Have you ever wondered about all the different types of coffees when going to get that favorite pack of coffee from your local store? Well that’s a good question and there are a lot of coffees out there but all the coffees fall into one of 4 categories which we will talk about shortly.
Coffee type drastically determines whether it is the best choice for espresso machines or drip coffee makers because coffee categories determine aroma, strength, cost, and many other factors. The most popular of them all is Arabica coffee and I’m certain that you have at least heard it before. Let’s take a closer look at the categories.
Coffee Arabica is the dominant coffee bean type and it represents approximately 60% of all coffee production in the world and it’s mainly produced in Ethiopia. Arabica coffee is the best choice for quality coffee because of the delicate aroma and less bitter taste and it haves 1.5% caffeine content, however, Arabica coffee is more expensive because it is harder to cultivate than Robusta, which is the second-largest coffee type. All quality coffee shops use Arabica coffee and even Arabica coffee is more expensive you can certainly find a pack from the well-equipped grocery store.
Robusta is also known as Coffee Canephora has 2.7% caffeine content which you might think that is good, however, caffeine tastes bitter and Robusta has nearly double the amount of caffeine than Arabica which leads to a more ”rubbery” taste. Robusta is less expensive than Arabica because of its way easier to farm, it’s less vulnerable to insects and it is farmed in lower altitudes. Robusta coffee represents nearly 40% of the world’s production and originates back to Congo. Robusta coffee is usually used in instant coffees and most of the coffees at your local grocery store are also Robusta.
Arabica and Robusta dominate nearly all the coffee production on the planet but there are two other types that should take into notice.
Liberica coffee isn’t easy to come by these days because it only counts for 1% of the world’s total coffee production. Liberica coffee originates from Liberia, however, it is mainly farmed in the Philippines. The unique thing about Liberica coffee is that the beans are the largest of them and those who have tasted a cup say that it is highly different than Arabica and Robusta. Also, the taste is said to resemble smoked wood with a hint of nutty and chocolaty taste. Liberica has the lowest caffeine content of all despite the strong taste.
The last coffee type is Excelsa which accounts for 7% of the world’s total coffee production and it is mainly used as a blend with other types to give different tastes experiences and blends. In 2006, Excelsa bean was classified as part of the Liberica family however it is still considered a different type in the coffee communities. Excelsa grows mainly in Southeast Asia and
Now that we know about the 4 different coffee bean categories it’s good to go through which of them are considered light, medium, or dark roast.
The difference between these 3 is huge and you should try dark and light roast side by side in order to truly notice the difference. If you haven’t ever done that you’re in for a surprise!
What Is Coffee Roasting
Coffee roasting is a process where the harvested bean is roasted so the unique flavor, aroma, and properties are brought into the coffee bean we all are familiar with. The longer the bean is roasted the darker it gets with the properties changing along the way and the lighter the roast, the more aromatic and flavor-rich the coffee is. Oh by the way, if you didn’t know, the raw coffee bean is really green!
Light roast beans are the least amount of time in the roaster as you might have concluded and what’s great about a light roast is that it has the most of its unique characteristics left, therefore better and more distinctive aroma. Light roast beans are usually found in specialty coffee shops due to the aroma rich taste. Light roast beans are roasted at 356°F – 401°F.
Medium roast is the middle road of light and dark. Where medium roast still has its unique characteristics and aroma left, it is starting to lean towards that chocolaty and deep taste of the dark roast. Medium roast beans are roasted at 410 – 428°F.
Dark roast doesn’t have much of the unique aroma left, however, it does have that full and rich texture and a chocolaty feel to it so it certainly isn’t bland or tasteless. When roasted at 465-480°F the coffee bean starts to have an oily surface which gives dark roast that famous toasty aroma.
You can compare coffee roasting to cookie baking. The higher the temperature and longer baking time, the more burned and toasty feel it has.
Now that we know the essential things about coffee beans we can finally see the top coffee bean types on the market! The absolute best in my opinion is the Jamaican Blue Mountain and don’t only take my word for it, it is widely considered the best of the best and it is quite rare with a lot of demand.
Below you can see a quick list for different coffee beans and the full reviews are starting right below.
- Cigar Blend
- Colombia El Tambo
- Colombia Sugar Cane Decaf
- Costa Rica Tarrazu
- Guatemala Atitlan
- Honduras Cooperativa Raos
- Jamaica Blue Mountain 100%
- Kenya Kahindu Estate
- Kona Extra Fancy 100%
- Kona Holiday Blend
- Marlboro Hills Espresso
- Marlboro Hills Decaf
- Organic Peruvian Chanchamayo
- Papua New Guinea – Namugo
- Probably The Best Coffee
- Rwanda – Organic Free Trade
- Sumatra Mandheling
- Tanzania Burka Estate
Best 18 Coffee Bean Types
This organic shade of Dark Roast Arabica coffee is born in the funniest way when a man named George who just loved cigars said that coffee is the best treat when enjoying a cigar. Then the company challenged him to create its own blend with beans from Honduras, Guatemala, and Brazil and the results are amazing. If you are a fan of cigars this coffee is for you!
If you’re a fan of Mountain grown Arabica coffee that is roasted to Medium perfection then this is your coffee. In coffees, the higher the altitude the more complex the flavor, and these beans are grown at 5725feet (1745m)! In addition to the high altitude, Colombia is famous for the micro-climates especially in the mountains that gives these beans an even more diverse taste. This coffee is finished with brown sugar and chocolate notes.
