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27 Different Types of Coffee Beans (With Photos)

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Coffee beans – the stone fruit seeds that kick starts the journey of your favorite coffee production. They can be gotten from red berries and used to produce the 2nd most traded commodity globally, coffee.

There different types of coffee beans, with the most popular ones being; Robusta (Coffee Canephora), Arabica (Coffee Arabica), Liberica (Coffee Liberica), and Excelsa (Coffee Excelsa).

However, as a coffee lover, you deserve to know a lot more about coffee beans varieties, get acquainted with their different characteristics, and go a notch higher in trying out those you are yet to experience. Their names are different, so are their taste, flavor, and characteristics in general.

Journey with us as we take you through an interesting ride discussing the different coffee bean types, each of their unique details and overall characteristics.

Different Types Of Coffee Beans

Each coffee bean type is peculiar and possesses distinct traits and features. Knowing these features would guide you in making the right choice of coffee.

Read on as we analyze them below:

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1. Arabica (Coffee Arabica)

The Arabica coffee bean is the most popular and commonly used coffee bean out of every other coffee bean type. It is widely used in different continents, especially in North America. The name, by the way, was derived from the popularity the coffee bean enjoyed in Arabia way back in the past.

You might ask why it is so popular; Arabica’s popularity can be attributed to its sweet and pleasant flavor. An additional edge it has over other coffee bean types is that when processed to make coffee, it is never as acidic as the others.

Another distinct characteristic of Arabica can be found in the way it is grown. They are usually planted in farmlands positioned well above normal sea level.

Generally, you would find them planted in regions that experience rainfall in abundance and ample water supply.

Now that you know all this, you can easily guess the country that would hold the ace and take the lead in the growth and production of Arabica. It is no other country than Brazil!

The country of Brazil is known for its very humid climate. This explains why the growth of Arabica thrives so well there and why they are the biggest exporter of the product.

Let’s take a look at yet another striking detail there is to know about Arabica. Do you know that coffee made with the coffee arabica bean is the most expensive coffee? Well, now you know.

The increase in the price rate is due to the tedious planting processes the farmers are subjected to. Growing the Arabica is far from being a walk in the park; it requires not just extra care but special attention to certain environmental factors.

During the different stages of growth of the Arabica, the farmers need to have them closely watched as they are highly susceptible to pest-induced diseases.

As a result of the many difficulties encountered in the growing of Arabica, growing it on a large scale becomes a huge risk, so it is left for only those with the expertise. All these challenges combined are reasons for the increased price rate of the coffee bean in the general market.

2. Robusta (Coffee Canephora)

Coming very closely behind the Arabica is the very small and roundly shaped Robusta. Even though the Arabica is more popular, the Robusta is also widely known and used in the entire African continent, Europe, and the Middle East.

The foremost characteristic of the Robusta coffee bean is its vibrant and sturdy nature. It is the go-to choice for coffee lovers who prefer more caffeine in their coffee.

Another noticeable characteristic of the Robusta that differentiates it from the Arabica and indeed any other coffee bean type is that while growing other coffee bean type like the Arabica, extra care is required because of their delicate nature the Robusta, on the other hand, is overly strong and highly resistant to pests and diseases.

The reason for that is not far-fetched, as the Robusta is blessed to have a great dose of caffeine. Due to this singular attribute, it can ward off insects and pests that might want to tamper with their growth process.

Caffeine is a natural repellant to pests, making the coffee bean crop grow pest-free. Coffee made from the Robusta is super strong and laced with a high amount of caffeine, the exact way most coffee lovers around the globe like their coffee.

Furthermore, when it comes to growing them, the farmers consider it less tasking as it requires no form of special skill, neither is it time and energy-consuming.

3. Bourbon Beans

Photo by Alphaomega1010 via Wikimedia

Bourbon bean is another variant of coffee beans introduced to us by a group of French monks. Bourbon beans have got a sweet-smelling aroma and taste fruity.

One very interesting thing you would notice as you drink coffee made from the Bourbon beans is that tingling yet subtle caramel sensation. A perfect delight for your taste buds by every standard.

Bourbon beans can easily be found in places like the African continent and even America. It is a popular choice for them over there.

The foremost characteristic of the Bourbon beans is the produce – the volume of produce actualized from the Bourbon beans is very large than most coffee bean plant trees. A great yield is a farmer’s delight anytime, any day.

You should also know that the Bourbon beans dominated and ruled the world of coffee and paved the way for the different kinds of coffee we have available in the market today. The downside, though, is that these Bourbon trees must be keenly observed as they are prone to different diseases.

4. Liberica (Coffee Liberica)

Photo by Daniel Foster via Flickr

The Liberica stands tall in a class of its own. Of a truth, coffee made from the Liberica tastes nothing short of heavenly. It has a distinct fruity scent and beautiful flavor.

