Why Arabica Coffee Is the Most Popular Type of Coffee in the World?
Whether you’re used to buying your coffee from the supermarket or you prefer ordering directly from independent roasters, you might notice that Arabica is the most common type of coffee. There are even whole coffee shops that boast about serving only Arabica coffee!
What is Arabica coffee, and why it is so popular?
Arabica Coffee 101
Arabica coffee comes from the beans of the Coffea arabica plant. It originated from Ethiopia, but was made popular as a brewed drink by Arab scholars who prized the beverage for its stimulating properties. It was the Arabs who helped popularize coffee as a drink around the world, thus giving rise to the name “Arabian coffee”.
Arabica beans are grown in subtropical and humid climates. It thrives in temperatures between 59°F to 75°F, and in high elevations of around 2000 feet above sea level. Some of the best Arabica coffee comes from Africa and South America where the climate is perfect for growing the plant on a commercial scale. Brazil is the largest producer of Arabica coffee in the world. 80% of the coffee produced in the country is Arabica coffee.
How is Arabica Different from Robusta?
Aside from Arabica, you might also notice that there is another type of coffee bean that you would typically see in the supermarket or in coffee shops: Robusta. However, Robusta coffee is not as popular as Arabica. There are several reasons for this, such as:
- Arabica contains less caffeine: Arabica beans contains half the caffeine of Robusta coffee, making it the superior choice for people who want the caffeine boost but want to avoid overdosing on caffeine.
- Arabica is sweeter: Arabica beans contain double the amount of natural sugars as Robusta beans. Since most people prefer sweet coffee over bitter coffee, this can account for Arabica’s popularity over Robusta.
- Arabica contains more lipids: Arabica beans contain more lipids like fats and oils compared to Robusta. This results in a more fragrant coffee with a smoother and fuller mouthfeel.
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The Flavor Profile of Arabica
Arabica coffee beans are have high acidity levels, which highlights the flavor notes in the beans. Depending on the country of origin, you can find Arabica coffee beans with notes like chocolate, nut, and fruit. Some varieties even have floral or spicy notes. This nuanced flavor makes Arabica coffee sought after because coffee lovers can find a variety that suits their tastes.
What is the Best Way to Process Arabica Beans?
There is no “one” best way to process Arabica beans since it would largely depend on the type of coffee that you want to make. The great thing about Arabica is that it can be used for virtually any roast and grind! Whether you love a coarse grind for making cold brew or you want a fine grind for making espresso, Arabica coffee beans will lend itself well to any grind. This is the same for roast as well; whether light or dark roast, you’ll still be able to enjoy the flavors of Arabica beans.
However, if you are unsure what roast and grind size work best with Arabica, you can start with a medium roast and a medium grind. This is best for pour-over coffee. That way, you can enjoy Arabica beans the way that they have been brewed for hundreds of years!
When you consider that the nuanced flavors of Arabica, the inherent sweetness, and the pleasant mouthfeel, it’s no wonder why Arabica coffee is the most popular coffee in the world! In fact, almost 60% of all coffee produced in the world is Arabica! Now that you know why it is so popular, all that’s left is for you to find your favorite roaster, and you’ll be enjoying a delicious cup of Arabica coffee anytime you want.