Coffee Varieties 101
You’ve probably seen “100% Arabica” on coffee bags or heard about “Robusta.” But does it really affect the way your coffee tastes? The answer – absolutely!
To help demystify these coffee varieties, we’ll break it all down for you. There are two types (species, to be exact) of coffee that are commercially grown and produce the coffee you and I drink everyday.
First: Robusta coffee. A lower quality plant that flourishes at lower altitudes and has considerable disease resistance but tends to be on the bitter side of the spectrum.
Second: Arabica coffee. While it doesn’t produce as much fruit and is more susceptible to disease, Arabica plants produce higher quality coffee and the only type that can be considered Specialty Coffee (which is why you’ll never see Robusta in the coffees we sell).
We can classify coffees even further than just by species. These are the “varieties” of coffee. You may have seen varieties such as Bourbon, Caturra, Pacas, or many more (we won’t list them all here because there are a ton). The easiest way to think about it is by comparing coffee varieties to the different varieties of apples. Think about how Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are all various types of apples with each one having certain characteristics that we associate with it. You probably have a couple favorite apples, and coffee varieties can guide you to your favorite coffees in the same way.
Knowing the variety of coffee can be an important piece of information that can tell you what flavors you might expect to taste, but remember at the end of the day it’s all about the quality of the coffee, great farmers, talented roasters, and truly enjoying every last sip.