Whether you’re a coffee addict who’s more than acquainted with the delights of this delicious drink or you’ve recently made the move to making your own barista-style cups of coffee, the broad range of flavours and strengths available mean that choosing the right kind of coffee can often seem like a difficult task.
From the great taste of 100% Arabica coffee to the more exotic blends which offer something truly unique in flavour, there’s no shortage of choice when it comes to finding a flavoursome coffee. That’s why, today, we’ll be making things easier, as we explain just what Arabica coffee is - as well as looking at what makes this the world’s first choice when it comes to freshly brewed coffee.
Originally given the name Arabica due to the botanist Carolus Linnaeus’s belief that the species was indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula (in modern-day Yemen), the debate surrounding whether the bean was first harvested in East Africa or on the Arabian Peninsula continues today.
Not only are Arabica trees highly sensitive to weather conditions, but they’re also more susceptible to disease such as coffee rust - a fungus that was first identified in 1869. Wiping out a large percentage of Arabica plants in the late 1800s, this disease led to their replacement with a more robust coffee bean - and today, the lifespan of these plants can exceed 100 years.
Arabica is widely considered to be the highest quality species of coffee plant, making Arabica coffee a worldwide favourite. Native to the highlands of central Ethiopia, the Arabica species grows at altitudes of 3,000 to 6,000 feet, and is far more delicate than other coffee species. Sensitive to hot and humid weather conditions, the Arabica plant grows at between 15 and 24° celsius and is extremely susceptible to frost. Identifiable by their relatively flat and elongated appearance, as well as a distinct sinuous groove, Arabica coffee beans are distinct from Robusta beans in not only their taste, but also their shape and size.