Why Choose Arabica Coffee Beans?
Why choose arabica beans? At It’s Tea we have around 40 gourmet coffees to choose from, and we tend to choose arabica coffee beans. Why do we choose arabica beans and what are the alternatives? Let’s explore the reasons why…
The Coffee Plant
The coffee plant ( Coffea Rubiaceen ) grows as a bush or tree, around the equator which is known as “the coffee belt” . It is a tropical plant which has blossoms and fruit in the form of a cherry. Inside the cherry are seeds, these are the coffee beans, each fruit contains two beans. A coffee plant needs at least three or four years before it yields these fruits.
There are over 80 types of coffee plant but there are 2 which are mainly used in the coffee which we drink. These 2 types are Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta which produce a very different beverage.
Robusta coffee beans grow in hot conditions, typically Central Africa, West Africa, Brazil and South East Asia. The cherries mature fairly quickly usually taking around 6-8 months and can be harvested sooner producing a round bean. The plant itself is very hardy, being more resistant to disease and pests than arabica.
The robusta bean contains around two times as much caffeine than arabica beans do, and is less aromatic than arabica, more bitter and with less flavour nuances. For this reason they are ideal for including in blends like espresso and instant coffees.
Arabica beans were the original kind of coffee bean that was grown in Ethiopia when coffee was first grown for drinking. They take longer to reach maturity, usually around 11 months, the bean that grows is more oval shaped and longer. Arabica plants can tolerate lower temperatures than its robusta counterpart, and although it is grown worldwide around the equatorial belt it flourishes in places like Columbia, Brazil and Central America.
Arabica beans contain much less caffeine but do contain a lot more of something called lipids and natural sugars. These hugely impact the aromatics, flavour, smoothness and clarity of the final coffee. For this reason it is considered a much finer bean than Robusta, and is a little more expensive but yields a much more enjoyable cup of coffee.
Our coffees are all purely arabica beans with the exception of a couple of our espresso blends which contain some robusta. We carefully source our coffees which are expertly roasted shortly before being sent to us, so you know you are always getting the best and the freshest beans. We have beans to suit all tastes, from strong full bodied ones to more mild ones. We even have flavoured arabica beans for the adventurous palate. Have a look at our coffee selection from around the globe, you’re sure to find the perfect coffee whatever your personal preference. We sell our coffees as whole beans or ground if you prefer. Simply select the coarseness of the grind you require and have us do it for you.