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  • Writer's pictureAnn Allanson

4 Types of Coffee Beans (And What Makes Them Each Unique)

No doubt you’ve heard of Arabica coffee. It’s the most common type of coffee bean served in the world, producing between 60-70% of the world’s coffee. But did you there are actually 4 types of coffee beans?

Arabica (Coffee arabica), Excelsa (Coffee liberica var. dewevei), Liberica (Coffee liberica), and Robusta (Coffee caniphora).

Each one is unique and their differences make for a flavorful cup of coffee. Take a look.


Arabica (Coffee arabica), Excelsa (Coffee liberica var. dewevei), Liberica (Coffee Liberia), and Robusta (Coffee caniphora).er, and less acidic.

Farmed in high elevation areas above sea level, this bean gets plenty of rain. That’s why Brazil, known for its abundant rainforest, is at the forefront for exporting Arabica beans.

The Arabica plant is a delicate one and requires a lot of pruning and constant attention. That, of course, drives up the price of the Arabica bean, but most coffee drinkers are willing to pay it because the flavor is so good.

Here at the Coffee Cave, Arabica beans are what we sell.


Hailing from the Middle East and Africa, Robusta coffee beans have very high amounts of caffeine. That makes it a more resilient plant because the caffeine acts as a natural insect repellent.

This bean can grow in all types of climates and altitudes. It has a reputation for tasting rubbery or burnt. Because it’s easy to grow, coffee farmers tend to reap more profit with it.

Premium grown Robusta has hints of rum and chocolate. Unfortunately, you can’t always find the premium beans. So do beware.

What you find the most of is Robusta coffee grown by farmers that sacrifice quality. Because Robusta coffee beans grow so easily, coffee farmers can save as much as 20% on raw bean production.

That means these beans are used in coffee lines like instant coffee and as a filler in dark roasts.

So, if you want a jolt of caffeine to get you through the day, Robusta coffee will do the trick. Just cut the taste by adding flavored cream and sugar.


Grown in very specific climates, Liberica coffee is a rare, distinct treat to drink! Also in the Arabica family. The aroma is likened to fruit and flowers while the flavor is described as woody.

At one time, this coffee was extremely popular, but a 19th century plant disease called “coffee rust” wiped out Arabica plants worldwide.

Governments as well as farmers scrambled to find a substitute. The Philippines stepped up and began to harvest and sell Liberica coffee. As the sole supplier, the Philippines’ economy saw a boom.

At that time, the Philippines were also a US territory. But because their economy grew, they sought independence. Once that was achieved, the US imposed steep economic sanctions.

Sadly, this resulted in the downfall of the Liberica coffee bean on the global market. No other country has been able to match the production of the Philippines.


This coffee bean is technically part of the Liberica family. It, too, is grown in Southeast Asia. And, it captures a small amount of the world’s coffee production.

This bean boasts a fruity, yet tart flavor, and has attributes of both dark and light roast coffees, one that appeals to coffee enthusiasts.

What Types of Coffee Beans Should You Buy?

As you know, it all comes down to taste. Arabica and Robusta are the most prevalent types of coffee to buy.

If you like a simple yet fresh black coffee, go for one of The Cave’s Arabica roasts. We can show you what we have.

Prefer cold-brewed coffee? We’ve got a bean for that, too. Stop in and we’ll show you around our coffee world!

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