Coffee has been an energy booster for most of us for the past centuries. But what are we really drinking? What is the difference where the coffee comes from? Does the soil matter? Well, yes It does. In this article, we talk about the two most famed options, Arabica vs Colombian Coffee.
As everyone has different taste buds, we all enjoy a plethora of tastes. Considering the vast range of coffee varieties and taste variations, we get several taste options.
Let’s Get Into The Basics
Connoisseurs understand that several factors affect the taste of coffee. Many of these are intrinsic, like the type of coffee plant/tree, altitude, soil, and local climate. The other factor is treatment of the coffee beans, like processing and roasting.
Some coffees are mild, while others are full and robust in flavor. We could hope to get some help from coffee labels, but they’re often unclear. A label that says “real Colombian coffee” or “100% Arabica” won’t quite settle things. So let’s get into the nitty-gritty, and let us explore both Arabica and Colombian coffees.
The Taste, a Whole New World: What Is Arabica Coffee?
Arabica coffee is best known for its flavor and luscious chocolate hints. The beans also have an abundant amount of lipids and natural sugars. This makes it a sweeter option as compared to other coffee varieties. All this makes Arabica a preferred choice for consumption and as a specialty coffee.
The fragrance of pure Arabica coffee beans is unmatchable. It is best described as “beautifully fragrant.” Having a wide range, the scent goes from blueberries to sugary fruity smells. The exact aroma and taste depend on the roast, nevertheless, it is a tasty and fragrant treat. But, what is Arabica Coffee?
Arabica Coffee is one of the major varieties of the coffee tree. Though first popularized in the Arabian peninsula, it is now grown all over the world. Thanks to cultivation, different mutations and strands that have resulted from the original. It has sprouted worldwide, with different flavor profiles, acidities, and mixtures.
The Varietals Of Arabica Coffee
Massively produced world-wide, Arabica takes anywhere from 75% to 80% of the entire coffee production.
Why is this? The Arabica coffee plant/tree has many different varieties. Depending on where it is grown, each variety has its name. Some popular varieties of Arabica coffee beans include:
- Typica: the typical Arabica bean is the most sought after. It is a high-quality coffee bean, and one of the top coffee beans in the world.
- Bourbon: grown in Rwanda, this strand of Arabica is best known for its deep, buttery, chocolate flavors. It is a sweet variety with light fruity fragrances and tastes.
- Caturra: this variety is popular in Central America and Brazil. It is a dwarf plant related to the Bourbon Arabica coffee bean. However, this coffee bean brings a bit of Robusta taste, as it is more on the bitter side, but with low acidity.
- Catimor: this variety of the Arabica Coffee bean is akin to the Caturra variety. It is part Arabica and part Robusta, and has a bitter taste, but more caffeine.
- Mundo Novo: this is a unique combination of Arabica Typica and Bourbon. It is seldom found, grown mostly in Brazil. The flavor profile is heavy and sweet, but with a lower acidity level.
- Catuai: this variety of Arabica is a mutation of Mundo Novo beans and Caturra. The variety is grown mainly in Brazil. It is a very fruity variety of Arabica, having a very balanced taste and cherry hints and scent.
- Blue Mountain: this Arabica variety is most popular in Jamaica. It is brightly acidic. It has very low acidity, and a creamy, sweetness. One of the most unique beans found in the world.
Robusta, A Common Choice For Blend
Blends are a popular way to get most out of coffee. These can be a mix of coffee from various locations or various varieties. Sometimes, Arabica beans and Robusta beans combine to form a blend. And although Robusta beans are more packed with caffeine, they are much more bitter. Their propensity for bitterness is why Robusta beans don’t match up to Arabica beans in taste and flavor. Made from the Coffea Canephora strand, Robusta is low in acidity, yet high on the bitter level. It often serves as a “filler” coffee.
Many coffee producers and merchants combine/blend Arabica coffee beans with Robusta. The goal is to balance caffeine levels, giving the coffee different flavors, or to adjust the prices. While some prefer this type of blend, many seek pure Arabica coffee.
Another World, Along The Equator: What Is Colombian Coffee
Lush forests dominate the Colombian landscape. Among many other qualities, Colombian coffee has been a favorite of many for centuries. So what is Colombian coffee?
Coffee connoisseurs know Colombian coffee. Its unique flavor and quality make it highly desirable. What makes this so?
Colombia, Geography Makes Perfect
Colombia lies on the equator. Technically, most of the country is north of the equator, but a small part lies towards the south. Colombia has excellent climate and soil for coffee cultivation. Their use of wonderful techniques to achieve results does wonders. For example, banana-coffee intercropping in Colombia has seen great success.
Coffee is a very special plant. The climate and geography of Colombia provide a next to perfection growth ecosystem. The soil is humid enough to keep the coffee plants well hydrated. Tropical temperatures in the region keep the plants happily warm and toasty.
Colombia also has another advantage over other regions. It has high altitude mountains. The tropical climate, and sunny terrain, are a blessing for coffee cultivation.
This makes their coffee plants some of the best in the world. The location of Colombia and the jungle it possesses gives way for good coffee production. Some grow in the wild, while others in plantations.
Harvesting Colombian Coffee
Because Colombia’s climate remains somewhat consistent, their coffee production is year-round. Nevertheless, the main harvesting period is from October to March. The harvesting and cleaning process is very thorough.
Because of the dense jungle environment, coffee cherries undergo cleaning more than once. Once cleaned, coffee cherries are sun-dried.
What Is Colombian Coffee?
Colombia’s coffee-growing area is huge. Each region and production has its flavor. However, all Colombian coffee is low in acidity.
Each flavor profile depends on the altitude at which it is grown. The coffee profiles vary from fully fruity, to fully nutty and a variety in between. It depends on what region of Colombia the coffee is from.
Colombian coffee does not disappoint. It will always be fruity, nutty, and in very special cases, a perfect combination of both. The roasting of this coffee can make it a bit bitter, but Colombia ranges their roasts for every profile preference.
Arabica Coffee vs Colombian Coffee — The Finale
Many people disagree, taking sides on either Arabica or Colombian coffee. However, Colombian coffee often is a strand of Arabica coffee. The only difference is the location for production. Let us remember that Arabica coffee sees mass production throughout the world. Colombian coffee is part of this market.
For a very long time, Arabica has stayed as the coffee plant of choice in Colombia. After all, this is the plant that brought fame to Colombian coffee. Recently, Colombia has moved to diversify and Robusta beans have taken a good, albeit small share of coffee production.
Colombian coffee is Arabica, with the geographic limitation that it be grown in the nation of Colombia. The nation also produces some Robusta and other coffee varieties. However, Colombian coffee is synonymous with Arabica grown in the country.
The Final Choice
The truth is, whether Arabica coffee or Colombian coffee, both are excellent choices. Why? Just as humans feel different every day, there is a coffee every day. Fruity, nutty, chocolatey, there is a day for each one. So, have no bias for Arabica vs Colombian coffee.
Both are amazing, and indeed, more similar than different. In a larger context, Colombian coffee can be seen as a subset of the globally popular Arabica coffee.