Before we start, be aware that not all Arabica coffee is Specialty Grade! As a matter of fact, coffee is considered Specialty Grade when it has been evaluated under SCAA Coffee Standards. If you are unfamiliar with Specialty Coffee, this article will explore the common arabica coffee varieties typically used in specialty coffee.
Arabica coffee is one of the most widely consumed and popular coffee varieties in the world. It is known for its unique flavor profile and is often considered to be superior to other coffee varieties such as Robusta. The “birth place” of Arabica coffee originated in the high elevation rainforests of Central Africa (Kenya/Ethiopia). Most varieties originated from the wild varieties in Africa and then scientifically modified by botanists (and coffee enthusiasts) before transplanting them to other countries with the right habitat for growing coffee. Today, Arabica coffee is grown in many countries around the world, including some of the top coffee-producing nations such as Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Guatemala.
There are many different varieties of Arabica coffee, each with its own unique flavor and aroma. Let’s get to know a few of them!
Bourbon is a variety of Arabica coffee that is known for its sweet and fruity flavor profile. It is named after the Bourbon Islands, which is now known as the island of Reunion, where it was first discovered. Bourbon coffee beans are typically small and round, and they have a bright acidity and a delicate aroma.
Typica is another popular variety of Arabica coffee that is known for its mild flavor profile. It is believed to be one of the original varieties of Arabica coffee and is often referred to as the “mother of all coffee varieties.” Typica coffee beans are medium-sized and have a round shape, and they have a smooth and balanced flavor with hints of chocolate and fruit.
Caturra is a hybrid variety of Arabica coffee that was developed in Brazil in the 1930s. It is known for its high yield and excellent cup quality, and it is often used as a base for many coffee blends. Caturra coffee beans are small and have a round shape, and they have a bright acidity and a complex flavor profile with notes of caramel and citrus.
Geisha is a relatively new variety of Arabica coffee that was first discovered in Ethiopia and later developed in Panama. It is known for its unique floral and tea-like flavor profile, and it is often considered to be one of the most expensive and sought-after coffee varieties in the world. Geisha coffee beans are long and narrow, and they have a bright acidity and a delicate aroma with notes of jasmine and bergamot.
SL28 is a variety of Arabica coffee that was developed in Kenya in the 1930s. It is known for its bold and fruity flavor profile, and it is often used in single-origin coffees and high-end blends. SL28 coffee beans are large and have an oblong shape, and they have a bright acidity and a complex flavor profile with notes of black currant and tomato.
In conclusion, Arabica coffee is a diverse and complex category of coffee, with many different varieties that offer unique flavor profiles and aroma. Whether you prefer a mild and balanced coffee or a bold and fruity one, there is an Arabica coffee variety out there that is perfect for you. So the next time you enjoy a cup of coffee, take a moment to appreciate the unique flavors and aromas of the Arabica coffee variety that you are drinking.
Let us know what Arabica coffee you like the best!