Types of Coffee Beans and What Distinguishes Them From Each Other

type of coffee beans

Types of Coffee Beans and What Distinguishes Them From Each Other

You’ve probably seen bags for coffee with the words “Arabica Coffee” or “Arabica Beans” on them while shopping for groceries. Have you ever wondered why? There are numerous distinct varieties of coffee beans, with Robusta being the most popular. It comprises 60 to 70 percent of global coffee production, yet there are a few other types that are far less common in the Philippines.

When we think about how coffee is classified and marketed, the most common things that spring to mind are roasting profiles and geographic origins. This data is certainly useful in predicting what to expect from a certain coffee, but it does not tell the whole story. Let’s look at different varieties of coffees and what makes them distinctive.

Types of Coffee Beans: What They Are and What Makes Them So Special?

Arabica (Coffee arabica), Robusta (Coffee caniphora), Liberica (Coffee liberica), and Excelsa (Coffee liberica var. dewevrei) are the four primary types of coffee beans we’ll be discussing in this chapter. What distinctions distinguish these various types of coffee?


Arabica coffee is one of the most prevalent (and, perhaps, most heavily promoted) variety in the Philippines. That’s because it has a sweeter, more delicate flavor and is less acidic than other coffees. Arabica seeds are grown in regions with high altitudes above sea level, particularly those that receive a lot of rain. In fact, Brazil is the world’s largest Arabica bean producer, thanks to its lush rainforest. The plants are delicate, necessitating frequent pruning and close attention to environmental factors. Commercial production is difficult because of the greater incidence of sickness in this species. The cost of the bean is significantly higher on the global market as a result of this, but many consumers around the world are willing to pay the difference due to the smoother, sweeter taste.

The poor flavor of the bean is well-known, especially when it’s served cold or mixed with milk or creamer. While this may be the case, the difference will most likely not be apparent when you’re adding some extra taste to the cocktail anyhow.


Robusta coffee beans are second on the list of world-produced coffees behind Arabica, and they’re most popular in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The name does this bean justice since it is noted for its robust and frequently harsh flavor profile. Robusta beans have a lot of caffeine in them, which makes them more resistant to disease than Arabica plants. Because the caffeine protects the tree against insects, it does so in a natural way. Because the coffee caniphora species is also resistant to its environment, it may be cultivated at any altitude or climate. Because robusta has a bad reputation for tasting burnt or rubbery, it is not widely consumed other than where very strong coffee is customary. Many farmers do obtain greater earnings when they can sell Robusta because it is far easier to grow and harvest than Arabica beans. Where is it heading? Robusta may be used in discount lines like instant coffees and on occasion as a filler in dark roasts. A roaster may save up to 20% on raw beans by mixing 3 parts Arabica with 1 part Robusta in each batch. If this appears to you as a trade-off of product quality for the bottom line, you would be correct.

There are times when magnificent, high-quality Robusta coffees appear on supermarket shelves. These are generally single-origin coffees prepared by hand. The finest Robusta coffee beans will have nuances of chocolate and rum in their flavor profile, but they aren’t always accessible. At the end of the day, if your primary motivation for drinking a cup of coffee is to get your daily dose of caffeine, you’d be just fine with a Robusta bean and some cream and sugar.


They’re a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They’re produced in very specific climates, and even though there aren’t enough farmers to operate at full capacity, they’re still considered a pleasant surprise. Those who have already tasted the coffee claim that it has an aroma similar to fruit and flowers, while others describe the flavor as somewhat “woody.”

Liberica coffee was quite popular in the nineteenth century. A plant disease now known as “coffee rust” had begun to spread at that time and almost all of the Arabica plants on Earth had perished as a result of it. Even then, farmers and government organizations sought for alternative options to coffee since it was such a valuable commodity. The Philippines was the first to harvest and sell Liberica in significant amounts, and as a result the country’s economy boomed. The Philippines was formerly a US possession, but when its economy expanded, it declared independence. As a consequence of this, the United States imposed harsh economic sanctions on the nation and cut off supplies. It also led to the worldwide failure of the Liberica coffee bean, since no other countries were able to match the Philippines’ production.


The final variety of coffee bean we’ll discuss is Excelsa. Excelsa is technically a member of the Liberica family, though its kind is quite distinct. Excelsa, like the Liberica coffee previously discussed, is cultivated mostly in Southeast Asia and accounts for just a tiny fraction of the world’s coffee production. Excelsa is an exceptional roast, with a tart, fruitier flavor that is recognized for displaying characteristics of both light and dark roasts to produce a distinct profile frequently sought after by coffee connoisseurs.

How to Decide What to Purchase

We’ve emphasized it before, and we’ll emphasize it again: finding what you like and sticking with it is the name of the game when it comes to drinking coffee. Consider how you want to drink your coffee, whether hot, iced, or with/without creamer – Arabica and Robusta are the most prevalent and inexpensive alternatives you’ll come across on a daily basis. If you’re a coffee purist who prefers a straightforward fresh, hot, black brew, our Arabica coffee is probably your best bet. If you generally like to pour your coffee over ice or add some extras, we recommend giving our Robusta or Liberica a try. The most essential thing to keep in mind is that it’s all about finding what works best for you, so experiment with various alternatives and have fun with it!

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