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Coffee beans can be roughly divided into three major varieties: Arabica coffees, Robusta coffees, and Liberica coffees. Arabica accounts for 69% of the world's coffee production while Robusta accounts for 30%, and Liberica accounts for around 1%.
Coffee trees affect the quality and flavours of coffee beans due to factors such as climate, altitude, and soil quality. Therefore, different regions produce coffees with different flavours even in the same country. Coffee trees are evergreen plants, cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. The most suitable planting and growing conditions are an appropriate amount of rainwater and the good drainage of the land. Therefore, the sloping land with rich volcanic ash (rich in organic matter) is selected for planting.
Let's take a look at the differences between the two most common coffee beans Arabica and Robusta (Canephora) below.
Arabica: expensive, soft-tasting, and low-caffeine. The coffee bean is smaller with a long oval shape on the front, narrow and zigzag cracks in the middle (S-shaped), and a complete rounded shape on the back of the bean.
Robusta: cheap, strong flavour, and high caffeine. Robusta coffee bean is larger with a more rounded shape in the front and the line is linear in the middle. In contrast, Robusta has a higher caffeine (1.6-2.4%), lower fat and sugar content, and more bitter and stronger tastes.
In terms of composition, Arabica has a low caffeine content (0.9-1.2%), a fat content of 60% more than Robusta, and a double sugar content. Therefore, in combination, Arabica tastes sweeter, softer, with a bit of plum-like sourness. In addition, Arabica has a lower chlorogenic acid (5.5-8%) which is an important component for resistance of pests. Therefore, Arabica is more susceptible to pests and is more susceptible to climate. It is usually planted at a higher altitude, and the fruits grow less and slower.
Robusta has a high content of chlorogenic acid (7-10%), which is less susceptible to pests and climate. Generally, the planting height is lower, and the fruits grow more and faster than Arabica with rounded shapes.
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