primarily grows at higher altitudes.
It grows at an altitude between 2,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level in tropical and subtropical climates.
But the production does well at altitudes between 4000 and 6000 feet above sea level.
Arabica coffee is grown in several countries within the tropics, including Uganda, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Turkey, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sumatra.
Arabica Coffee Species Classification
A renowned European botanist Dr. Linnaeus gave the plant its name Coffea arabica, derived from Arabic Arabic, meaning “coffee bean.”
Among Linnaeus’s many contributions is his identification and classification of the Arabian peninsula’s flora.
There is no question that arabica coffee beans are the most popular type of gourmet coffee beans on the market today. They are widely used because they produce brews with a good body and rich flavor.
Most of the coffee grown for export is Arabica (Coffea arabica), accounting for 70%.
Robusta (Coffea canephora var. robusta) is the second-most grown coffee and Liberica (Coffea liberica).accounts for the rest of the world’s production.
While it’s true that Arabica beans have more flavor than Robusta beans, it does not imply that every gourmet coffee bean is arabica.
Caffeine levels in Robusta beans are twice the levels in arabica beans.
Arabica Coffee Growing Regions
Ideally, arabica coffee grows in areas with tropical climates at high altitudes around the equator.
It grows in many places within the tropics, including East Africa and Central Africa, Latin America, India, and Indonesia.
Most of the coffee produced in these areas has a vast market in Australia, Europe, and North America.
On the other hand, robusta coffee thrives in low-altitude regions like Vietnam.
It is the most widely consumed coffee in Southeast Asia, primarily because of its lower price.
Some love robusta coffee because it has a bolder flavor but needs to be mixed with milk and other flavors to mask the bitterness.
Arabica Coffee Plant: Botanical Description
Easily identified by dark green oval-shaped leaves, it takes about eight months for arabica’s fruits (cherries) to ripen.
Genetically, arabica is distinct from other plants since it comprises four rather than two chromosome sets.
What Makes Arabica Coffee Different From Robusta Coffee
Here is a brief overview of the major differences between arabica and robusta coffee.
- The two are similar in taste, but there is one big difference: Arabica tastes better.
- One of the most significant differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee is that the former has fewer caffeine levels.
- Arabica coffee and robusta coffee might look similar, but they taste different and have different roasting techniques.
- Arabica coffee is the superior coffee bean because of its rich aroma and full-bodied flavor.
- The most common coffee beans in the world are Arabica coffee. They have a deeper flavor because they’re sweeter and milder. The less popular Robusta coffee, on the other hand, is more bitter and pungent.
- Robusta coffee is often mixed with Arabica coffee to increase the quantity of coffee produced. The former has a more astringent and bitter taste than arabica, which is smoother and sweeter.
- Arabica coffee is more challenging to grow and more costly to produce because it is more vulnerable to pests, diseases, and pest infestations.
- In addition, Arabica coffee plants are more sensitive to temperature fluctuations and less productive than Robusta varieties.
- Arabica and robusta coffee plants grow in different regions under different climatic conditions. High altitude favors arabica, and robusta thrives in low lands.
- To maintain high-quality cherries, arabica plants require more attention during cultivation and harvest.
Arabica coffee is the most sought-after coffee drink for its distinct aroma and full-bodied flavor. It’s no surprise that it’s such a beloved worldwide drink.
Arabica Coffee (Coffea arabica L) accounts for about 70% of the world’s coffee production, mainly in Africa, Asia, and America within the tropics.
Though similar in many regards, arabica and Robusta coffee beans specifically differ in flavor and quality.
It is milder and softer than Robusta Coffee but has the lowest caffeine content.
Many love it because it has more flavor and aroma than other varieties when consumed with no additives or sweeteners.
Brewers love it for its high acidity, which makes for a dazzling, clear, and sweet cup of coffee that is not bitter.
Arabica dominates the premium and specialty markets worldwide because of its superior taste; they’re also the preferred bean for home brewing.
They provide an unmistakable and ubiquitous flavor that makes them perfect for blending with other varieties of coffee.
And when buying coffee, do you always insist on 100% arabica coffee?