Coffee beans are the seeds of the Coffea plant, which is native to tropical regions of Africa. There are two main species of Coffea used to produce coffee: Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica Beans are oval-shaped and have a mild, sweet flavor. They make up about 60-70% of the world’s coffee production. Arabica beans are grown at higher elevations and are more sensitive to temperature and weather conditions. They are often used in specialty coffees.
Robusta Beans are rounder and have a stronger, more bitter flavor. They make up about 30-40% of the world’s coffee production. Robusta beans are grown at lower elevations and are more resistant to pests and disease. They are often used in cheaper, mass-produced coffee blends.
Coffee beans are roasted to bring out their unique flavors and aromas. The roasting process involves heating the beans to high temperatures to cause chemical reactions that create the characteristic flavors and aromas of coffee. There are several different roasts, ranging from light to dark, and each has its own distinct flavor profile.
Light roasts have a mild, smooth flavor and a light brown color. They are roasted for a shorter amount of time and have a lower caffeine content.
Medium roasts have a balanced flavor and a medium brown color. They are roasted for a longer amount of time than light roasts and have moderate caffeine content.
Dark roasts have a bold, full-bodied flavor and a dark brown color. They are roasted for the longest amount of time and have the highest caffeine content.
Coffee beans can be ground before brewing or left whole and brewed using a method like a French press or pour-over. Whole beans are generally preferred because they retain their flavor and aroma longer than ground beans. Ground beans should be used within a few weeks of grinding for the best flavor.