Do you love medium roast Arabica coffee but want to stay away from caffeine? Then a cup of Colombia Sugar Cane coffee will do the trick for you. This coffee is naturally decaffeinated and is grown in ultra-high altitudes up to 6550feet (2000m). If you taste careful, you might notice a taste of tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel, or chocolate!
This dark roast Arabica coffee is grown in the shades of Costa Rica and will get your morning started with the most smooth and sweet feeling. We adore this coffee not only because of its mouth-loving texture, but the toasted pistachio and hint of tropical fruit give the cup a unique feel and taste.
This medium roast 100% mountain-grown Arabica coffee has a great history within Guatemala. In the shadow of Lake Atitlán, these beans are grown with care in the ancient lands of historical Mayan tribes. A cup of the Guatemala Atitlan tastes like delightful caramel pecan with a hint of lemongrass. These coffee beans are classified as SHB (Strictly Hard Bean) which is the highest rating that a Guatemalan coffee can be awarded.
Honduras Cooperativa Raos is a special coffee in its own way. Relying on the smallholders of the area this coffee is gathered and roasted to optimal Medium roast. The sweet and mellow taste is crowned with citric aromas from lemon and grapefruit and finished with chocolate notes. These beans are grown approximately 5000 feet above sea level!
The famous Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans. Known worldwide for the gentle and sweet flavors with unbelievable composition and bold but caring aroma. This coffee is roasted weekly in order to give the batch the maximum taste and the high-quality medium roasting process ensures that it will remain on the top of the coffee business. The only con is the price tag which is the result of the small quantities and very high demand.
This 100% mountain-grown Arabica coffee has an AA rating which puts these beans to the top coffees of the world. Farmed in Nyeri, Kenya these beans has a bright and taste bud penetrating aroma with superior mouth feeling. If you’re looking for a coffee that will get your day started, these beans are made just for that.
This coffee reaches the standards of the Jamaican Blue Mountain and you won’t be surprised when you hear why. These coffee beans are grown in the tropical paradise of Hawaii’s mountain region in Kona. Ideal placement on the shades and the volcanic soil plantation will make these beans unequaled. This light and sweet tasting coffee is the ultimate choice for fancy and treasured coffee moments.
Kona’s holiday blend differs a little from the one above. This blend has 50% of the original Kona beans and the other half is 100% Arabica beans which makes this coffee much cheaper than the relatively expensive Extra Fancy. This blend will be the ideal choice for gift purposes without breaking your bank with it.
These might be the best beans available for quality espresso! The perfect mixture of Arabica beans and the right amount of India Cherry Robusta will give this coffee a delightful and quality Arabica taste, yet strong enough to be espresso with the help of Robusta beans. This coffee is ground multiple times a week in order to take full advantage of espresso flavor and aroma. Marlboro Hills Espresso is the choice for any coffee house.
The same beans as above but decaffeinated will give options to those who like to live life caffeine-free. The full body that these beans will give the espresso cup quality worthy for any coffee house. Whole bean decaf coffee isn’t the most usual form of decaf coffees so it’s nice that 1st in coffee provides quality for caffeine-free people as well!
This highly popular coffee is grown in high altitudes in Peru’s Andes mountain. This medium roast is made from 100% shade-grown Arabica beans and when taking a sip from the coffee cup you will notice a slightly nutty flavor with a hint of brightly acidic vibes. This coffee is a traditional South American delicacy. The price-quality ratio on this one is just great which is probably why it’s so popular.
These Arabica coffee beans are the hidden gem of Papua New Guinea’s rain forests. This coffee is grown 6000feet (1800m) above sea level and has been described to have a slightly nutty and toffee taste with a hint of lemon. Papua New Guinea’s micro-climates and ideal temperatures make this coffee grow fast with aroma-rich characteristics.
This unbelievable popular 1st coffee’s own blend is probably the best coffee, at least many reviews indicate so. This medium-dark Arabica coffee roast is the result of 1st coffee head roaster’s hard work and dedication in order to get the perfect coffee at an affordable price. These beans are roasted weekly so you will always have a fresh batch, no matter what.
In the shadows on Lake Kivu, this Free Trade Arabica coffee grows on top of volcanic soil which gives coffee the ultimate environment to grow and flourish. When taking a sip of Rwanda’s organic coffee you will notice a taste resembling lemon and grapefruit with a sweet and smooth feeling. If you love the environment, then you will love Rwanda’s organic coffee and COOPAC operation in the area with the environment first in mind.
This first-grade mountain-grown Arabica coffee is roasted to perfect dark beans and it is considered the best coffee of whole Indonesia. This coffee is well known for its low acidity properties, strong body, and smooth and earthly taste. The beauty of Sumatra Mandheling is that it doesn’t come from only one farm, but many tiny farms from the area so you will feel the love of many people that have taken time and care to grow these beans.
The last coffee on this list but certainly not the least is from Tanzania’s Burka Estate. These beans are farmed in northern Tanzania in the foothills of Mount Meru. The volcanic soil where it is grown will ensure top quality and from the farmlands, you can spot Mount Kilimanjaro so these beans have a great story behind them. This medium roast will fit from home to coffee house and its soft aroma and body will be the highlight of each day.
From the coffees above you will most certainly find the one specific for your needs whether it is light, medium, or dark roast for peaceful coffee moments at home or to intense high-volume coffee shops. I personally love the Jamaican Blue Mountain and if I’m in a mood for good espresso, the Marlboro Hills Espresso beans haven’t yet let me down.