I’ve heard a lot of theories about why coffee is labeled Arabica. I’ve also seen a lot of coffee that despite being Arabica really shouldn’t be allowed to carry the name. Many of the current theories range from being produced in Arabia, seasoned with Arabic flavorings, and just about every other weird explanation you could think of. The truth is much, much more simple.
Arabica is a species of coffee.
Much like animals contain different species, so does coffee. The two largest being Arabica and Robusta. Overall, over 75 percent of all coffee grown in Arabica… so it’s not like it’s uncommon. 20% of the world’s production account for Robusta, a coffee that has a bitter taste, but a much higher caffeine content. There are other, much less produced varieties of coffee like Café Baraco, which is a small variety primarily grown in the Philippians and Charrieriana a newly discovered coffee bean grown in Cameroon which is completely caffeine free.
Arabica is the gold standard for Coffee.
Beyond simple taste, Arabica is so popular with growers because of the premium prices the sweet Arabica beans carry. In fact, much more of the world’s percent of coffee would be Arabica, however, the beans are susceptible to diseases and don’t grow at low altitudes. Forcing growers to plant Robusta or specialty beans instead.
Arabica isn’t always the best choice
There’s a lot of information about Arabica being superior to Robusta. However, that isn’t always the case. It’s true, Arabica will produce a sweet, flavorful cup of coffee that typically drinkers prefer on a day to day case. Robusta will produce a stronger, bitter taste that is ideal for instant coffee and espresso – but certainly not for every day.
Where to Buy the Coffee we Mentioned
If you’re interested in trying the varies flavors of unique and exquisite coffee, here are some links to get you started!
Bach Vietnamese Coffee, Whole Bean (Robusta)
Charrieriana from Cameroon is not available yet from any known retailers, but I will let you know when it is.