The 3 Largest Varieties of Coffee Beans in the World

Most specialty coffee uses Arabica beans, as they tend to have a more refined taste. They account for around 70-80% of all coffee production around the world. The shape of Arabica coffee beans is a push circle with a wavy groove in the middle. Arabica coffee is the world's most produced coffee variety. There is a specific condition for planting, requiring plantation at high altitudes (900-1800). Arabica coffee trees have weak resistance to pests and need to be tended with care. The caffeine content is around 1%. These beans are generally produced in Brazil, Colombia, India, Ethiopia, Peru, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, etc. Arabica beans are rich and diversified in flavor, produce a good aroma, and high in acidity.

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Most Robusta beans are easy to grow, large in yield and cost efficient. Making them the usual pick in large industrial produced coffee, such as instant coffee, canned coffee, liquid coffee, etc. These beans can produce twice the amount of coffee extract compared to Arabica beans; hence they are also known as commercial beans. Robusta coffee beans are short in shape, relatively round, with straight grooves in the middle. Robusta coffee is the second most produced coffee variety in the world. Appearing 100 years after Arabica coffee, Robusta coffee trees are disease-resistant, easy to grow and harvest. They have high yields and are planted below 500 meters above sea level. Caffeine content: 2-4%, production capacity accounts for 20-30% in the world. Produced in Vietnam, India, etc. Single flavor, high mellowness, and high bitterness.

The coffee beans are round in shape and a bit thicker than the other two varieties. Liberia coffee appeared after the other two varieties. Liberia bean trees have weak resistance to pests and difficult to survive and harvest. Making them basically withdrawn from the commercial market. Caffeine content: around 1%, and the production capacity accounts for less than 5% of the world. Produced in a few places such as Liberia, Suriname, Guya, etc. Liberia benas have a woody and bitter flavor.

Acidity of coffee
The composition of coffee beans contains large amounts of organic acids. The acids account for about 11%-16% of the weight of the beans. These organic acids include chlorogenic acid, guinein acid, citric acid, malic acid, etc. These acids are the main source of producing aromatic flavors in the coffee.
The acidity of coffee is closely related to the degree of roasting. Generally, light roasted, and medium-light roasted coffee will have obvious acidic flavors, these are mainly citric or fruit sour tastes. As the degree of roasting deepens, the acidity begins to degrade, and the caramel-chocolate flavor in the coffee begins to take hold. The lighter the roasting degree, the more fruit acidity appears; the darker the roasting degree, the less fruit acidity emerges.

Sweetness in coffee
The largest component of green coffee beans is sugar, polysaccharides and monosaccharides, accounting for 38%-50%. So why is the sweetness of coffee not easily tasted? This is because during the roasting period, the sweetness is often disturbed by sour, bitter, and other flavors and components, making it difficult to identify. In general, whole, red-cooked beans are sweeter than uncooked beans. Coffees grown at higher altitudes are sweeter, sun-dried, and honey-processed beans are generally sweeter than washed-processed coffee beans.

Bitterness of coffee
The longer the roast, the more bitter the coffee will be. This is because bitter substances such as phenolic compounds are produced more as the roasting time increases. If you like a slightly bitter taste, then choose lighter roasted beans, and if you are looking for strong bitterness, then dark roasted beans are better suited. Interestingly, the bitter taste of coffee is not volatile, only water-soluble. That's why although the aroma of coffee is mellow, the taste is bitter.