Differences between Coffee Beans
Choosing coffee beans is very similar to choosing a wine. The type of grape, wine region and skill of the winemaker are key factors in making the wine you like. As for coffee beans, the different coffee plants, coffee regions and ways that coffee beans can be roasted and blended explain why we have so many coffee options.
You may have noticed bold labels with 100% Arabica on coffee bags. So, what is Arabica?
Arabica coffee is not a blend but the name of a coffee plant. It is the most popular coffee plant because of its aromatic qualities. The second most popular coffee plant is Robusta. Compared to Arabica, Robusta contains more caffeine and is more bitter but it gives more ‘body’ and ‘crema’ to a blend. Because Robusta is hardy and less prone to diseases, Robusta yields bigger crops and therefore is cheaper to grow. For economic reasons, cheap commercial blends tend to contain more Robusta.
Origin of coffee beans
Similar to wine grapes, coffee beans bear distinctive regional characteristics. You can buy ‘single origin’ coffee (all the coffee beans come from the same region) or coffee blends (the coffee beans come from more than one location).
Coffee beans classification
Green coffee beans (before they are roasted) are graded according to size, colour, uniformity and number of imperfections. Premium coffee beans command higher prices. Hence, buying very cheap coffee usually means lower grade coffee beans.
Type of coffee roast
When light roasted, coffee beans have a mild taste with no obvious roast flavour. As the roasting process progresses, the aromatic oils break through the surface and the coffee beans become oiler and darker, with a roast flavour. Light, medium or dark roast is a subjective choice.
The Coffee Roaster takes advantage of the regional characteristics of coffee beans to create unique blends to meet his clients’ taste and stand out from competition.
Whatever your preference in coffee beans, make sure you read our Buying Coffee Beans Tips and Coffee Beans Storage Tips.