Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Although about five varieties of coffee are grown in the world, only four of them are prepared for the coffee markets.These are Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and Liberica.
Arabica coffee beans are the most popular. They have a predominantly floral taste and are often used to make cold brews and instant coffee. Their name comes from the coffee variety’s popularity in Arabia during the 7th century. The coffee variety is also known as Bunn in Arab, a word borrowed from the Oromo language.
History of Arabica Coffee
Arabica coffee beans are the first type of coffee beans that were cultivated and consumed before other varieties came along. They were first grown by the Oromo, a tribe in the highlands of Ethiopia that crushed the Arabica beans and mixed them with fats to create fat bombs that they used as a stimulant.
The Arabica coffee variety was named by the Arabs when the bean crossed over to Arabia from Ethiopia. In Arabia, coffee made from roasted Arabica beans was often taken by Arabian scholars. From Arabia, the coffee found its way to Egypt from where it spread to other parts of the world.
Cultivation Of Coffea Arabica Plant
Ideally, Arabica coffee grows in high-altitude areas around the Equator with a tropical climate, while Robusta does well in low altitude areas. It grows in several countries within the tropics, including Uganda, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Colombia. Other countries where it is grown are Brazil, Turkey, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sumatra. Most of the coffee produced in these areas is in demand worldwide.
Arabica coffee plants take seven years to mature, and they grow best in areas that receive between 1.0 -1.5 meters of rainfall. These coffee plants grow well at an altitude between 1,800 and 6,000 feet above sea level in warm climates.
Arabica coffee plants prefer high humidity and dappled sunlight. They love water and prefer moist soil but cannot stand frost.
Arabica coffee trees produce highly fragrant flowers that smell like jasmine flowers. These flower clusters become many berries that later ripen into a deep red color in 8-9 months. The harvesting process is mainly done by hand to avoid picking unripe coffee cherries. Each Arabica cherry contains two coffee seeds or beans covered in a parchment coat and silver skin that is removed during processing.
Varieties of Arabica Coffee
Arabic coffee is one of the most favored coffee varieties in the world that’s valued among coffee producers and drinkers for its high-quality flavor and low caffeine content.
Typica, a low-yielding Arabica variety, was the first to be discovered. Later, the Bourbon variety mutated from Typica, and since then, many other varieties have come up that are named according to the region they are grown. Some examples are Maragogype, Catimor, Mundo Novo, Heirloom, and Sl-28.
Arabica coffee may also be listed according to the country of origin. Some examples are Colombian Arabica coffee, Centroamericano Arabica coffee, and Java Arabica coffee. Today, the best kinds of Cafe Arabica come from places such as Central America, Jamaican Blue Mountain, El Salvador, and Yemen.
Difference Between Arabica and Robusta Coffee
Although Robusta and Arabica coffees look similar, several things differentiate them. The first point of difference is where they grow. Arabica favors high altitude while Robusta thrives in the lowlands.
Arabica coffee plants are less productive than Robusta coffee plants because they are sensitive to temperature changes and susceptible to diseases and pests. It is easier to grow Robusta because it is resistant to disease and pests.
One reason for the higher productivity of Robusta could be its high caffeine content, which gives it resistance against insects. Another is that Robusta contains higher levels of Chlorogenic Acid (which is an insect deterrent ) than Arabica coffee. However, many varieties or cultivars of Arabica are also created to increase disease tolerance and yielding capacity.
Most people think Arabica tastes better than Robusta coffee, maybe because the latter contains more caffeine, which can increase the bitterness of coffee.
Blending Arabica Coffee with Robusta Coffee
Most specialty coffee beans in Europe, Australia, and North America are Arabica. Scientists have developed many varieties and hybrids since the first Arabica variety. These days, coffee breeders are focused on genetically modifying coffee plants to enhance resistance to diseases such as Leaf Rust and increase production.
Although these scientific efforts make the Arabica plant better, the new varieties and breeds take a long time to establish themselves (at times up to five years).
100% Arabica coffee is one of the highest and most expensive coffees you can buy. It is less bitter than Robusta (Coffea Canephora) but rich in aroma, flavor, and sugars. It is mixed with the cheaper Robusta to enhance its body and flavor.
