Coffee beans, the seed of the coffee plant, have many different varieties. These varieties include those from differing places as well as those mutated or changed through selective breeding. Roasting the coffee beans creates the individual hues and tastes. Roasting is a delicate process that releases and enhances the beans’ flavours, from light roast to dark.
One species of coffee bean comes from the Robusta coffee plant. Robusta coffee beans account for about 20% of the world’s production. The beans are more robust than that of the Arabica coffee beans but the taste is not as deep. In addition, Robusta coffee beans produce a coffee with higher caffeine content. Robusta coffee plants were discovered growing wild in the Belgian Congo (Zaire or Republic of Congo) in the late 1800’s. The name reflects the robust taste of this coffee, as well as the bite or kick it delivers.
A decidedly unusual type of Robusta coffee bean is the Indonesian Kopi Luwak, and the PhillippineKapeAlamid. These beans are selected out of the droppings of the Common Palm Civet. The digestive juices of the Common Palm Civet provide the coffee bean an unusual and distinct flavour. This coffee bean is very expensive.
Another species of coffee is known as Arabica coffee. Arabica coffee beans are believed to have a richer flavour than that of Robusta coffee. Arabica coffee beans account for more than 75% of the world’s production. Arabica coffee plants were found growing naturally on the Arabian Peninsula in Ethiopia in the 1700’s.
There are many types of Arabica coffee beans. The two most prominent are Typica and Bourbon. A few of the more popular include orange or yellow Bourbon Arabica, plants generated from mutation. This coffee bean is from Latin America. Another popular Arabica coffee bean is Columbian. Columbian coffee was first brought to Columbus in the early 1800’s. When Columbian coffee is roasted, it is very aromatic. Columbian coffee beans account for over 10% of the coffee market in the world.
An unusual, yet popular type of Arabica coffee bean is Sulawesi. Grown in Indonesia, Sulawesi (and TorajaKalossi) coffee plants are grown on the island of Sulawesi, at very high altitudes. Sulawesi coffee beans are rich tasting. The coffee is very dark, almost chocolate in appearance. This coffee is perfect for darker roasting.
Experimenting with the many flavours and grades of coffee available will help you select your favourites. Whatever your preference, the wide selection of coffee beans available will provide you with a wonderfully tasting coffee.