Coffea arabica (Arabica)
Arabica beans are grown at high altitudes, in areas that receive steady rainfall and have a plentiful amount of shade.
Coffea canephora (Robusta)
The Robusta varietal is extremely tolerant of its environment. Robusta coffee can withstand myriad altitudes, but particularly requires a hot climate where rainfall is irregular.
Coffea liberica (Liberica)
The beans are said to have a unique aroma, consisting of floral and fruity notes, with a full body that possesses a smoky taste.
Coffea excelsa (Excelsa)
It is largely used in blends to give the coffee an extra boost of flavour and complexity, better affecting the middle and back palate.
Amount of Caffeine
Robusta has more caffeine compared to Arabica. This may sound like a positive thing, but caffeine carries a bitter taste, which makes it into an unpleasant drink.
The extra caffeine is a chemical defence for the coffee seed against bugs. This makes Robusta less delicate than Arabica, bringing up the supply and lowering the input costs for farmers to produce.
Robusta beans are much more circular, whereas Arabica beans are more oval.
Always store opened coffee beans in an airtight container. Glass canning jars or ceramic storage crocks with rubber-gasket seals are good choices.
Flavour experts strongly advise against ever freezing coffee, especially dark roasts. Optimally, buy a 5- to 7-day supply of fresh beans at a time and keep at room temperature.
Bargain-priced paper coffee filters yield inferior coffee, according to the experts. Look for "oxygen-bleached" or "dioxin-free" paper filters.
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