Types of Coffee Beans

Many people love to start drinking coffee right away - without much preparation. They know that a good coffee cup is prepared in a particular way. For all those who love to drink coffee, you may be interested in finding out more about the different types of coffee beans, and how they differ in taste, texture, and aroma. For sure, you can choose the best coffee bean variant for you for all occasions.

A Definitive Guide to Coffee Beans

Types of Coffee Beans

Knowing the four types of coffee beans available is essential to understanding how to brew the best coffee beans. While there are many diverse types of coffee beans on the market. It determines the flavor, aroma, strength, and sweetness of the final coffee cup. This guide to the four types of coffee beans helps you choose the right coffee bean type. Having a guide to the different bean types will allow you to experiment and see which type you prefer for yourself.

The Main Types of Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans

Arabica (Coffea Arabica)

Arabica is the most popular variety of coffee beans around the world. The production of Arabica beans makes up 60% of coffee bean production in the world. Its sweet taste, delicate flavor, fantastic aroma, and low acidity level make Arabica the most commonly consumed bean.

The name Arabica is derived from Arabia, which is the old name of Yemen. It is known to be first cultivated and consumed in the Ethiopian Highlands. It is believed to be the first coffee beans known to humanity.

The taste, aroma, and flavor of Arabica beans make them very popular around the world. The flavor varies from one varietal to another that comes from different regions where these beans are cultivated. The most famous blends are the Sumatra Jagong Blend and the Kenya Rioki Blend. The other varieties of Arabica beans include Typica, Bourbon, Blue Mountain, and Caturra.

The Arabica coffee bean contains less caffeine compared to other varieties. It has a milder taste and flavor and has lower acidity. The taste of the Arabica is known to diminish if being served cold or blended with milk or creamer. Therefore, to enjoy the best of the brewed Arabica beans, use the pour-over or drip coffee technique and serve it hot with no additional flavor. It is also best to check on your taste preference if you add some flavors or serve it hot or cold.

Arabica beans are available in gourmet coffee companies. These companies use 100% Arabica beans on their commercial coffee products. If you want to try Arabica coffee, make sure to check the label to see if it is pure Arabica or blended with other varieties of beans like Robusta. Also, check on the Arabica varieties that you want to try.

Robusta (Coffea Canephora)

The second most popular coffee bean is the Robusta. If Arabica has the Americas, Robusta is famous in Europe and the Middle East. It has a bitter taste and contains a higher level of acidity compared to Arabica. This variety is commonly used in coffee drinks like espresso.

The Robusta coffee bean has a higher caffeine content and acidity level compared to Arabica. It has a flavor with hints of chocolate and rum. One of the most famous Robusta blends is the Myanmar NguShwelli. It has the flavors of plum, apple, and toffee.

Unlike Arabica, good quality brewed Robusta is perfect for additional flavors. You can add sugar, milk, or cream to suit your taste buds. It has a reputation for not losing its flavor with these additives, and a burnt taste very likable to those who love strong coffee. It makes Robusta a suitable choice for espresso and iced coffee.

Being less expensive compared to Arabica, Robusta is the best budget-friendly choice for coffee product providers to grocery and department stores. Some gourmet coffee brands offer specialized blends out of Robusta coffee beans since they are perfect and typical in blends. If you want to try it, you can check on the label if it is pure Robusta or a blend of different varieties. You can also try instant coffee mixes, for they are 100% made of Robusta coffee beans.

Liberica (Coffea liberica)

Liberica does not have the same popularity as Arabica and Robusta. Many coffee lovers find Liberica’s taste very different from other varieties. It does not taste like coffee, and its flavor is very woody. That is why many people purchasing this coffee bean use it to be mixed with other varieties like Arabica and Robusta. Though its taste is distinctive, it has a unique floral and fruity aroma.

Liberica got its name from Liberia, a central African country, where it is known to have originated. This variety of coffee beans gained popularity amid the widespread fungal disease at the end of the nineteenth century. This disease, known as coffee rust, affected more than 90% of Arabica coffee beans, and almost killed all Arabica plants worldwide. Since coffee was considered an essential commodity, coffee farmers found Liberica a perfect substitute for Arabica.

The Philippines became the first country to cultivate and harvest Liberica coffee beans, thus opening the global market doors for this variety of coffee beans. After the Philippines gained its independence from the U.S. in 1946, Liberica coffee beans' production collapsed. In 1995, Liberica reappeared in the coffee world again. But sad to say, it failed to regain the glory that it enjoyed before. Now, Liberica only accounts for 2% of the world's coffee production, of which 95% comes from Malaysia.

If you want to try this Liberica coffee, there is "Kapeng Barako." Barako coffee is the most popular brand of Liberian coffee that is found in the Philippines. This Liberian brew is typically served hot and black, with sugar, milk, and creamer. Barako coffee is widely available in the local stores and coffee shops in the Philippines. Suppose you want to try a cup of Barako coffee but are not in the Philippines. In that case, you can check on some shops and stores in some Filipino communities abroad.

Excelsa (Coffea Excelsa or Coffea Liberica var. Dewevrei)

Excelsa is the fourth significant variety of coffee beans. Once considered as a separate species until 2016, it is now being reclassified as a Liberica variant. The reclassification was done because, like Liberica, Excelsa plant can grow between 20-30 feet in similar vegetation and altitude. Both have similar almond-shaped beans.

Excelsa coffee beans are commonly used in coffee blends to boost their flavor and complexity. Excelsa accounts for 7% of the world's coffee production. It is mainly cultivated in the Southeast Asian region. It is described to have flavors that are similar to a light roast and heavy, roasty notes. This mystery draws coffee lovers from all over the world to Liberica coffee.

What makes Excelsa coffee unique is that you can maintain its flavor's depth. However, it has a lighter aroma and caffeine than Liberica. Unlike Arabica and Robusta, Excelsa beans are not common in the market, especially outside Asia. Suppose you want to try Excelsa coffee for your breakfast. In that case, you can shop online or try specialty roasters available at Len's Coffee in Massachusetts.


Choosing the best beans starts with understanding and knowing what kind of coffee you are looking for. Also important is choosing the right equipment and method of grinding your beans. Lastly, it is essential to consider the type of coffee bean you want, whether it is Arabica, Robusta, Libreca, or Excelsa. Whether you choose one of them or mix two to three types of coffee beans, what is for sure is that drinking coffee can provide you with a bunch of benefits. It will not just stimulate you to get you going from morning until afternoon.

Coffee of any type contains caffeine that acts as a wake-up hormone that increases your energy and consciousness throughout the day. On the other hand, drinking coffee when you are feeling sleepy can help induce sleep.

Drinking coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. It reduces the risks of developing stroke and isoprene. It is also associated with less production of stomach acid and thus less chance of developing gastric ulcers. Lastly, coffee has been found to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

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