Whether popping into your local café or wandering the coffee aisle at the grocery store, choosing coffee can be overwhelming. Especially in the specialty coffee arena, many terms on the coffee bag label might look unfamiliar.
A common term that you might have seen on many coffee bags is "100% Arabica". But have you ever wondered what this means?
What is Arabica Coffee?
Arabica coffee is the world's most popular coffee and represents over 70% of the specialty coffee in North America, Europe and Australia. It is made from the Coffea arabica plant beans and is usually considered higher quality than Robusta coffee. Originating from Ethiopia, Arabica coffee grows best in tropical climates around the equator. Arabica has less caffeine and more sugar than Robusta coffee.
What Does Arabica Coffee Taste Like?
Good quality Arabica coffee could have hints of chocolate, nuts and caramel with a slight sweetness. You may also notice bright acidity with flavours of fruits and berries. The roast profile that you choose will determine the flavours you experience.
Some roasters might mix Arabica and Robusta coffee beans together, especially for espresso blends. Arabica beans are selected for flavour, while Robusta beans are added to enhance caffeine, crema and intensity.
What Does the 100% Arabica Label Mean?
100% Arabica coffee means that no Robusta coffee beans are added. In general, roasters label this to differentiate themselves from other blends with Robusta beans, implying theirs is a higher-quality coffee. 100% Arabica coffee does not necessarily mean high quality, though. A coffee's cupping score, its origin, roasting style, preferred taste and preference are some factors that determine a good cup.
Do you have a favourite go-to Arabica coffee? We would love to hear in the comments below.