Arabica is more acidic than Robusta but contains less caffeine. Arabica cafe is used in cold brews, while the Robusta bean is often used to make Espresso and its milk-based varieties such as Lattes and Cappuccinos.
Most of the coffee beans or roast coffees you find at the grocery store are made from Arabica coffee beans. They have double the sugar found in Robusta and more lipids, enhancing their aroma, flavor, and sweetness.
Although Robusta beans are slightly inferior, they have a strong flavor when blended with Arabica beans. That’s probably because Arabica’s taste is fruity and sweet with hints of caramel, while Robusta has a spicy and chocolatey flavor with hints of tobacco.
Robusta is usually blended with Arabica to increase the quantity of coffee produced. You will also find flavored brands of Arabica coffee, such as those that taste like blueberries or French vanilla.
There are also different types of Arabica roast coffee: light, medium, and dark roast. However, the favorite of most coffee drinkers is medium roast Arabica coffee. It’s the best way to enjoy the sweet fruit and berry-like notes that characterize the Arabica bean.
Some of the best types of Arabica coffee are the Kona blend from Hawaii, Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica, and Tanzanian Peaberry coffee. Others are Kenya AA coffee, Indian Monsooned Malabar coffee, and Canada’s Kicking Horse Coffee,
When looking for quality coffee blends, choose 100 percent Arabica, which is coffee without any Robusta coffee beans. The other option is single-origin Arabica coffee, which refers to Arabica beans grown from one geographic origin.
Why is Arabica Popular Among Coffee Drinkers?
So what is Coffea Arabica, and what differentiates it from other types of coffee?
Let’s look at the characteristics of Arabica coffee that make it unique. These are its flavors, where it is grown, and its price.
Arabica coffee beans are widely used because they produce brews with a good body and rich flavor. They have a distinctive bittersweet chocolate taste and intense aroma. These coffee beans are sweeter than Robusta beans because they contain more sugar and less caffeine.
However, one strain of Arabica coffee bean contains even smaller amounts of caffeine, and that is Coffea Arabica. It is harvested from the Coffea Arabica tree, whose origin and diversity is the Ethiopian highlands.
Coffea Arabica berries are harvested from an Arabica tree whose origin and diversity is the Ethiopian highlands. They are fruitier and sweeter than Robusta beans.
Benefits of Drinking Arabica Coffee
We’ve seen a lot of Arabica’s distinct flavor and exceptional aroma, not forgetting its value compared to Robusta coffee. But what benefits does it give to our bodies? Here are a few advantages of drinking Arabica coffee.
Mood enhancement: The mild caffeine content in Arabica and its amazing taste make it an excellent beverage to take any time you need a lift.
Antioxidant-rich: Arabica coffee contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of developing cancer and endometrial and liver cancer.
Diabetes prevention: Arabica coffee lowers glucose levels, reducing the risk of developing Diabetes.
Weight-loss aid: Arabica increases the body’s metabolism and can aid in weight loss.
Vitamin and mineral-rich: Coffee Arabica contains vitamins B and E and minerals like Potassium and Magnesium that improve the body’s immunity.
Longevity beverage: Regularly drinking Arabica coffee can increase your lifespan by lowering your risk of developing life-threatening ailments such as heart disease and Diabetes.
So what have we learned about Arabica coffee;
1. It accounts for most of the world’s coffee production and is usually sold in the premium market because of its unique flavor.
2. Arabica contains less caffeine than Robusta and has higher acidity, making for a great coffee cup. It’s also more flavorful and aromatic than other coffee varieties.
3. Coffee Arabica is preferred by most coffee drinkers as a homebrew, while Robusta is primarily taken in cafes as part of the popular Espresso coffee variety.
4. Fewer quantities of Arabica coffee are produced because they are susceptible to disease. Therefore, it is often sold as a blend together with Robusta.
5. Most Arabica coffee brands are named according to the regions of origin. Some great examples are Jamaican Blue Mountain and the Kona Blend.
That’s some information on the Coffea Arabica brand. You can now tell why it is the most popular coffee type worldwide and how it differs from Robusta coffee.
Which type of coffee do you prefer? Share your preference with us in the comments.