Arabica is considered the world’s best coffee variety, but it is divided into several hundred sub-species that differ by region of growth, taste, and effect. This creates difficulties when choosing Arabica coffee, and you’ve probably wondered:
Which brand uses the best Arabica coffee beans?
To answer this question, we conducted a study to find the five best Arabica coffee brands. In addition, we have answered frequently asked questions so you will have all the information you need to easily choose the best Arabica for yourself.
Lifeboost CoffeeI know you’re going to love this coffee. After one try, you’ll never go back to mass-produced toxin-loaded “generic” coffee. Key Features
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Koa CoffeeKoa Coffee produces premium Hawaiian Arabica Coffee - Hand picked, expertly roasted. Key Features
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Volcanica CoffeeKona arabica cultivar grows in the homonymous Kona region in Hawaii. The combination of a unique climate and mineral-rich volcanic soil provides the beans with an excellent taste, thanks to which Kona has become one of the most expensive varieties in the world. Key Features
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Coffee Bros.Coffee Bros. looking for combinations of Arabica from different places of origin, and so they create blends with unique taste profiles. Key Features
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Don Pablo CoffeeThese organic Arabica beans are low acidity and therefore well tolerated by the stomach. Moreover, coffee from these beans have a full body and rich flavor. Key Features
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What is Arabica coffee?
Arabica is one of the types of coffee trees that are cultivated all over the world. The main Arabica-producing regions are Latin America, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia. Arabica beans account for about 75% of all coffee produced in the world. The remaining 25% is made up of Robusta and Liberica varieties.
Why Is Arabica Coffee So Popular?
100% Arabica is an expensive drink, distinguished by its aroma and flavor, which are loved by most coffee connoisseurs.
It is safe to say that Arabica is the most important type of coffee on the planet, as it accounts for the largest share of world production. The uses of Arabica vary, and below we will look at three main uses:
If Robusta is added to the mix to increase the density, bitterness, and strength of the drink, then Arabica gives the blend acidity and variety of unique flavors due to its higher essential oil content.
Arabica is suitable for those who like to try coffee in a pure form from a specific country, region, or plantation.
Instant and flavored coffee
Arabica is most often used for instant coffee, and it gives the product a more pleasant aroma and deep, rich taste. As for flavored coffee, Arabica is preferred because it is easier to get a stable flavor with this variety.
How to find 100% Arabica coffee
Arabica beans are large and have an elongated shape and a curved groove. Coffee brewed from Arabica beans has a pleasant taste with a subtle coffee aroma.
Robusta beans are small and rounded with a straight groove. Drinks that use Robusta beans have more caffeine, a sharp taste, and are less aromatic.
Also, pay attention to the packaging. A “premium” designation indicates that the blend contains Arabica beans. But “premium” coffee can also include first or second-grade Robusta beans.
So that you don’t have to stress over whether your coffee is 100% Arabica, we have already found the 5 best coffee brands that contain 100% Arabica beans. Let’s take a look.
1. Lifeboost Coffee
Lifeboost Coffee is the best Arabica coffee brand because its coffee is really delicious. It has a rich chocolate-caramel aroma, which is very smooth.
Lifeboost’s Nicaraguan beans are GMO-free. The company itself is the Fair Trade coffee brand. Each package consists only of specialized beans certified as USDA organic.
Lifeboost’s Arabica beans are single-origin, which means they are not mixed with beans from other countries. They are grown on the picturesque slopes of Mount Kilambé in Nicaragua. This alpine region is known for its lush tropical forests, rich volcanic soil, and unspoiled climate.
On the mountain slopes, Lifeboost’s Arabica beans are cultivated in the shade. The beans are naturally low in acidity and acquire complex, desirable flavors because the coffee cherries are given time to ripen properly.
The beans are then dried in the sun at a perfect humidity to ensure they are free of mold. The fruit’s natural sugars shine through and add a rich flavor to the final product.
LifeBoost is also a sponsor of Rainforesttrust.org, where 100% of donations go directly to wildlife conservation and protection. Proof of Lifeboost’s ecological commitment is that all their coffee is shade-grown, which contributes to nature conservation.
