“Green coffee” beans are coffee seeds of “Coffea” fruits that have not yet been roasted.
The two main types of coffee used in the industry are Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (otherwise known as Robusta).
- Coffea Arabica beans are the highest quality and most expensive beans on the market.
- They account for the vast majority of the world’s coffee production.
- Arabica is grown at high altitudes: the higher the altitude, the finer the quality of the resulting harvest.
- Arabica is indigenous to the mountains of Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, hence its name, and also from the south-western highlands of Ethiopia and south-eastern Sudan. It is also known as the “coffee shrub of Arabia” or “mountain coffee.”
- It is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated, being grown in south-west Arabia for well over 1,000 years.
- Arabica contains less caffeine than any other commercially cultivated species of coffee.
- Coffea Canephora (Robusta coffee) species produce lower grades of coffee and is a much cheaper commodity.
- It is grown best at lower altitudes, and is much hardier in adverse conditions than Arabica plants.
- It has origins in central and western sub-Saharan Africa. Robusta is grown mostly in Africa and Brazil, where it is often called Conillon.
- Robusta is usually limited to use as a filler in lower-grade coffee blends, instant coffee, and in espresso blends to promote the formation of “crema”.
Robusta has about twice as much caffeine as Arabica coffee.