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| Written by Miles Spencer

What is Arabica Coffee?

Arabica, or coffea arabica, is the most widely grown species of the coffee plant, and generally considered to be superior to other common varieties such as robusta.

Produced in dozens of countries between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, Arabica now represents around 60% of global production. It is usually grown at elevations of around 1,300-1,500m, sometimes higher, and predominantly grows in subtropical climates with high altitudes, such as in Brazil, Colombia and Central America.

The range of characteristics that are revealed in Arabica coffees is vast, complex and exciting, offering a great diversity of flavour profiles, with coffees that are fruity and earthy, nutty or woody, sweet, chocolatey or smoky.


Types of Arabica Coffee

Believed to be the first coffee species cultivated, dating back to 12th century Yemen, Arabica coffee is grown in a wide range of varieties, including both natural mutations and the results of cross-breeding, which has led to an exciting diversity of taste characteristics based on factors such as the terroir in which the coffees are grown, the way they are cultivated and how they are processed after harvest.

Typica – Considered to be the original variety from which all other varieties have mutated, Typica was first spread around the world for commercial production by the Dutch. The fruit is usually red and produces an excellent cup of coffee.

Bourbon – a natural mutation of the Typica variety, which occurred on the island of Réunion (known as Bourbon at the time). The fruit comes in various colours, red, yellow and occasionally orange, and many believe that it has a distinctive sweetness, making it highly prized.

Maragogype – another mutation of Typica and first discovered in Brazil, this variety is highly desired due to the unusually large size of the beans, causing this coffee to often be referred to as “Elephant” beans.

Mundo Novo – a natural hybrid of Typica and Bourbon varieties, this was named after the place in Brazil where it was discovered in the 1940s. Mundo Novo grows at altitudes of around 1,000-1,200m and is known for its high yield and strength.

Caturra – a mutation of Bourbon, this was discovered in Brazil in 1937 and has been particularly popular in Colombia and Central America.

    Popular Arabica Coffees at Coffee-Direct

    Arabica Supremo – From £18.99
    We’re really proud of this one! An extraordinary, complex blend of 100% Arabica beans from five different coffee-growing locations across the world, puts Arabica Supremo high on the list of the finest blends to be created. Deep, rich and smooth, with an exotic, spicy aroma, the recipe for this ingenious mix of high quality, expertly roasted beans is a well-kept secret, but once tried, you’ll be left in no doubt as to how amazing it tastes. Arabica Supremo is roasted dark, with a strength level of 8/10, and flavour and aroma level of 6/10, making it ideal for espresso and bean-to-cup use.

    Monsoon Malabar – From £12.99
    A real favourite at Coffee-Direct, Monsoon Malabar is a wonderful variety from our Asian coffee range, is picked in the Malabar region of India, one of the wettest regions of southern India, undergoes an especially unique process to bring out the beans' fullest flavours. Straight after being harvested the Malabar beans are transported to open warehouses along the Malabar Coast, where they will be exposed to the harsh, moist winds of the area's monsoons for around three to four months.

    Kenya Blue Mountain – From £14.99
    Our Kenya Blue Mountain is grown from seeds originally from Jamaica, which produce a coffee that has the natural sweetness of Blue Mountain Jamaica, but has also taken on the rich aromatic flavours and intensity that is typical of Kenyan coffee. Full bodied, with a good acidity, hints of nut and citrus and a lovely caramel aftertaste, Kenya Blue Mountain is perfect in strong filter coffees or brews straight from the cafetiere.

    Swiss Water Decaffeinated – From £15.99
    For the times you’re in the mood for a delicious coffee, but you don’t want the buzz of a caffeine hit, our Swiss Water Decaffeinated coffee is a medium roast Arabica from Brazil that is 99.9% caffeine-free and 100% chemical-free. This rich coffee is a full-bodied brew with low acidity and minimal bitterness, and most people who try it can’t tell that it’s decaffeinated!

    Old Brown Java – From £12.99
    Ideal for espresso, our strong Old Brown Java beans are aged as green beans for at least two years before being roasted, giving the coffee a heavier body and a powerful flavour, but very little acidity. The process of ageing beans is popular among many Javanese coffee producers and can last for as long as three years, during which green beans may be 'monsooned' by being exposed to the warm, moist air of the rainy seasons.