Why Is It Called Arabica Coffee
According to this article on ThoughtCo.com, its called arabica coffee because in the 7th century the beans went from Ethiopia to lower Arabia.
In Ethiopia, the beans were being crushed and mixed with fat to be eaten as a stimulant by the Oromo tribe.
But once they arrived in Arabia coffee was born. It was written about as a brewed beverage for the first time by Arab scholars who said it helped them prolong their work hours. From there coffee spread around the world.
If coffee beans were brewed into a delicious beverage for the first time in Arabia, its easy to see why its called arabica coffee, and why its also known as Arabian coffee.
Is Arabica Coffee The Best
I wouldn’t say Arabica coffee is necessarily the best. Robusta has its uses, and drinking pure Arabica has proved for me to be a disappointing experience.
There is simply less body, oomph, and general caffeine in Arabica, which for me made it a very poor option. I mean the 100% pure Arabicas.
From that point of view it’s much milder and easier to handle without any sugar or milk to speak of.
But I’ve found that mixing Arabica with Robusta is a good potion for me, and in truth it might be the best potion for many people.
You see, Robusta on its own is terrible. Too bitter, harsh, and just needs a lot of milk and sugar to be drinkable. But use it in combination with Arabica, and it just gives the mix more of a body and strength than pure Arabica can ever get on its own.
Some might say that pure Arabica is the best, and only way to drink any coffee, ever. I think those people are exaggerating, and there is really a lot to be said for a proper mix between Arabica and Robusta.
How Should You Brew It
Flavorful and affordable, Arabica and Colombian beans can be used in a variety of ways. The majority of coffee sold in the United States is different styles of Arabica beans, so they show up in many styles of coffee brewing.
If you like traditional Arabic brewing processes, then authentically dry processed Arabica beans are essential. This type of brewing produces a thick, strong coffee that may be flavored with saffron or cardamom.
Likewise, actual beans from Colombia are advisable for Colombian style brewing that involves boiling water with the coffee. For all other styles of brewing, including French press, Chemex, Moka Pot, cold brew, and standard drip, either Colombian or Arabica can be used.
Robusta coffee tends to have a reputation for being a cheap and harsh coffee best used for instant coffee or gas station coffee pots. However, this humble bean is actually highly prized among some types of brewers.
Certain variants of Robusta are perfect for espresso because it produces a rich flavor and a smooth crema when used for espresso. Any traditional Italian espresso will require a high-quality Robusta bean.
Good Robusta beans can also be used in drip and filter methods for brewing coffee. The bold flavor can easily stand up to spices, creamers, and plenty of sugar.
The Different Types Of Arabica Coffee Beans
There are actually several different types of Arabica coffee beans, including Colombian, Ethiopian, Indonesian, Costa Rican and even Jamaican.
These beans are usually named after the country where theyre grown.
However, there are many other types of Arabica coffee that arent named after the country theyre grown in.
There are different varieties of Arabica coffee bean but the most common are typica and bourbon.
How Much Caffeine In Arabica Coffee
Caffeine has been proven to increase concentration, focus, wakefulness, and alleviate fatigue. So its no surprise millions of people use caffeine daily to wake up in the morning or a pick me up throughout the day.
Studies have shown beans taken from the same coffee plant have different levels of caffeine. The two main factors affecting caffeine levels in these beans depend on the length of roast and bean varietal.
A typical one ounce of arabic coffee is approximately 40 milligrams of caffeine which is roughly the same as taking an espresso shot. On the other hand, a four-ounce drip brewed style coffee contains 100 milligrams of caffeine which is what a standard American coffee cup contains.
Arabicas caffeine content varies from 0.9% to 1.7% depending on the process of coffee roasting. The highest caffeine content is found in the drip method of brewing coffee, anywhere between 115 175 milligrams of caffeine can be produced, on the other hand, decaffeinated coffee only produces 2 to 3 milligrams per 7 ounces.
The recommended amount of daily caffeine is up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, thats roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of coffee.
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Colombian Coffee Has An Extra Processing Step
Alright, you now know Colombian coffee is just Arabica grown in the best possible spot for it. But what about the processing of the bean ? Does that do anything to the coffee quality ? Well, yes actually. Colombian coffee has an extra step in the processing of the bean, and it’s actually washing the beans !
The coffee cherries – the beans are actually the pits – are picked, then mashed with a pulper. This leaves the beans/pits in a mucus-sort of pulp, which is then washed off over a couple of days. Sometimes even more. This involves a serious amount of water, lots of skill, and more water.
The remaining beans are then died and roasted to different levels. This way the beans get a different, milder flavor than the usual process of getting to the beans.
Normally, or the traditional method, has the cherries dry up in the sun, and then the beans are removed from the dried fruit. There is no washing involved since there is no moisture left.
So in this way, Colombian beans have a softer, milder taste. However this has become common practice for many Latin America coffee exporters, so you’ll find Brasil coffee that was washed as well.
