Arabica Coffee

Of the two main species of coffee, Arabica and Robusta, Arabica coffee is by far the most popular. It accounts for over 70% of the coffee produced in the world today. The beans are harvested from the Coffea Arabica plant which originated in Ethiopia and has been cultivated in Arabia for over a thousand years.

This type of coffee has less caffeine (1.4%) than the Robusta (4.0%) and is the type of coffee that is in most specialty mixes. This plant needs warm temperatures to grow as well as a higher elevation. The shrubs can grow up to 12 feet tall. They grow well in subtropical regions as well as equatorial regions which explains why most of the coffee comes from places like Brazil, Columbia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Sketch of Coffee in Bloom

The Arabica coffee plant has many small, red fruits which house two seeds or coffee beans inside. The beans are harvested and undergo an intense process, making this the most flavorful of all the types of coffee. In fact, Arabica has a wide taste range and, depending on the variety, can produce a coffee that is sweet or one that is tangy. Pure blends can be pricey but are also thought by many to be the best tasting.

The Coffea Arabica trees can be difficult to cultivate and do not flower until three or four years after they are planted. The tiny white flowers are reminiscent of Jasmine. One must be careful with these plants; if there are too many flowers, too many berries will form. This leads to inferior quality coffee. Most plantations prune the trees to prevent this from happening. In addition, one must choose the right time to pick the berries that hold the coffee beans because picking them too early or too late may result in inferior coffee.

Coffee made from the Arabica plant can be found in specialty shops and coffee stores. It is what most gourmet coffee houses use. Robusta coffee, on the other hand, is the type of coffee that is found in the instant coffee jars on supermarket shelves. Be that as it may, just because the coffee is Arabica doesn't mean it is of high quality. Like anything else, there can be variations in the quality of the beans.

Arabica coffee has been consumed for thousands of years. The first record of coffee made from roasted beans can be found in Arabian writings from scholars who noted that drinking coffee helped to lengthen their working hours. Roasting coffee beans to make a brew for drinking is an Arab invention that was later adopted by the Egyptians and eventually found its way to the rest of the world, making coffee the popular drink it is today.

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