Looking for a reliable and trusted Arabica coffee supplier? Well, then you should find out how much they know about the coffee beans they sell. Because knowing the product is everything in this business. We believe that a good Arabica coffee supplier should know their coffee beans in and out, complete, and thoroughly. At least, they must be able to explain the basic things that matter. Here are a few need-to-know things about Arabica coffee beans that everyone in the coffee business –especially Arabica coffee suppliers– should know and understand by heart:
1. The History
Arabica coffee is made from the seeds of the Coffea arabica plant, which famously originated in Ethiopia. Although Ethiopia is the homeland of coffee, the name Arabica refers to this coffee being originally grown in Yemen, on the Arabian Peninsula. It was not until the second half of the seventeenth century, when the desire to drink coffee also took over Western Europe, that the coffee plant began to migrate, ending Arabia’s monopoly in the cultivation of the coffee tree. As a result, the cultivation of the coffee plant spread to India (Malabar), Java and even the American continent. To date, Arabica coffee bean is the most widespread variety, accounting for 60-70% of global
2. The Taste
Known for their vibrant and complex flavors, Arabica coffee beans are loved by coffee connoisseurs as they tend to taste sweeter, softer, with tones of fruits, florals, chocolate, and nuts, as well as a higher level of acidity. The fruity acidity and lack of bitterness made it more enjoyable and pleasant.
Yet, as we all know, the flavor of a coffee is influenced not only by the variety of beans, but also by the growing conditions, processing method, and the roasting level. In terms of growing conditions, for instance, the region where the coffee is grown will determine its flavor. Ethiopian coffees are known for their fruity and floral flavors; South American coffees are known for sweet caramel and nuts; Indonesian coffees are dark and earthy. This is in fact what enriches the variety of Arabica coffee beans across the globe.
3. The Varieties
The two main Arabica coffee varieties are Typica and Bourbon. Other popular coffee varieties are either natural mutations or intentionally bred hybrids of one or both. Typica and Bourbon owe their significance in today’s world to the fact that they were the first coffee plants taken from Ethiopia to Yemen for commercial cultivation.
Typica is one of the original Arabica coffees exported from Ethiopia and is still one of the most cultivated coffees in the world –hence the name, Typica. Typica is well adapted to cold conditions and thrives at high altitudes, producing richly flavorful brews. Typica is the first Arabica coffee to make its way to Indonesia. This coffee variety was declared extinct due to leaf rust pests. However, there are still derivative typica varieties in Indonesia, namely bergendal and sidikalang.
Besides Typica, Bourbon is the other genetic parent of most coffees we know and love today. It was one of the earliest coffees taken from Ethiopia for the purpose of commercial growing. The name Bourbon has nothing to do with the taste of bourbon liquor, but it comes from the fact that it was first cultivated exclusively on Bourbon Island.
So, whenever you are looking for a new Arabica coffee supplier, make sure that they truly know their coffee beans and are familiar with some of the important things we mentioned above.