What Is Arabica Coffee
Coffee is not the fruit of a single tree species, in fact, there are several types of coffees with notable differences between them. More than 100 different coffee species have been cataloged, but only two types cover almost all of the world’s production: Arabica and Robusta coffee. Today we focus on knowing a little more about Arabic, a grain of superior quality.
What Characteristics does Arabica coffee have?
Arabica is considered the best coffee beans since although it has less body than the robust one, it is more balanced, aromatic and has a very pleasant acidity. In addition, it has less caffeine than other varieties.
Arabica has between 0.8% and 1.4% of caffeine, far from the 4% that can have a robust coffee. It is undoubtedly a subtle, delicate and elegant coffee with a great balance between flavor and body.
The Arabica grain can be easily distinguished with the naked eye since it has a more elongated and flattened shape than the robust one and is crossed by a light S-shaped line, its most visible characteristic.
Where Arabica coffee is grown?
Arabica is the most cultivated coffee in the world, with 60% of world production, while almost 40% corresponds to the robust one. In addition, we find Arabica coffee in almost all coffee-producing countries with very different results according to variety, climate, and geography.
The Arabica coffee tree grows between 500 and 2400 meters high, in humid areas with warm weather and the height at which it is grown influences its quality.The100% Arabica coffee that is grown above 1,000 (and even 2,000 meters) is considered the highest quality.
How many varieties of Arabic Coffee exist?
Arab coffee was the first type of coffee discovered in Ethiopia, where it is believed to be native. The Swedish scientist Carlos Linneo was the first to catalog it in his taxonomy of living beings in 1753.
Within the Arab species, we find a large number of varieties.Among the most popular varieties, typica and bourbon stand out.
- Typica: It is grown mainly in Central America, Jamaica, and Asia and is a high-quality variety, with clean and sweet acidity.
- Bourbon: It is a natural mutation of the typica.It can be found throughout Latin America and in African countries such as Burundi and Rwanda.
- Caturra: It is a very common bourbon variety that is grown especially in Brazil.
- Gesha or Geisha: It has nothing to do with Japan. This variety is native to the Ethiopian city of Gesha but the one grown in Panama has become popular. Panamanian gesha is considered one of the best premium coffees.
- Jamaica blue mountain: coffee considered by many to be the best in the world, it is also a variety of Arabica grown at high altitude in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica.
In addition, there are a large number of hybrids among Arabica varieties and between
Many of the ground coffees that are in the market and in the restoration are a mixture of robust and Arabic coffee. In this way, the robust provides the body that Arabica does not have.
It is important to note that the mixture that appears on the labels of many ground coffees does not refer to this. The mixed coffee packages contain a part of natural roasted coffee (Arabic and/or robust) and a part of roasted coffee (roasted with sugar). It is not a matter of the types of coffee but of type of toast.
The coffee bean arabica is also marketed alone, such as pure Arabica coffee beans from Bonka or ground coffee Puro Colombia. Because of its quality, if the coffee beans or ground coffee is Arabic, it is very likely to appear on the label.
The coffee in Colombian beans with the designation of origin, one of the most appreciated, is also arabica variety. In fact, 100% of Colombian coffee production is of this variety.
Why Arabic coffee is more expensive?
Arabica coffee varieties are grown higher than the robust ones. This, in many occasions, implies a greater difficulty when it comes to collecting the fruit. In addition, Arabica coffee trees are less productive and less resistant to pests.
In addition, almost all premium coffee varieties are Arabica, in general, limited and highly valued productions that quickly increase their market value.
How climate change will affect your crop?
Arabica coffee varieties are grown from 500 or 800 meters above sea level, with specific humidity and temperature conditions. That is why the effects of climate change are beginning to affect their cultivation.
The Arabica Coffee is on the Red List of Endangered Species of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a species at risk of disappearing.
Arabica coffee varieties provide better quality to your cup of coffee. If we talk about gourmet coffee beans without a doubt this is Arabica coffee. Not surprisingly, it is the most produced and most appreciated type of coffee worldwide, despite the difficulties of its cultivation.
What is the difference between arabica coffee and Conilon?
If you like coffee you may have heard or seen in some packages the term “100% Arabic”.
But do you know what that means?
Coffee is the name of the coffee seed that belongs to the botanical family of Rubiáceas, whose genus is called Coffea.
Among the many species of this genus, three stand out:
1. Coffea arabica – its most common varieties are Typica and Bourbon, which originated from other cultivars such as Caturra (Brazil and Colombia), New World (Brazil), Tico (Central America), San Ramon (Central America), Blue Mountain (Jamaica). ) and Sumatra (Indonesia). Of these still originated others such as Catuaí, a hybrid of the New World and Caturra.
2. Coffea canephora – its most common variety is Robusta, being grown in western and central Africa, southwest Asia and some regions of Brazil where it is known as Conilon.
3. Coffea liberica – its variety is called Dewevrei, known as Excelsa and is native to Africa, not much in demand.
Economically, the two most cultivated species are Coffea arabica (representing about 60% of world production) and Coffea canephora. The first has oval fruits that mature between 7 and 9 months, and the second has rounded fruits that take up to 11 months to mature.
The fruits occur along the branches of the coffee tree and each fruit is formed by the outer shell, whose coloration is red or yellow (depending on the cultivar) when it is ripe. Below the shell, there is a pulp (mesocarp) followed by a gelatinous layer (mucilage), which is in contact with the cover called parchment (endocarp), which surrounds the grains (two seeds).
Arabica Coffee X Conilon Coffee
In the last decade, at least, coffee has begun to change the face of the sector by valuing special beans that give rise to a tastier drink.
In this vigorous market, many labels have also been reinforced – “the Arabian grain is the nobleman of the family”, “the conilon (robusta) is the poor cousin” – and there are those
Who do not know the differences between them?
But both of them have their value
Explains Armando Androciolli, an agronomist at the Paraná Agronomic Institute (Iapar).
To show the relevance of each in the market, the researcher clarifies the importance and the difference between them; which have in common the same family (Rubiáceas) composed of more than 60 species, two of which are cultivated and marketed:
Arabica Coffee ( Coffea arabica )
Coming from the mountains of Ethiopia is the species that gives rise to the so-called fine coffees through its many varieties (new world, yellow and red catuai, bourbon, etc). The drink made from them is considered noble for its complexity of aroma and flavor (sweetness and acidity). Gourmet coffees can only be extracted through these crops.
Arabica represents 3/4 of world coffee production, concentrated between South and Central America. In Brazil, its largest harvest is in Minas Gerais (the main producer of the country) and the national harvest (2018/2019) is estimated at 36.9 million bags, according to the National Supply Company (Conab). The price paid to the producer (60-kilo bag) is higher than the conillon.
Robusta Coffee ( Coffea canephora )
Originally from Congo and Guinea, it accounts for 1/4 of world production concentrated in Africa, Asia, and South America. The best-known varieties are robusta and conilon, as it is called in Brazil. In the country, the crops are basically in Espírito Santo and the last national crop is estimated at 13.9 million bags, according to Conab.
More bitter, the grain does not yield a fine drink like arabica. However, it is valued for blending and the instant coffee industry – it has more soluble substances (sugars and caffeine), with wide acceptance in the American and European markets. The species is also more productive (blooms several times a year) compared to Arabic and disease resistance.