Types of Coffee

Coffee Guy

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Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
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Wow, this question has as many answers as stars in the universe :twisted: This mainly depends on the origins (countires) that each bean is grown. Most know the major countries and/or regions where coffee is grown like Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, and so on. What really makes things fun is the fact that there are a lot of different farms and/or estates within these countries, but the greens can be very different. That's why its fun to be a roaster, because you never run out of possibilities for cupping something you've never had. So you see there can be many answers to this question :roll:


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Mar 29, 2005
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um. as far as species:

most coffee plants are arabica or robusta (or coffea liberia, but im not sure that has any significance). arabica have less caffeine and generally are preferred to robusta. they're also much harder to grow and grow at high altitudes in tropical climates.

then arabica plants come in different varieties. i believe the two most common are typica and bourbon varieties.

i think im a comparative ignoramus here, so i apologize if i got somethign wrong.


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Aug 21, 2005
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WOW, what a question! This could be answered in 7000 paragraphs!
Instead of putting you to sleep, I will recommend a site that has THE MOST DETAILED information on all questions coffee. It is http://www.sweetmarias.com
The owner, Tom, is very much interested in knowing EVERYTHING there is to know about coffee. It is a wonderful resource if you are just getting started, or even to a coffee pro.
Hope that helps,


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Jan 13, 2006
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Central American Coffee Varieties

The Best place to experience and really understand about coffee varieties is to visit the farms and estates themselves. For all you coffee enthusiasts who know what I am talking about, there is nothing better than enjoying natures beautiful landscape with a nice cup of coffee near the hills in Matagalpa Nicaragua. Some varieties include Catuai, Typica, Bourbon, Caturra, and the list goes on...


Jan 22, 2006
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Lucidcafe.com has a good article that breaks beans into categories for blending based on their character. Category 1 they call Big classic coffees which include Guatemala, Costa Rica, Columbia, Venezuelan. They are strong in both body and acidity and great for adding character to a blend.

Category 2 is the mixers: the 'unobtrusive' beans that are great bases for espresso blends. These include Brazillan Santos, Peruvian beans, Dominican Ruepublic beans and Mexician beans.

Category 3: East African and Yeman: Yeman Mocha, Kenyan, Zimbabwe, Ugandan Bugishu, Malawi

Category 4: Asian-Pacific: Sumatra, Sulawesi, Java arabica, New Guinea, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Lima, Indian Mysore

Category 5: Aged and specially handled coffees: Indian Monsoon Malabar...

For sweet blends a neutral base blended with category 4 and 5 beans is recommended. For strong blends a neutral base blended with category 1, 3 and 5 is recommended.

I've been home roast experimenting with these recommendations and the advice is reliable. I've been able to blend some tasty strong and sweet espresso using the info as a guide.

Not included as a category are robustas. Some recommend a small quantity of robusta in an espresso blend for kick and crema. I've used Indian Robusta Cherry and found the shots to have more creamy crema and a bit of spice but fresh roasts without robusta and pulled well result in very good crema as well.

As far as the difference between arabica and robusta, from what I know, arabica beans grow at higher altitudes where there's less bugs to feed off them so they've evolved to have less caffeine than their lower altitude robusta cousin who has more caffeine to ward off bugs. Arabica is also a more delicate but produces a higher quality coffee bean than the hardier more robust low altitude robusta. I believe this accounts for the difference in price between arabica and robusta.
The two main types of beans are Aribica and Robusta. I have little experience with robusta as, from a snobbish point of view, it is considered to be low quality and undesirable, although there are some desireable varieties of Robusta out there. The key differences between those two coffees are that Robusta has 32 chromosomes and grows at a lower altitude, the significance of the 32 chromosomes is this allows the plants to cross pollinate and makes it more difficult to keep genetically pure strains of coffee.
Aribica has 16 chromosomes and the plants cannot cross pollinate. Aribica also grows at a higher altitude (generally above 1000 ft).
As for regional distinctions the main ones that I deal with are Hawaiian coffees (high quality, also very expensive), Centrral American (more distinct flavor, excellant mixing base), African (wild acidity, excellant flavor distinction), and Indonesian coffees, (strong earthyness, spicyness).
Even between the basic regions there are great varieties of flavor. The diffence between Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopian, and Tanzanian is impressive, and with practice you can pick the flavor distinctions of these coffees out of blends and determine exactly what is in that coffee.
There are other differnces, (longberry, peaberry, ect. ect. ect) but my fingers are already getting tired.


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Apr 6, 2006
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What are the main types of coffee, what categories are the beans broken down into. Areas of beans, ect.

in short :) the main types of coffee are arabica and robusta! those are mixed in different valuese to create the "una caffee normale`" you drink at home or in your coffee shop, although i have to say the worst coffee drunk is in our U.s. the robusta is the one making the most caffiene and "crema" on top. the arabica is more refined in taste and aroma.
what do you think about the coffee in the U.S.A ???


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May 13, 2006
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Jeff said "The two main types of beans are Aribica and Robusta"... that right what as long as I know, but some times I found who people said is Arabusta ( come from Arabica x Robusta coffee tree ). About the taste it's quite different.. for me tha aroma of Arabica more strong than Robusta. That's my experience what I ever drink of Luwak Coffee.... :) :grin:

Good Luck to Become Coffee Lover

coffeetology girl

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Jun 12, 2006
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Coffee Beans 101


Coffee is classified by coffee bean variety, bean size, roast and origin:

A. Types of Coffee based on coffee bean variety

1. Arabica
2. Robusta
3. Liberica
4. Exelsa

B. Types of Coffee based on bean size

1. Moka
2. Bourbon
3. Martinique

C. Types of Coffee based on roast

1. American roast: beans are medium-roasted, resulting in a moderate brew, not too light or too heavy in flavor.
2.French roast: heavily-roasted beans, a deep chocolate brown which produce a stronger coffee
3. Italian roast: glossy, brown-black, strongly flavoured, used for espresso.
4. European roast: two-thirds heavy-roast beans blended with one-third regular-roast
5. Viennese roast: one-third heavy-roast beans blended with two-thirds regular-roast

D. Types of Coffee based on origin:

This classification has many types from Africa, Java and Costa Rica, to Sumatra, Sulawasi and Asia