2. Koa Coffee
Koa Coffee Plantation is a relatively new plantation founded in 1997 by Marin and Kathy Artukovich. Located in the “Kona coffee belt” on the slopes of Mauna Loa, the plantation has grown rapidly and has become one of the world’s largest producers of gourmet Arabica coffee.
Koa Coffee products have a natural reddish color, which is believed to come from volcanic rock. It has been widely used by indigenous Hawaiians and is an integral part of their culture. The Kona coffee industry is now an integral part of Hawaiian society.
The coffee is sweet and smooth with an acidic aftertaste, which is a characteristic of most Arabica coffees. This coffee is the perfect afternoon drink and pairs well with almost any dessert you can think of.
Koa Coffee is also committed to providing fresh coffee. The coffee is roasted the same day that the order is received, and shipped the next day. This means that if you place an order on Monday morning, it will be sent on Tuesday and you will receive it as soon as possible.
The only drawback of Koa Coffee is that it comes with a rather expensive price tag. But these Arabica beans are really worth it, and when you taste a cup of Kona Coffee, you’ll be glad you spent the money.
3. Volcanica Coffee
Volcanica Coffee was founded in 2004 by the Contreras family, whose goal was to bring the quality coffee they found in Costa Rica to the USA.
Volcanica Coffee is known as a brand that sells affordable, ethical gourmet coffee.
To date, the company produces more than 120 varieties of coffee, each of which is roasted at a special roasting plant in Atlanta, Georgia.
Volcanica is proud to be a small business that invests in its relationships with coffee farms and local cooperatives. These relationships help to ensure sustainability and reduce costs.
The company gets its Arabica beans from the most well-known regions in the world. These areas are well-known because they have the right conditions for producing coffee with well-rounded aromas.
Volcanica Coffee roasts beans only after you have ordered them, and the best Arabica beans are sent to you as soon as possible. The roasted beans are packed in a bag with a one-way valve, which keeps them fresh as long as possible.
4. Coffee Bros.
Coffee Bros. was founded in May 2019 by two brothers, Nick and Dan Hunnewell. As they themselves say, their mission is to bring better coffee to Amazon while giving back to coffee-growing regions. The company keeps its word, supplying a very high-quality product that is already loved by many Amazon reviewers.
Coffee Bros. blends are made of 100% Arabica coffee beans, which gives twice the flavor and a more intense aroma. The coffee itself is very sweet and delicate. Our team found that espresso roast makes an incredible espresso as well as a bright drip coffee.
The company also supplies decaf coffee, which combines all the classic and expected flavors, as well as unexpected notes of graham cracker and semi-sweet chocolate.
To keep their coffee fresh, Coffee Bros. packs all their coffee immediately after roasting and removes all oxygen from the bags. Then the company sends small weekly batches to Amazon so that Amazon will have only the freshest Coffee Bros. coffee in its warehouses. The whole-bean coffee will maintain its optimal freshness for 1-3 months after being roasted.
5. Don Pablo Coffee
Don Pablo’s Subtle Earth Organic Coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans from Honduras and is certified as GMO-free. Don Pablo Coffee is one of the best Arabica coffee brands, and its beans are grown without chemical additives. Unlike mass-produced beans, these beans produce a wider range of flavors and aromas when brewed.
Don Pablo farmers make every effort to ensure that their farms are environmentally sustainable. They use unused coffee cherries and coffee plant stems as compost for the next harvest.
Don Pablo Coffee’s profits are shared equally among coffee producers through Fair Trade. The program provides incentives to coffee producers, growers, farmers, and distributors for ensuring fair working conditions for their employees.
Don Pablo Coffee is available in medium to dark roasts as whole beans, pre-ground beans, and K-cups. After tasting the coffee, we agreed that it has a strong, bold taste with notes of chocolate, caramel, and honey.
Varieties of Arabica
The most common Arabica varieties are Typica and Bourbon. Over the past three hundred years, many of their mutations and hybrids, both natural and artificial, have appeared. Let’s talk about the most popular:
Typica originated at the crossroads of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan. It is the most famous variety of Arabica.