Although a crop of coffee lovers find it extremely harsh and bitter, it can be diluted and better enjoyed with cream and sugar.

The unique taste of the Liberica is the end result of a careful planting process characterized by loads of patience and sacrifice.

Let’s begin with how they are being grown for starters:

When it comes to planting the Liberica, a great degree of patience is required as you have to wait for the perfect climate season suitable for its growth.

Generally, the production of the Liberica coffee bean from seed planting till it is time for harvesting can be a very slow process. What’s worse? The eventual output is usually insufficient to satisfy the huge market, nor is it financially rewarding for the farmers.

This answers why the Liberica is said to be the least popular when put side by side with other coffee bean types.

The major producers and exporters of the Liberica were farmers who hailed from the Philippines. They dominated its production, and history has them as the first to have the Liberica produced in large volumes and sold out to different countries.

As a result, the nation’s economy was affected positively and continued to grow bigger. Unfortunately, though, their streak of dominance and enviable economic fortune soon ended the moment the Philippines seized to be a territory of the United States and had their independence.

The United States responded to the move of the Philippines to become a sovereign nation by putting in place heavy economic laws that saw to the fact that supplies of Liberica to the Philippines were stopped.

One interesting fact to note, however, is that no other country could step in and fit in the shoes of the Philippines in regards to growing, harvesting, and exporting the Liberica coffee bean.

Due to the many bottlenecks encountered in the process of its growth, embarking on the venture would see you invest too much time and hard work, which would translate to an unprofitable harvest at the end of it all.

5. Geisha Beans

Imagine drinking a cup of coffee so smooth and silky with one of the most pleasant flavors ever. Yep, that’s the perfect description of a coffee made from the geisha beans. It holds the ace when it comes to coffee with a taste that is out of this world.

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6. Jamaican Blue Mountain Beans

As the name suggests, this coffee bean is grown in Jamaica, and it happens to be the best in terms of taste. The JBM bean is slightly acidic with a flavor that is not so intense at the same time, not so overshadowed. The flavor is just right.

Coffee made from the JBM or a blend of the JBM is of great quality and worth every penny spent.

7. Caturra Beans

This takes us back to the 1930s when the Caturra beans were first developed in Brazil.

Later on, it spanned across to several places in Central America and Colombia, where it was planted. It was discovered that the Caturra bean plant fared better there because of the high altitude.

How best to describe coffee made from the Caturra bean? The taste can be likened to an orange fruity one; it is usually light and has a bright outlook.

It would interest you to know that the bean is a variant of the Bourbon coffee bean and that perhaps explains the fruity taste. Also, the many coffee bean varieties we see today, like the Catimor, came right after the Caturra bean.

8. Excelsa (Coffee Excelsa)

Excelsa is another type of coffee bean. One intriguing fact about this coffee bean that you should know is that it falls into the same family tree as the Liberica but stands out from the rest of the clan due to its uniqueness.

Just like the Liberica, the Excelsa is not so popular and can be found in some parts of the Asian continent.

If you think coffee made from the Liberica is the best flavored, you should think again and perhaps, try out the Excelsa. Coffee made from the Excelsa is the king of all flavors; plus, it has the most exciting fruity taste ever.

9. Jackson Beans

Photo by NatalieMaynor via Flickr

Talk about the best quality coffee bean, and the Jackson bean comes to mind. You will find them grown in certain African countries like Rwanda and Burundi.

Coffee made from the Jackson bean is mildly acidic with a very sweet flavor, only similar to that of the Bourbon bean.

10. Kent Beans

This type of coffee bean has come a long way. The Indians were the first to grow them in their country as far back as the 1920s.To describe its taste in simple terms, it is super light and tangy with some kind of subtle floral sensation.

11. Maracatu Beans

A collaboration between the Caturra and Maragogype brought about the Maracatu beans.

The Maracatu beans can be planted in Central America as they fare better in localities with super high altitudes. They are really large and have got an overly acidic but fruity taste.

12. Pacamara Beans

The Pacamara beans are one of the many hybrid coffee types. It can be traced back to El Salvador, where it was first developed. The coffee offers a taste of two worlds of flavor; fruity and floral and is minutely acidic.

13. Pache Beans

Dominated by the Guatemalans. Coffee made from the Pache beans is usually heavy in texture but with a silky-smooth feel at the same time.

One thing you must note is that the Pache Beans can be made into two lovely variants that boast of the same unique quality. They are called the Pache Comunas and the Pache Colis, respectively.

The ability to make the Pache beans into two different variants earned them the badge of being a blender coffee.

