Coffee 101: Differences Between Robusta, Arabica and Liberica

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Coffee 101: Differences Between Robusta, Arabica and Liberica

Coffee is truly the most popular beverage in the world. According to industry statistics, billions of cups of coffee are consumed every day all across the world. Coffee has been an essential morning (or afternoon) routine of people that helps in fueling their day. Enjoying a cup of coffee is indeed one of the simple but vital pleasures of life. You probably don’t even think of the nitty gritty of your drink most of the times and just settled for whichever you think tastes good. But coffee is more than just a beverage. It’s a culture, an art, a science and even a passion. Behind every sip of coffee is a fascinating history. To give you brief information, coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia in the 10th century. Coffee plants can live up to 100 years although their most productive ages are between 7 and 20.

Today, coffee grows in a variety of different countries across the globe. Having said so, numerous coffee beans supplier in the Philippines become prominent. They are committed to delivering only fresh, quality specialty coffee in every way possible. Experience only the rich taste and aroma of these coffee beans and enjoy every sip of your favorite drink, as you start your day.

No doubt that everyone recognizes a roasted coffee bean but might night recognize an actual coffee plant. Coffee beans then vary in size, shape, color and even flavor which is also reliant on how they are roasted. This is dependent on the region and the conditions on which they are cultivated and grown. There are over 100 coffee species, but the main varieties that are used commercially are Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica.

The big question is, how do these coffee beans differ from one another when they absolutely look just the same? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the significant information about Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica.


It is said to be the first species of coffee being cultivated by farmers and is occasionally referred to as mountain coffee. It is also one of the most commonly produced coffee beans and accounts for over 70% of coffee production worldwide. Its beans are oval in shape, flat, dark and greasy. Arabica is the most delicate and expensive to cultivate since it is greatly influenced by its environment and prone to disease.  This type of bean grows at high altitude, specifically those areas that constantly receives rainfall and a plentiful amount of shade. The elevation and cooler temperatures cause the species to take longer to mature, with that, arabica beans tend to have a sweeter, softer taste, with tones of natural sugar, fruit, and even berries. Its acidity is also higher. If you want to enjoy its delicate flavor, it is suggested to buy the whole roasted beans and grind them yourself.


This kind of coffee bean ranks second to Arabica as the world’s most produced coffee. Occupying the spot of being the second biggest player in the coffee market now. Its beans are circular in shape, pale and dry. Robusta beans are much easier to grown and cultivate that’s why they’re being used in 3-in-1 instant coffee products. It is extremely tolerant of its environment and practically immune to diseases since it can withstand myriad altitudes. But then, it requires a hot climate. However, they contain more acidity and caffeine as compared to the other species of coffee. Caffeine is the plant’s natural defense against pests. Due to its high caffeine content, this type of beans releases an earthy yet harsher taste that will probably remind you of rubber tires. Don’t get it wrong, high-quality Robusta beans add thicker cream or brownish foam on top of Italian espresso. It’s incredibly smooth, low-acid, free of bitterness and intensely flavorful. Robusta is ideal for making iced coffee since it can stand up to any amount of milk and even sugar.


Liberica are huge coffee berries characterized by having a smoky, nutty, dark chocolate notes when roasted or brewed. Its beans are asymmetrical and almost almond and teardrop shaped that has an exceptional aroma. Liberica beans are the only coffee beans in the world that have such an irregular shape. It has dense flavors, smoldering, wherein not everyone appreciates it. The coffee can grow up to 65 feet, relatively much taller over Arabica and Robusta. Stepping back to the past, Liberica came near into extinction since it is also not widely cultivated. Its flavor is full and slightly smoky, known as a high polarizing coffee. Others are not sure if it tastes much of a coffee since for them it tastes woody. It is also ideal for making espresso. It is suggested to brew on its own to savor its earthy and aromatic flavor.

Liberica only accounts for just 2% of the world’s coffee consumption. It remains as a gem waiting to be discovered. It has a distinct flavor profile. One best example is the Kapeng Barako, a Batangas native, it comes from Liberica beans. It is almond-shaped beans that have a strong yet fruity flavor with a touch of chocolate, berries, and spices. It is much like a fusion of Arabica and Robusta beans. This kind of bean traditionally grow in the country and are rare in the other parts of the globe.

Now that you are aware of the Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica’s characteristics and differences, can you now define the kind of coffee in your cup every morning?

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