Have you ever noticed how many different types of coffee brands are out there? These days, coffee takes up almost an entire aisle at the grocery store. Did you know that there are only four main types of coffee beans despite the sheer mind-boggling number of different coffees?
Excelsa – Excelsa initially was recognized as its own type. These days, it is named a sub-type to Liberica due to the similarities between Excelsa and Liberica. Excelsa beans are primarily grown in Southeast Asia.
Liberica – Liberica coffee plants are pretty rare. Only a few countries, such as the Philippines, will grow them. The beans have an irregular shape with an earthy taste and aroma. Its flavor is not as smooth and less preferred than Arabica or Robusta.
Robusta – Robusta is the second most popular coffee bean among the four types. It is known as the second go-to coffee plant among the four types. It is pretty acidic and offers a higher caffeine level, thus rendering it inferior to Arabica. Robusta is popular among growers due to its lesser production cost. The fact that it grows in a hotter climate adds to its popularity.
Arabica – Arabica is considered the #1 type of coffee bean and makes up 60% of the world’s coffee bean production. Its low acidity combined with more flavors and aroma makes this bean a favorite among growers, even encouraging them to create different Arabica beans. However, the Arabica coffee plant is sensitive to its environment and does not adjust well to lower altitudes.
COFFEE BEAN GRADES
Yes, there is such a thing as coffee bean grades. Coffee beans fit into five categories:
- Grade 1– Coffee beans have zero defects.
- Grade 2– Coffee beans have lesser than 6 defects.
- Grade 3– Coffee beans have lesser than 13 defects.
- Grade 4– Coffee beans have lesser than 24-86 faults.
The process of applying heat to coffee beans is called "roasting". There are different types of roasts. Coffee beans can be processed many times over to reach the desired taste. It is these processes that produce the aroma and the flavor.
Light Roast – Light roast – as its namesake indicates, turns beans light brown. Roasters refer to this as “the first crack,” which is the initial step to opening your beans. Light roast coffee tastes light and offers a fruitier flavor, and produces a pronounced acidity.
Medium Roast – Again, as its namesake indicates, the beans will turn medium brown during this process. Surface oils will disappear. Medium roast the most popular road. It provides a stronger, somewhat caramelized taste compared.
Medium-Dark Roast – During this process, the coffee beans will turn dark brown and retain a slightly oily surface. This process is also referred to as “the second crack”. Coffee lovers covet medium-dark roast for its bittersweet aftertaste. It has a much more pronounced aroma and taste.
Dark Roast – Dark roast results in a strong, black coffee because the coffee beans turn nearly black. Bitterness and strong flavor dominate this roast. Conversely to all other roasts, the dark roast has less acidity.