There are 2 types of coffee beans: Robusta and Arabica.
- Arabica is a higher quality bean used in most cafes and coffee houses. Arabica has many cultivars and flavor characteristics that come from the soil & surrounding vegetation and are notable per origin.
- Arabica contains less caffeine than any other commercially cultivated species of coffee.
- After harvesting and processing the coffee cherry, the raw products are known as green coffee beans.
- Today the gourmet coffee beans we all know are grown in many countries: Asia, Africa, Central or South America, the islands of the Caribbean or the Pacific
- Robusta is a lower grade coffee used mostly in traditional grocery store brands like Maxwell House and Folgers
- Gourmet coffee beans we all know are grown in many countries: Asia, Africa, Central or South America, the islands of the Caribbean or the Pacific
- Coffee beans come from a fruit, a ‘cherry’ that is grown on a tree at a high altitude from 1200-2200 meters.
- Wet processed coffees are like those from South America, Colombia and some from Ethiopia. Most Central Americans like Guatemalan and Costa Rican are wet-processed as well. These coffees are cleaner, brighter, and fruitier with a lighter body. Those washed coffees from Ethiopia such as Yirgacheffe and Sidamo are less earthy because they are washed coffees.
- The dry process is another method, also known as unwashed or natural process. It is the oldest method of processing green coffee beans where the entire cherry is cleaned and then placed in the sun to dry on tables or in thin layers on patios, completely intact and the dried cherry is removed after it has dried.Many of the coffees produced in Brazil, Ethiopia and India use the dry method. Ethiopian Sidamo and Yirgacheffe are processed wet or dry depending on the farm. Harrar is usually dry processed.The dry-process (also known as the natural method) produces coffee that is heavy in body, sweet, smooth, and complex
- Another method used in Brazil mainly but also used on some farms in Sulawesi, Indonesia and Sumatra is the pulped natural. The coffee is prepared by removing the outer skin of the cherry and drying the coffee with the sticky mucilage and the inner skins still clinging to the bean. The bean is then dried in stages before the rest of the layers are removed.
- There are natural sugars inside coffee beans & the roasting process develops them. As the bean heats from the inside, the sugars naturally caramelize and give the coffee its flavor.
- Top grade, excellent coffee is NOT bitter if roasted properly. Even darker roasts can be pleasant to some extent, and not burnt if roasted correctly.
- The degree of sweetness and other flavors are related to the coffee’s origin and the length of the roasting time. In most low quality coffees, darker (Full city & French) roasted coffees usually taste burnt.