I dragged myself out of bed this morning after a terrible nights sleep and the first thing I did was stumble to the espresso machine. Within minutes that delicious aroma started breaking through the fog that surrounded my brain and with the first sip I was once again a functioning human being. And that’s why so many of us love coffee; because it gets us moving in the morning or when we are feeling a little lifeless like no other beverage. So with that in mind let’s learn a little more about its origins and celebrate the humble coffee bean.
You see there are actually a few different types of coffee beans and they are grown all over the world in countries with the right temperature and climate. The two most popular types of coffee (kaffe is the term in Danish) beans are the Robusta and the Arabica and as any coffee connoisseur will tell you there are vast differences between the two.
Arabica beans require a very specific subtropical climate and are really only grown at high altitudes, which makes them the more difficult to grow of the two. So the Arabica beans will mostly be grown and produced in central and southern America. However they are also considered to be the coffee bean of choice because they produce a far richer and superior flavor.
Robusta beans on the other hand thrive at low altitudes and need only small amounts of water to grow and survive, which means that they can readily be found in central and west Africa along with southeastern Asia.
Despite the fact that the Robusta bean is much easier to grow and is found in more countries, it is still the Arabica that growers prefer to spend their time cultivating. In fact more than 70% of the coffee beans grown in the world each year are of the Arabica variety. When you think how much harder these are to grow and how much more TLC and effort they take, you can see how dedicated coffee producers are in providing you with a superior cup of java.
But just because they grow more Arabica beans each year does not make it the cheaper option of the two. Because they are known to produce the best coffee, Arabica beans are always in huge demand, which allows the producers to command a high price for them. The Arabica bean also has much lower caffeine content when compared to the Robusta, which also adds to its popularity.
So with all that in mind you can understand why buying coffee that is made from 100% Arabica beans would cost rather more than you may want to pay. Whereas coffee from Robusta beans is one of the cheapest that you can get. Most manufacturers actually blend the two to make the perfect tasting coffee on the market. Some will have a higher percentage of one or the other, which will be reflected in the price.
So the next time you hold a cup of wonderful coffee in front of you, spare a thought to the humble bean and raise your drink in a toast of thanks.