While many people are true fans of coffee and may know what type they prefer, not as many know the differences in the beans they buy. From the type, to the roasting process, this miraculous bean can change in flavor and depth, revealing a complexity that can vary extensively. Centuries have been spent exploring the differences in these beans, but most come down to two main factors: bean type and roasting process.
Types of Coffee Beans
There may seem to be an infinite amount of different coffee beans available, but in truth, there are only four main types, and two that are used in most coffee blends. Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa are the mainstay of coffee beans, but most people are only familiar with Arabica and Robusta, the two used most frequently.
- Arabica. It is estimated Arabica beans account for over half of the world’s coffee, growing on small trees in high altitudes. These beans are full-bodied with many different flavors of sweetness that can be enjoyed but are best when served hot and without dilution from creamers.
- Robusta. The Robusta variety is easier to grow in many different climates and has a much deeper palate of flavors. This bean is higher in caffeine, heavier in body, with notes of chocolate and slight bitterness. The deeper flavor is not diminished when creamer or milk is added, making it a better choice for some types of coffee beverages.
These two beans make up most commercial coffee that you buy, changing in flavor due to where and how they are grown and roasted.
Coffee beans start with their own notes of acidity, aromas, sweetness, and body, but roasting techniques bring out the oils of the beans, changing the strength and flavors acutely. Roasting involves heating the green bean to bring out different levels of taste and depth, from light to dark roasts.
- Light roast. Beans that are lightly roasted retain more of the delicate bean flavors for smoothness and acidity. The outside of the bean is lightly brown and dry.
- Medium roast. With a medium roast, the sugars in the bean begin to caramelize, making them less acidic and sweeter. The bean will be slightly darker than a light roast, but still dry.
- Dark roast. For the boldest flavors that are used for espresso, French roasts, and other strong coffees, a dark roast is used. This process completes the sugar caramelization and also brings the oils of the bean to the surface.
On top of light, medium, and dark roasts, many blends are made to create a myriad of coffee flavors to choose from; creating the extensive choices available today.
Regardless of the type of coffee you prefer, Gorby can help you enjoy the perfect cup of coffee with our innovative single-serve options. From the Gorby 1000, to our eco-friendly G-Pods, we give you the best ways to get the most from your favorite coffee bean—quickly and conveniently.