Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee plant and are used to produce coffee. Just like every plant, fruit, and vegetable. There is a wide variety of coffee beans available on our planet. There are two ways to acquire coffee beans – selective breeding or natural selection.
How was coffee discovered?
According to legend, our favorite hot cup of coffee was discovered by a goat-herder by the name of Kaldi. When Kaldi noticed his goats behaving erratically after consuming some berries from a Coffea arabica tree, he decided to give it a try himself. He saw that the beans made him hyper.
He brought some back to a monastery, but the monks tossed them into the fire. This lead to the discovery of roasted coffee beans as the burning beans on the fire created an aroma that was never smelled before and was so pleasing that they gave coffee another try.
But Kaldi wasn’t the first one
Unfortunately, Kaldi wasn’t the first person to use coffee. There have been many reports of people eating coffee beans as a stimulant. Some cultures even crushed the beans and mixed it with butter and animal fat to preserve it to eat while on long journeys.
Bringing coffee to the world
It was around the 1600s when coffee started being transported. It was all thanks to a pilgrim by the name of Baba Budan who brought the coffee plant to India. He brought only seven beans to India as in the Muslim tradition seven is a sacred number.
The different kinds of coffee
The coffee plant is divided into two important varieties: Robusta and Arabica. According to statistics, around 60% of all the coffee produced in the world is Arabica, and only 40% is Robusta. The amount of caffeine contained in both are different too. Arabica contains 0.8–1.4% while Robusta has a high amount of 1.7–4% caffeine.
What are the best types of coffee beans?
Today, coffee comes in many combinations. You can’t compare the beans which are available in a coffee shop near you. You have a single-origin and blends. Single-origin as the name suggests is made from one single source while blends are made from different beans. Single-origin is usually of higher quality, while blends offer a variety of tastes.
Kona Coffee Beans
In the Hawaiian Islands, the largest one is Kona, and there the Kona coffee beans are produced. They rank among the highest in quality and have a mild yet vibrant acidity. The aroma produced is of sweet herbs with a hint of nuts. These coffee beans were even voted as the best by Forbes magazine.
Blue Mountain Coffee Beans
These are produced in Jamaica but in minimal quantities. The production is extremely limited, and around 80% is shipped to Japan. The reason why it is produced in low quantities is that the production of these beans is very labor extensive. The coffee these beans make is well balanced with medium acidity and a mildly sweet taste.
These are produced in Tanzania and give off a complex aroma. Many have compared the aroma to that of pineapple or coconut. They have a bright acidity to them and a subtle fruitiness. Thee beans are on the slightly expensive side as the labor costs are a bit high.
These have been voted as some of the finest coffee beans in the world. The production and cleaning of these beans are still unmatched. The government exports the beans according to quality; the higher the quality, the higher the price.
The coffee has a winey acidity with a syrupy body and sweet fruit notes. This coffee is also one of the cleanest-tasting coffees in the world.
Dark Roast Sumatra Mandheling Beans
These beans are named after the people who farm them in the northern Sumatra region of Indonesia. The aroma given off is earthy and mossy. The coffee is smooth with a lower acidity level and a sweet flavor.
Sulawesi Toraja Coffee Beans
This coffee is mostly grown as a family business, and that is why it is quite rare. The coffee has heavy, earthy notes, low acidity, and a delightful taste. This coffee is often marketed to those who are not very fond of the bitterness most coffees have.
Geisha Coffee Beans
These are among the most unique beans in the world. In theory, they should be able to grow anywhere, but they are mostly known to grow in Costa Rica and Panama. This is also one of the most expensive coffees in the world. It has a tea-like body with very clean citrus flavors.
Produced in Ethiopia, these coffee beans are said to be holy in the coffee-drinking community. The coffee has complex fruit and floral notes with a tea-like body. This coffee has a very earthy aroma with strawberry and cinnamon undertones.