This raises the price on Colombian coffee, since the process itself takes time, skill, lots of water, and imparts an aroma that most people consider to be better, or of higher quality. You might like it or you might not, but that’s the main reason.
Where Is Arabica Coffee Grown
Arabica coffee is grown in subtropical regions at higher altitudes between 1800 to 3600 feet or equatorial regions at altitudes between 3600 to 6300 feet above sea level.
The best conditions for coffee plants to grow is on either side of the equator where the average temperature is 20°C, with fertile soil and a standard rainfall for the seasons.
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Some Of The Best Instant Coffee Brands
As was just mentioned, to make the best instant coffee youre better off looking for 100% Arabica instant coffee that has been freeze-dried. So the instant coffee brands on this list fit those criteria.
Here in no particular order are some of the best instant coffee brands, all are 100% Arabica instant coffee brands and are freeze-dried.
Instant Coffee And You
I hope this post will help you find the best instant coffee out there. Im glad I didnt give up on instant. In the past, I tried a few different kinds and wasnt a fan, but recently Ive noticed a difference.
Thats not to say Ill be making a full change to instant, Im a big fan of grinding my own coffee and enjoy the flavor of a good pour-over, or Moka pot brew in the morning.
But when Im in a hurry or want a fast iced coffee Ill be reaching for the 100% Arabica freeze-dried instant coffee. Ill probably also pack some on my next camping trip.
Do you think youll give instant a try, or will you be switching up your brand for one mentioned on my list? If so I would love to hear about it, please let me know by joining me in the comments.
- About the Author
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The Best Coffee Beans In The World
The world’s finest arabica coffee beans are listed by country in no particular order since the biggest factor is personal preference.
For example, some people might prefer the winey and fruity acidity of a Kenyan coffee over the classic balance of a Colombian coffee. Others might not. So we’ll go ahead and disclaim that there’s a subjective element and include the most popular coffees, taking all of these factors into account with the highest rated coffees.
This post has been sponsored by BuyCoffeeUSA.com, a roasting company specializing in fresh roasted coffees delivered straight to your door. Their goal is to give people the knowledge to discover single origin coffees, and break away from the “mystery blends” that brands promote.
Some additional notes on methodology have been included at the bottom.
Which Is Better: Arabica Or Robusta
If youre going with popular opinion : arabica is the better bean.
I hear that a very high quality robusta coffee can be quite nice, but I havent tasted one yet.
In the past a lot of instant coffee was made from robusta beans, which may explain why it has had a bad reputation . But there have been improvements in the world of instant coffee and the use of 100% arabica has improved the flavor. But then again people like different things, perhaps you like instant coffee made from robusta, maybe you like bitter, rubbery flavors. If thats the case, you would probably say robusta tastes better.
If youre deciding based on the caffeine punch, than robusta is the clear winner.
So I guess the real answer to this question depends on how big of a jolt you want, or what your taste-buds tell you is delicious. For me, and the majority of human-beans its arabica coffee.
Read more about how to make strong coffee.
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Arabica Beans Vs Robusta Beans Whats The Difference
THE BEAN IDENTITY
Did you know that coffee is actually part of a family of flowering plants called Rubiaceae? Within this family, you will find over five hundred Genera and about six thousand species. One of these is the bean we love, coffee ! Although botanists regard all seed-bearing plants in the Rubiaceae family as coffee plants, the coffees we drink fall mainly within just two species Arabica and Canephora, also known as Robusta. This brings us to the difference between Arabica beans vs Robusta beans.
Arabica Vs Robusta: What’s Better
While there is no truly better coffee, most people seem to prefer Arabica over Robusta because it tastes better. Arabica is smoother and sweeter while Robusta is infamous for its bitter and traditional “coffee” flavor. That being said, it really depends on your flavor preferences.
If you like sweet and fruity flavors, you’re more likely to enjoy Arabica and if you like earthy and bitter flavors, you’re more likely to enjoy Robusta. For Arabica coffee, we recommend our Peru Las Damas Coffee, which has notes of dark chocolate, caramel, orange, and lemon.
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Why Drink Instant Coffee
Many North Americans have gotten away from instant coffee in the past 40 or so years because brewed coffee has been so much better than instant.
But as youve probably heard, there have been some improvements in the flavor and production of instant coffee that have us taking a second look. Why? Because its sooo quick/convenient and brands have improved the flavor.
If you dont have a coffee maker or are running late a quality cup of instant coffee is just whats needed, or if youre planning a camping trip instant is way easier to pack and prepare, its also great as an iced coffee, and a great flavor boost in recipes.
But, will even the best instant coffee taste like your fresh brewed favorite? That may depend on how into coffee you are.
If you are used to measuring out your fresh roasted beans, then grinding them in your burr grinder and brewing them with your Chemex or stovetop espresso maker then maybe not. But if you fit that description could some of the quality instant coffee on the market surprise you? Perhaps, youll need to be the judge.
