Varieties of Coffee Beans: Discover Your Perfect Coffee Bean

When it comes to the world of coffee, the sheer variety of flavors can be both exciting and overwhelming. Each cup tells a unique story, influenced by the type of coffee bean used. From the earthy richness of Sumatran beans to the bright acidity of Kenyan coffee, the possibilities are endless. Let's take a journey into the realm of coffee bean varieties to understand what makes each one special.

Arabica: The King of Specialty Coffee

Arabica beans are undoubtedly the aristocrats of the coffee world. Revered for their delicate flavors and smooth texture, Arabica beans are the go-to choice for specialty coffee enthusiasts. Originally hailing from Ethiopia, these beans are now cultivated in various regions across the globe, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The flavor profiles of Arabica beans can vary significantly based on their origin, ranging from fruity and floral to chocolatey and nutty.

One of the reasons for Arabica's popularity is its lower caffeine content compared to its counterpart, Robusta. This characteristic allows for a more nuanced and less bitter taste, appealing to those with a refined palate.

Arabica coffee variety has evolved over centuries to give rise to various sub-varieties, each bringing its own unique flavor palette :

Arabica Typica - Origin: Ethiopia 

Characteristics: Considered one of the oldest and most foundational Arabica varieties, Typica forms the basis of many other varieties. It is renowned for its mild and subtle taste, often characterized by floral and fruity notes. Typica coffee beans are large and round, making them easy to spot.

Ethiopian Heirloom - Origin: Ethiopia

Characteristics: Ethiopian Heirloom is not a specific variety but rather a blend of many indigenous Ethiopian varieties. These varieties, cultivated for centuries in Ethiopia, offer a diverse range of flavors. Ethiopian Heirloom is known for its floral aromas like jasmine or honeysuckle, fruity notes such as blueberry or strawberry, sometimes with spicy or herbaceous undertones. Its light to medium body allows the unique flavors to fully express themselves.

Bourbon - Origin: Bourbon Island (now La Réunion)

Characteristics: Bourbon coffee is famous for its sweetness and balance. With fruity aromas ranging from cherry to red fruit, this coffee offers a rich tasting experience. Bourbon beans are generally smaller than Typica but packed with flavors.

Gesha (or Geisha) - Origin: Ethiopia / Panama

Characteristics: Arabica Gesha has gained immense popularity in recent years for its extraordinary flavor profiles. Initially discovered in Ethiopia, it was in Panama where Gesha truly took flight. It offers intense floral aromas, often compared to jasmine tea. Notes of tropical fruits and bergamot in a cup of Gesha make it an unforgettable sensory experience.

Arabica SL28 & SL34 - Origin: Kenya

Characteristics: These two Kenyan varieties are renowned for their bright acidity and complexity. SL28 is known for its flavors of red fruits and wine, while SL34 offers brighter notes of citrus and berries. Coffees from these varieties are often highly sought-after for their liveliness and clarity.

Arabica Pacamara - Origin: El Salvador / Central America 

Characteristics: A hybrid of Pacas (a Bourbon mutation) and Maragogipe (Arabica), Pacamara is impressive in size. The beans are among the largest of all Arabica varieties, allowing for complex flavor extraction. Expect rich flavors of chocolate, dried fruits, and nuts in a cup of Pacamara.

Pacas - Origin: El Salvador :

Characteristics: Pacas is a natural mutation of Bourbon, originating from El Salvador. It is appreciated for its sweetness and balance, with notes of caramel, nuts, and sometimes floral nuances. Pacas coffee beans are generally smaller than other varieties but offer a rich flavor and moderate acidity.

Arabica Caturra - Origin: Brazil :

Characteristics: Caturra is a natural mutation of Bourbon, discovered in Brazil. It stands out for its small size, making it ideal for high-density cultivation. This coffee often offers sweet and nutty flavors with notes of caramel and hazelnut.

Arabica Catuai - Origin: Brazil :

Characteristics: Catuai is a cross between Mundo Novo and Caturra varieties, developed in Brazil. It is characterized by bright acidity and a medium body. Catuai presents sweet and smooth flavors, ranging from fruity to nutty, with a fruity aroma and notes of hazelnut.

Maragogipe (Elephant Bean) - Origin: Brazil :

Characteristics: Maragogipe, also known as Elephant Bean, is a Brazilian variety with extremely large coffee beans. It offers a smooth and mild flavor profile with subtle acidity. Notes of chocolate, nuts, and sweetness make it a unique sensory experience.


Robusta: Bold and Powerful

In stark contrast to Arabica's subtlety, Robusta beans are all about boldness and strength. As the name suggests, these beans have a robust flavor profile with a higher caffeine content. Robusta beans thrive at lower altitudes and are more resistant to pests, making them easier and more cost-effective to cultivate. Their taste is often described as strong, with a grain-like bitterness.

Robusta beans are commonly used in espresso blends to provide a strong base and a thick crema. Additionally, they are a popular choice for instant coffee due to their affordability and ability to create a rich, full-bodied brew.

arabica and robusta whole beans side by side


Liberica: The Unconventional Option

For those seeking a truly unique coffee experience, Liberica beans offer a distinctive choice. Although less common than Arabica and Robusta, Liberica beans have a loyal following among coffee aficionados. Originating primarily from West Africa, particularly Liberia, these beans boast a distinct aroma and flavor profile.

Liberica beans are larger than their counterparts, with an irregular shape. Their taste is often described as bold and smoky, sometimes with hints of woodiness or nuttiness. Due to their rarity, Liberica beans are sought after by those looking to explore beyond the usual coffee offerings.

Excelsa: The Exotic Blend

Adding an exotic twist to the coffee landscape, Excelsa beans provide a unique addition to blends. While they were previously categorized as a type of Liberica, Excelsa beans now have their own distinct category. Originating from Southeast Asia, particularly countries like Vietnam, Excelsa beans contribute intriguing flavor profiles to blends when combined with other beans.

Excelsa beans are known for their tart and fruity notes, often with a touch of astringency. They are frequently used in specialty blends to add complexity and depth, offering a contrast to the more common Arabica and Robusta flavors.


The world of coffee bean varieties is a captivating exploration of diverse flavors and aromas. Whether you're drawn to the delicate nuances of Arabica, the boldness of Robusta, the uniqueness of Liberica, or the exotic appeal of Excelsa, there's a coffee bean to suit every preference. So, the next time you savor that freshly brewed cup, take a moment to appreciate the journey of those beans from distant lands to your mug, each with its own story to tell.

At RoasterCup, we offer a curated selection of all beans to cater to every coffee lover's palate. Explore our selection and find your perfect artisanal coffee.


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