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When it comes to the world of coffee it can be a confusing place to navigate. From different varieties of beans to roasts it can be a confusing place. We’ve already covered the different types of coffee available to order at your local coffee shop, so in this blog we are talking all things beans, roast, and origin.

What is the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans?

The two most used coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta. More than 65% of coffee sold globally is made using Arabica beans, this is because they are seen as the premium choice of beans. Arabica beans tend to have a fruity, acidic, and floral flavour offering a cleaner taste. In contrast, Robusta beans tend to be bitter with a richer, full-bodied flavour. Within each type of bean, there are a range of varieties but let’s not get into that right now as this is a guide for beginners! It is not unusual to find espresso blends that use a combination of the two beans to create the perfect blend.

Does the origin of coffee beans affect their flavour?

The simple answer is yes! Just like wine, where the coffee beans come from will impact their flavour. Here’s a quick round up of what to expect when choosing coffee from different areas around the world.

  • Central America – expect fruity and acidic notes from central American beans.
  • Ethiopia – depending on whether you opt for beans from the east or west, you’ll get slightly different flavour notes. The east provides flavours of blueberries and wine whilst the West is renowned for flavours of Jasmine and floral scents.
  • India – famed for clean and sweet tasting Robusta beans.
  • Indonesia – here you’ll find chocolate notes that produce rich, fully bodied coffee with a lower level of acidity.
  • Kenya – if you are a fan of blackcurrant then Kenya coffee is for you! You’ll also find fresh, acidic flavours including lemon.
  • South America – from South America you’ll find beans with wheaty and nutty flavours with a sweet, mellow finish.

How does the level of coffee bean roasting impact the flavour?

Although it might seem confusing, roasting falls into three main categories: light, medium and dark. With each level of roast, you will get a slightly different flavour. Here’s how the roast impacts taste:

  • Light – a light roast creates a sweet, juicy and fruity flavour or a tart, lemony flavour depending on the type of bean.
  • Medium – you’ll get hints of chocolate, nuts, and a rich mouthfeel. 
  • Dark – a dark roast packs a full-bodied flavour punch with smoky caramel notes and strong aromatics.

So, there you have it, the dummies guide to coffee from beans to roast. You’ll be a real coffee aficionado and impress all your mates when you meet them for a coffee or pint at the pub next!

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