ARABICA COFFEES EXPLAINED
The two most well known types of coffee beans is Arabica and Robusta. Both species have variants and sub variants, moreover, different bred coffees also exist. Most coffee manufacturers and distributors processes and sell the crop of these two coffee beans. This article explains the Arabica species which is the only species grown in Australia and sadly, Australian coffee doesn’t even get a mention! We are blessed with a cooler subtropical climate for growing coffee in the land of Oz and as a result our coffee is naturally sweeter, free of pest and disease and therefore, it’s all grown organically … free of nasty sprays and pesticides! Win, win! ARABICA – (Coffea Arabica) The flavour and aroma of the Arabica coffee is superior to Robusta and even it’s caffeine content is lower, approximately half or a third of Robusta’s. Arabica is mostly grown in high altitudes (1000-2000), on volcanic soils and mountainous landscapes of tropical climates. Arabica coffee beans also contain less acid and also have a long-lasting, caramel aftertaste. It is more sensitive to environmental conditions (temperature, moisture) therefore it is more expensive than Robusta. The Arabica species has many varieties, the most well know is Peaberry, who’s crop only contains one bean (the rest of the coffee bushes have a crop containing two beans, sometimes three!). The Peaberry is what we at Zentveld’s use for our chocolate coated espressobeans. This is a small bean – little and pea shaped (hence the name), unlike other beans where the oval shape is typical. To highlight the different flavour and aroma effects, certain variants are mixed together, for example Mocha-Java is such a popular bean mix, where the chocolate overtones of the Mocha beans harmonises well with the spicy corpulence of Java. The 60-70% of the world’s coffee production is of Arabica. THE BEST KNOWN ARABICA COFFEE VARIETIES We distinguish three main coffee producing areas in the world in terms of taste:
- The American continent
- The Indonesian Archipelago
SOUTH AMERICA AND CENTRAL AMERICAN COFFEES South and Central America’s countries look back to a very long coffee-producing country. Worldwide, more than half the coffee is produced in Brasil and Colombia. Colombia is one of the world’s largest coffee-producing countries. The espresso made from freshly roasted Colombian coffee beans is characterised by richness in body and aroma and lively acidity. Costa Rican coffees have a balanced acidity, with a slight smoky flavour. They are lightweight and less full-bodied. It is perfect for latte if roasted to medium. Guatemala has medium-bodied coffees with a lively acidity and spicy chocolate notes. Mexico Maragogype is the world’s first largest sized coffee bean. It has a smooth taste with a chocolate hazelnut finish. Jamaica produces the special and expensive Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Hawaii’s volcanic soil produces Kona, this coffee specialty which is characterised by sweet, caramel, slightly spicy flavour. AFRICAN COFFEES Africa is the homeland of the coffee bean, certain of its areas are the world leaders in the production of coffee. Kenyan coffees are medium-bodied and sweet, they evoke fruit aromas. The true coffee experts claim that some Kenyan coffee’s taste is reminiscent of wine. The Ethiopian coffees typically have a floral and fruity aroma. Ethiopia is famous for it’s three variants of of coffee.
- Ethiopian Sidamo: This variant comes from Ethiopia’s Sidamo territory. It has a spicy, chocolate flavour and a floral aroma.
- Ethiopian Yirgacheffe: Also part of Sidamo in Ethiopia, within that the surroundings of Yirga Chefe city.
- Ethiopian Harar: A walled city in eastern Ethiopia, Harar is located on the hilltop in the east of the Ethiopian Highlands.
Tanzania Peaberry: the name ‘Peaberry’ comes from the fact that instead of the usual two beans there is only one bean inside the coffee cherry. This strong flavoured, aromatic coffee grows on Mount Kilimanjaro. Yemen: the Yemen Mocha coffee variety is produced on the mountains of Yemen (Mocha is a port-town at the Red Sea coast). Their character is similar to Ethiopian. The Yemeni coffee is among the world’s most sought after coffees due to it’s complex spiciness and it’s earthy, chocolate, slightly fruity taste. COFFEES FROM THE INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO High quality coffee is growing on islands with sub-tropical climate, particularly in Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi Island. The taste of coffees produced in India is similar to Indonesian coffees. Coffees from the Indonesian archipelago are usually bodied, slightly acidic and obtain rich, earthy flavours. Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world is an Indonesian coffee specialty. Courtesy of Cafe Flavour