Where Do Coffee Beans Come From?
Coffee has become a staple of our everyday lives. The world seems to revolve around the rich, dark liquid and many people would agree that their day doesn’t start until that first delicious cup. However, the vast majority hasn’t paused to consider, where do coffee beans come from?
If you’re wondering about the beans in your brew, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together this guide to tell you all there is to know about coffee beans, so keep reading to quench your thirst for coffee knowledge.
What is Green Coffee?
Coffee is a fruit. Green coffee or Green beans are the raw seeds of coffee cherries that have been separated or “processed” and have yet to be roasted.
Do different plants produce different coffee beans?
Yes, there are over 120 varieties of coffee plants and each produces a different type of coffee bean; however, the majority of the coffee we consume comes from just two variants, Robusta (also known as Coffea Robusta or Coffea Canephora) or Arabica (Coffea Arabica) or a blend of the two. The two varieties differ in taste, growing conditions, and price
What about decaf coffee beans?
There is no such thing as decaf coffee beans as they naturally contain caffeine. The decaffeination process is carried out prior to roasting which involves swelling them with water or steam, then extracting the caffeine with water, organic solvent or activated carbon. Finally, the decaf coffee beans are dried to return them to their normal moisture.
Despite being referred to as ‘decaffeinated’, decaf coffee beans will always contain some caffeine as it’s not possible to remove it all during the process.
Now you know all about where coffee beans come from, why not find out about the origins of the beverage? Read our guide on the history of coffee, next.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where did coffee originate?
Coffee beans were discovered in Ethiopia, where they are still grown today. They were found in a region called Kaffa, which is the origin from where coffee gets its name. Legend has it that a goatherd named Kaldi realised that his goats became far more active and were filled with energy after eating the berries of a certain bush. That was the start of the long history of coffee, with the first use of coffee as a drink being recorded in Yemen, in the 15th century. Today, because of coffee's popularity, coffee plants are grown across the globe - but getting the highest quality beans means that the coffee plants need to be grown in very specific climatic conditions, to make sure the plants are at their most productive. NESCAFÉ® coffee beans come from Africa, South America, and Asia, to ensure that our specific coffee blend is made of the highest quality coffee beans.
How many types of coffee beans are there?
There are over 120 species of coffee, however the most traded ones are Arabica and Robusta. NESCAFÉ® uses a careful blend of these two types of beans. Arabica makes a smoother, sweeter coffee, with hints of chocolate, caramel, and nuts. The Arabica coffee plants prefer more gentle climates; they don't handle cold and frost very well. Arabica beans are easily distinguished by their longer, oval shape. We also use Robusta beans, which brews into an intense, bold coffee, with a higher caffeine content, and a darker, earthier, more bitter taste. They're easier to farm, as they don't mind a slightly harsher climate than their Arabica cousins. In fact, their higher caffeine content is a natural insect repellent! You'll recognise Robusta beans by their slightly shorter, more circular shape.
What is a coffee bean?
A coffee bean is the seed of the coffee plant. It's the part that gets roasted. Often referred to as a cherry, it is the pip inside the red or purple fruit of the coffee plant. NESCAFÉ® uses two types of coffee beans to make our signature blend - Arabica coffee beans, and Robusta coffee beans. Each one requires a different climate and farming process, with Arabica coffee beans needing gentle warmth and light, and Robusta beans being more hardy and robust - which is where their name comes from.
Which coffee beans are the best?
While it’s easy to say which coffee beans are more popular, trying to decide which ones are the best is no easy task! A lot of it comes down to personal taste, and how you like to drink your cup of coffee. Our delicious NESCAFÉ® blend relies on two types of well-known, well-loved coffee beans - Arabica beans, and Robusta beans. Arabica is much more popular due to its slightly lower caffeine content, and sweeter flavour profile with hints of chocolate, berries, and nuts. It makes a lighter, easy-to-drink coffee that will satisfy most coffee lovers. Robusta beans, on the other hand, have a much higher caffeine content, and a lower sugar content - giving it that dark, bold, intense flavour profile coffee lovers have come to associate it with. Because of those darker, more bitter flavours, Robusta beans work well in iced coffee, while Arabica is more versatile and easier to enjoy for those who don't want a big caffeine kick.