Characteristics of the Different Types of Coffee Beans

Fresh, aromatic coffee is a perfect way to start up your day. Whether you brew your coffee at home or stop by Starbucks to get a beverage for your morning drive, coffee can freshen you up like nothing else.

Food connoisseurs know the impact selecting the right coffee beans has on your morning cup. There are several types of coffee beans, and each one imparts specific flavors to your coffee. Four major coffee beans are used for brewing: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa. Keep reading to find out the effect of each bean on your coffee.

1.   Arabica

Arabica coffee beans, sourced from the Coffee arabica plant, are considered one of the best beans. They are the most common beans for brewing coffee and are primarily grown in South America, the largest coffee producer worldwide. Arabica beans have less caffeine than other counterparts, making the coffee sourced from them smoother and lighter, with a sweet, nutty taste.

These beans require high-altitude areas with lots of shade and rainfall to grow and are easy to prune. These agricultural requirements of Arabica beans make Colombia perfect for their cultivation due to its mountainous and equatorial geography. The country’s ideal geographical and climatic characteristics make Colombian coffee one of the most sought-after coffee types worldwide. Follow this link to get the best single origin Colombian coffee you can get!

2.   Robusta

The second most common type of beans cultivated for coffee, Robusta coffee, is sourced from Coffea canephora, a plant known to be tough and resistant to many diseases and pests. They usually have double the amount of caffeine than Arabica beans and are stronger and bitter with a woody and peanutty aftertaste. They also have less sugar content and acidity than Arabica beans.

Unlike Arabica, Robusta beans are generally cultivated at lower altitudes. They prefer hot climates with irregular rainfall, making countries like Vietnam, India, and Indonesia perfect for their growth. Espresso blends typically use Robusta beans.

3.   Liberica

Liberica is one of the finest coffee beans sourced from Coffee liberica. These beans are famous for their irregular, asymmetric shape and unique aroma. Liberica beans are the rarest to get by and therefore are more expensive than other beans. Still, their taste is worth their price – they have a smoky, floral, and fruity flavor with hints of chocolate and spice, which makes them perfect for this iced coffee recipe.

Liberica beans are mainly cultivated in the Philippines and Malaysia and are endangered due to low cultivation levels. However, they are incredibly resistant plants. During the mid-19th century, when the coffee rust epidemic devastated Arabica and Robusta plants, the Liberica plants were able to hold their own, and if there is ever another coffee rust epidemic, Liberica may save our mornings.

4.   Excelsa

For years, this elusive and rare crop was considered a separate species, but now, research has shown Coffee excelsa to be a variety of the Liberica bean. However, Excelsa has a distinct flavor profile from Liberica, having a complex tart and fruity taste. It is usually not sold as a single-origin blend; instead, it is added to Arabica blends to give them a deeper flavor.


You crave nothing more than a cup of coffee on a Monday morning. You can enhance your coffee experience by experimenting with coffee blends. Four distinct varieties make up most of the world’s coffee cultivations. Whether you go for Arabica or Robusta, Liberica or Excelsa, getting the most refined beans can improve your cup’s flavors and aromas. Consider switching up your coffee routine and try exotic coffee beans.

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Hi, Peachy here!

I'm a foodie mommy living in the Philippines. I'm a mom to two daughters named PURPLE SKYE and PERIWINKLE MOONE and wife to a loving husband I fondly call peanutbutter♥. I am a foodie by heart, a coffee lover and a froyo and yogurt junkie. Learn more →






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