14. Mundo Novo Beans

Talk about a coffee bean plant that produces a robust yield, and the Mundo Novo Beans must be mentioned. Another edge this bean plant has over other coffee bean plants is that it is highly resistant to the bulk of plant diseases that usually plague other bean plants.

Although, a high level of expertise is needed to grow them successfully as you need to know the right kind of soil to grow them on and also the quantity of fertilizer to use.

The Mundo Novo is yet another hybrid variant that naturally comprises many varieties of different coffee bean types.

15. Mocca Beans

One of the coffee beans plants with a burst of sweet chocolatey flavor. Also spelled as Moksha, one striking feature of this coffee bean is that its produce is usually small and can now be grown in Hawaii and Yemen specifically.

16. Pacas Beans

The Pacas bean plant is a mutant specie from the Pacamara in El Salvador. They thrive well when planted on very high elevations and yield great produce.

It is perfect for coffee lovers who love their coffee with a high acidic level. Its taste is a sweet, tangy one with a bit of floral sensation.

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17. Ruiru Beans

The Ruiru beans first evolved in Kenya, and they have a super unique flavor. A lot of coffee enthusiasts have likened its taste to that of the Robusta coffee beans.

18. Villalobos Beans

Another coffee bean borne out of mutation. The intriguing thing about this coffee bean plant is that it does so well, even when planted on poor soils. In fact, the best way to grow them is to have them planted on poor soils and at very high elevations.

It is exceedingly acidic in taste but also with a very sweet flavor as well.

20. Catimor Beans

This takes the lead whenever the talk is about the coffee beans that produce very sour tasting and generally unpleasant coffee. The sourness can only be reduced, not even removed completely when the final process of the beans is done correctly.

The Catimor is a cross breed of some other kinds of coffee, with its strains best likely to be found in Nicaragua or India.

21. Icatu Beans

The coffee bean plant that makes coffee with a heavenly taste. Imagine enjoying a burst of different flavors with the inclusion of plum and chocolate; this is what you get to experience when you get down to a cup of coffee made from the Icatu beans.

You guessed right. It is a hybrid variety that was first developed in Brazil. To get the best experience, get the processed coffee dry and savor away.

22. Catuai Beans

The Catuai beans originated from the country Brazil in the 1950s. The coffee bean has innumerable variants and can be counted as one of Brazil’s finest coffees.

It is mildly acidic and laced with a sweet sensation.

23. Jember Beans

A hybrid specie of coffee bean first developed in Indonesia. It is a cross breed of the S228 and Kent coffee beans.

The foremost characteristic of this coffee bean is its sturdiness and robustness. When processed to make coffee, it makes one with a superior taste of maple and caramel.

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24. Kona Typica Beans

The good thing about this bean type is that they are available in many varieties. Its taste can best be described as gentle and balanced. The Kona Typica bean plant fares better and grows more healthily on Islands in Hawaii.

25. Maragogype Beans

Dominant also in the country of Brazil. The Maragogype beans are usually very easy to identify because they are extremely large. This explains why they are also called Elephant beans.

Its texture is usually heavy, but unlike any other kind of flavor you have ever tasted, this has a buttery one, smooth with a bit of orange and floral aftertaste.

26. SL-34/SL-38

In Kenya, this coffee bean accounts for a whopping 85%, if not more, of coffee exports. This is because they are strains that developed there.

Looking for a good quality coffee with a fruity wine flavor and a pleasant aftertaste, the SL-34/SL-38, also popularly called ‘Bombs of Blueberry.’ would be a great choice.

27. Villa Sarchi Beans

This bean plant is best grown naturally, a hybrid variant with a minute acidity dose. Coffee made from the Villa Sarchi has a ring of fruitiness to it.

How to Make the Best Coffee

Please pay close attention as we are about to spill a secret only a few ardent coffee lovers are aware of.

If you want the very best taste of coffee with the flavors intact, here is what you can do to achieve that:

Rather than get the already processed coffee, go instead for roasted coffee beans and have them ground yourself. Once done with grinding, you can go ahead and brew.

The aim of this exercise is to ensure that the bean flavor stays trapped till whenever you are prepared to use them.

What’s more?

You have the opportunity to make your own coffee blend, taking a sizeable quantity of the different coffee beans that align with your taste preferences and grinding them together to make your own special coffee.

Try this out and enjoy the deliciousness that each coffee bean type has to offer.

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Conclusion

The coffee market is a huge one as we have a lot of coffee lovers not just in a particular region but all around the globe.

For coffee enthusiasts that find it quite a challenge getting the right one that ticks your taste and preference, this article will enlighten you on the different types and characteristics of coffee beans for you to know just what to expect at the point of purchase.

For people who love more than one coffee type, it is best to go for a coffee blend to have a slice of multiple worlds.