How many different varieties of coffee are there?

Arabica beans are fan favorites among coffee connoisseurs. They account for the majority of coffee produced and sold in the world today and about 60 percent of the world's coffee consumption. Of course, there is quite a bit of variation between different localities, arabica beans tend to have brighter bodies and usually have complex flavor profiles and aromas, so they tend to be more popular than other types of beans. Arabica beans are best exhibited with hot brewing, especially with manual techniques such as pouring.

However, its depth and complexity can be overshadowed or diluted if you drown your coffee with milk, creams or sugars or if you use cold brewing methods. Robusta coffee beans, on the other hand, are much stronger and bitter, and instead of gaining popularity through the quality and depth of the brew, these plants are popular for their high levels of caffeine (with about twice the caffeine content of arabicas) and their endurance. You will find robust beans in many types of espresso, instant coffee or regular coffee for those who prefer a really strong cup. While they thrive in warmer climates and varied rainfall, robust beans are known to be able to withstand a much wider range of climates and altitudes, as well as resist disease better than other varieties.

That kind of resistance makes them better for growing big crops. Two less popular types of coffee beans are liberica and excelsa. The former is grown exclusively in the Philippines and is not imported into the US. UU.

Not at all, so you probably won't find any liberica or excelsa drip infusion on the menu of the local cafe. However, the latter (which is often considered a genus of liberica beans), is grown in Southeast Asia and accounts for about 7 percent of world coffee consumption. Liberica beans peaked in popularity in the 1890s, when coffee rust destroyed 90 percent of arabica crops. Because the Philippines was the first to start any kind of serious production, it became a major supplier.

But once the country declared its independence, trade between this country and the United States was cut off. So, when a harvest of liberica could be restored, arabica had already regained the first place for coffee production, and has maintained it ever since. Liberica beans were (and are when you can find them) known for having a distinctive, woody or smoky flavor with a full body and floral or fruity aroma. However, the sour and fruity excelsa bean is a little easier to find.

It grows on massive coffee trees of 20 to 30 feet (as opposed to the maximum six-foot trees on which arabica beans grow). These beans are primarily used to add an extra layer of complexity and depth to coffee blends rather than selling themselves. But for those of you who are interested, let's take a look at some of the best-known varieties. Please note that each type of bean that follows is included in the arabica family tree.

Typica is their “typical Arabica”, and this variety encompasses several of the most popular and sought-after regional coffees, including Kona, Java, Jamaica's Blue Mountain and more. This variety originated in Yemen before trade spread it far and wide, first sending it to Malabar, India and Indonesia before finally reaching the West Indies. This original variety of arabica coffee is named after the Ethiopian village from which it comes and was not commercially planted or harvested until the 1950s. It is resistant to coffee rust, and is now grown mainly in Panama on fairly tall trees that have remarkably long leaves that mimic the shape of the beans.

Obviously, these are not nearly every variety of coffee out there, but we thought listing a few might help you get an idea of how they are interconnected. To read more, Medium has a useful “periodic table” that you can refer to to help demonstrate connections. And the World Coffee Research catalog is a great resource if you want to explore individual arabica varieties in more detail. Coffee with egg: a Vietnamese drink made with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and strong robusta coffee.

How many varieties of coffee are there today? The number of different varieties that exist in the world is unknown. Ethiopia alone has more than 10,000 accessions collected and growing. Our coffees represent about 2 to 3 dozen varieties, with the exception of those from Ethiopia. Finding new varieties and testing them with our producing partners is one of the many ways we seek to improve our coffees.

Coffee varieties are the various subspecies derived from the selective reproduction or natural selection of coffee plants. While enormous variability is found in both wild and cultivated coffee plants, there are some varieties and cultivars that are commercially important due to several unique and inherent traits, such as disease resistance and fruit yield. These unique traits are what growers use to select breeds when developing crops. Therefore, at the micro level, breed selection is fundamental to a producer's success and is one of the key components of cup quality.

There are only about 100 different types of coffee plants that can be distinguished botanically. All types of coffee beans can be traced back to one of those types of coffee plants. The most popular types of coffee plants that also produce most of all coffee beans are Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee. However, many types of coffee beans can be derived from one type of coffee plant.

Because the type of coffee bean is influenced only after harvest. It is defined by the way people process and roast coffee beans. While the type of coffee plant is biologically fixed, the type of coffee bean is a matter of process and procedure. Consequently, there are almost countless types of coffee on the world market.

Although it was once considered a separate kind of coffee, scientists recently reclassified it as a variant of Liberica. These are unique types of coffee that you may not find anywhere else, but you'll definitely want to try them at least once to see what it's like. The most modern cold coffee in the iced coffee group, is made by soaking the coffee beans anywhere between 6 and 36 hours, depending on how strong you would like your cold coffee. It actually accounts for 60-70% of the coffee produced worldwide, but there are a few other types that are much less common in the United States.

Usually, espresso is served in a one-ounce drink or used as a base for a variety of coffee drink recipes. For those who want to grow coffee as a houseplant, and for growers who want plants that use the least amount of space (and, therefore, money) and at the same time produce the highest yield, a small size of an individual plant is preferred. As the name lowland coffee suggests, Robusta coffee plants thrive at altitudes between 300 and 800 meters above sea level. Vienna coffee: hot espresso (or regular hot coffee for something that isn't so strong) topped with a layer of whipped cream.

This coffee uses a Vietnamese metal filter where coffee is brewed and filtered through this piece. Ca Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese iced coffee): A Vietnamese coffee drink whose name means “coffee with ice milk” that is made by mixing black coffee (which has been filtered through a Vietnamese coffee filter called phin) with a quarter or half of sweetened condensed milk and poured over ice. The best Robusta coffee beans will have hints of chocolate and rum within their flavor profile, but in reality, they are not always readily available. Because of this, it is particularly suitable as a cold drip coffee, as well as for filter coffee or French press.

In fact, outside of Southeast Asia, your best bet for finding Barako coffee (or Liberica beans) is in a market that caters to the Filipino expat community. . .

Patrick Draper
Patrick Draper

Total bacon practitioner. Proud coffee expert. Freelance internet maven. Zombie scholar. General bacon specialist. Devoted coffee junkie.