But what is instant coffee, and how do they make it?
Instant coffee next to coffee roasted beans
They Make Up Nearly All Of The Worlds Coffee Production
Comparing the Two Coffee Beans
At first glance, robusta might seem like the preferable tree: its more resistant to diseases, drought and pests, grows at lower altitudes, produces more coffee cherries and is cheaper.
So, whats the problem? Well, the flavor. It comes down to flavor. And that less refined flavor is absolutely the reason we dont even touch it, said Starbucks coffee engagement manager Aaron Robinson.
The high-quality flavor of arabica beans is grounded in elevation. Arabica trees thrive at higher altitudes than robusta, typically between 3,000 and 6,000 feet. At these elevations, hot days and cool nights slow down the growth of coffee cherries. This gives the cherries and the coffee beans inside more time to develop, creating a more refined flavor.
It can be elegant. It can be complex. It can have body and acidity that is interesting and can be used and played with and blended into new, interesting tastes, Robinson said.
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Where Can You Buy Liberica Beans
Perhaps the most renowned Liberican coffee is found in the Philippines, where its known as kapeng barako , which translates to macho stud in Philippine culture. Typically served black with sugar, this hard-charging Liberican brew is not for the faint of heart. Considered somewhat of a relic from an older generation, kapeng barako is still widely available on the shelves of local supermarkets and served in coffee shops across the Philippines. In fact, outside of Southeast Asia, your best bet for finding Barako coffee is in a market that caters to the Filipino ex-pat community.
Should I Buy Coffee Labelled As 100% Arabica
If you want high-quality coffee, you shouldnt be looking for the 100% arabica label. Instead, you will want to visit a local roaster or specialty coffee shop to buy good quality beans. Few supermarkets stock specialty coffee.
And while the vast majority of specialty coffee is arabica, this doesnt mean that arabica is the only option. Gonzalo says that in the past, specialty coffee drinkers have only been offered arabica coffees because thats all that roasters have in stock. The roaster is the gatekeeper that decides what the consumer tastes.
However, the specialty coffee consumer is curious. Many of them, if given the opportunity by roasters, would love to expand their coffee experience by tasting other coffee species beyond arabica.
The bottom line is simple: the phrase 100% arabica does not guarantee a certain level of quality. In fact, specialty coffees will generally not have the phrase anywhere on their packaging.
As Hanna says, the 100% arabica label only serves to inform you of a bags contents. If youre in search of a high-quality cup, visit a local coffee roaster or specialty coffee shop and ask for some advice. This will help you to deepen your appreciation of specialty coffee and all the work that goes into producing it.
Perfect Daily Grind
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What Is Their Nutritional Content
The nutritional content for Arabica and Colombian beans are fairly similar since they are the same plant. Any batch of coffee has some variations due to things like soil, rain, and sun exposure during growth.
The main nutritional differences are between Arabica and Robusta beans since they are technically two separate species. Robusta is a more robust plant that repels insects due to its higher presence of caffeine and chlorogenic acid.
Both of these compounds tend to result in bitterness, but they are beneficial because they are antioxidants. Many people particularly like the higher level of caffeine in Robusta because it helps them to feel alert.
Arabica may have only half the caffeine content of Robusta, but it does have some of its own nutritional benefits. These beans have twice as much sugar and 60 percent more lipids than Robusta.
Of course, the levels are still low enough to mean that both types of beans are low in calories, but the slightly higher amounts of sucrose and lipids provide a little flavor boost for Arabica. These nutritional compounds capture flavors and make the coffee taste more flavorful and smooth.
How Does Arabica Compare To Other Types Of Coffee
The two types of beans commonly found in America are Arabica and robusta.
Robusta plants are hardier than Arabica plants, so they are able to grow in more diverse environments. They can endure higher temperatures, they can grow at lower altitudes, and they are more resistant to pests and disease. Even though Arabica beans are generally viewed as superior, those are some of the reasons why almost 40% of the worlds coffee output is robusta. It can grow where Arabica cant.
There are other reasons as well.
- Robusta plants produce higher yields than Arabica plants.
- Robusta is more economical to grow, because the plants hardiness allows growers to plow under their fields after the season and use the same land for planting the next year.
- Robusta coffee beans contain nearly twice the caffeine found in Arabica beans theyre often added to Arabica blends to boost their caffeine content.
- Robusta beans produce a richer crema when used to make espresso and they add extra body to espresso blends these last two reasons increase the market for robusta beans.
What about the taste difference?
Weve already discussed the types of flavors that Arabica beans can produce. By comparison, robusta coffee has a harsher taste, with little ability to provide subtle flavors and undertones. In fact, some critics compare robustas taste to that of oatmeal.
Arabica is also more aromatic than Robusta that may be because Arabica contains 60% more lipids.
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