Have you ever wondered what Arabica beans are? They are portrayed as being high quality or premium but what does it actually mean? Arabica coffee beans are considered by some coffee lovers to make milder, less bitter coffee. They are generally more costly to source because of variations in methods of processing, place of origin and the plants they grow on are not as hardy as the Robusta coffee bean plant.
Arabica best grows in temperate climates at higher altitudes while Robusta grows in warmer climates. The Arabica coffee plant is more vulnerable to pests and needs low pH soil, light shade, evenly distributed rain and a temperature of around 20° C (68 F) to thrive. All of this, plus a longer growing cycle and processing conditions, contributes to Arabica’s higher cost.
Arabica was first grown in the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia, southeastern Sudan, Yemen and Kenya, hence the name Arabica – meaning “from Arabia”. It is now grown in many regions of the tropics including Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia and others.
The next time you see a coffee with Arabica beans, you’ll know that you hold a precious commodity in your hands.