Typica was brought to Harar, an Islamic city in eastern Ethiopia. From there, it reached Yemen and other countries on the Arabian Peninsula. From Mecca, Indian Muslims smuggled Typica to India. Subsequently, it took root in the Netherlands and France and crossed the Atlantic to the American colonies.
Typically, it is characterized by sweet acidity. It is susceptible to leaf “rust,” attracts insect pests, and gives a small yield. It is grown in Asia, Central America, and Jamaica.
Bourbon is a natural mutation of Typica. It was found on the French island of Bourbon (now called Reunion, located next to Madagascar). While Typica has red leaves, Bourbon has green. Bourbon beans are rounder than Typica beans.
Typica isn’t the only direct descendant of Arabica. The Geisha variety is much less well known. It’s cultivated in Panama at an altitude of 1400 meters. Yields are consistently low.
Caturra developed from the Bourbon variety. It was found in Brazil in the middle of the last century. The Caturra tree can be identified by its short height and dense branches. It’s easy to harvest Caturra berries, and the yield is higher than Bourbon. As a result, in many Latin American countries, Caturra has squeezed out Bourbon and Typica.
The Kona Arabica variety grows in the Kona region of Hawaii. Kona plantations are located on the Big Island, on the slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes. The combination of a unique climate (sunny mornings, rainy or windy evenings, cool nights) and mineral-rich volcanic soil provides the beans with an excellent taste. Due to its delicious taste and the cost of land rentals in Hawaii, Kona has become one of the most expensive varieties in the world.
Arabica vs Robusta
Arabica and Robusta are two types of coffee that are grown on an industrial scale. There are also other varieties like Liberica and Excelsa, but these other varieties account for no more than 2% of worldwide coffee production.
There are many reasons for Arabica’s popularity. The main thing is that Arabica tastes better. But it’s interesting that Arabica and Robusta are related. Arabica appeared thanks to a cross between Robusta and Eugenioidis.
Arabica and Robusta look different, they grow differently, they are very different in terms of taste and price. Let’s look at the most important differences between them:
Arabica is very demanding and grows at elevations of 600 to 2000 meters, and sometimes even higher. Growing Arabica is expensive and difficult. It can easily fall ill and to get a good harvest, you need to constantly care for the trees, fertilize the soil, and in some regions, build systems for artificial irrigation.
Robusta needs heat to grow, so it only grows in a tropical climate. But everything else is secondary. Robusta can grow in the plains and the mountains. It can easily withstand heat and heavy rains. It is much easier to grow than Arabica.
Beans and treatments
Arabica fruits are larger and somewhat longer. They have a dense and complex structure. In the first stages of processing, Arabica undergoes wet processing. After that, it is fermented, processed by several more methods, and dried.
Robusta needs much less processing and is immediately exposed to heat. This makes the fruits somewhat darker and gives them a scent more like the unpleasant, heavy smells of rubber, tobacco, and earth. Some connoisseurs like this peculiarity. Robusta beans are round and don’t exceed 5 millimeters in diameter.
Arabica is rich in lipids and sugars, which make the taste intense and acidic. Arabica from different regions will have different notes of berry and acidity and different aromas of flowers and nuts.
Robusta has more caffeine and chlorogenic acid, and fewer lipids and sugars. This makes Robusta a good energy source, but caffeine also gives coffee its bitterness and heavy aroma. Robusta tastes tart and flat. You can’t get shades from it like you can from an Arabica.
Taste strongly depends on how the coffee is cared for on the plantation. Just because Robusta is easier to manage does not mean it doesn’t need to be cared for. A good Robusta that is monitored and cared for will be better than an Arabica that is not given much attention.
Arabica is more expensive because it only grows in the mountains and is harder to grow, transport, and process. Fertilizer and irrigation are also costly. In a bad year, Arabica can easily get sick, and then the crops that do survive will be more expensive.
Robusta does not need high elevation, it is not afraid of rain and heat, and it resists disease easily. Robusta trees are three to four times larger than Arabica and grow to 13 meters, yielding a much greater coffee crop. All this reduces the cost of producing Robusta and makes it much cheaper than Arabica.
Do you think Arabica or Robusta contains more caffeine? Surprisingly, most people will say Arabica, but the correct answer is Robusta. Robusta is quite often used in instant coffee and as a blending additive to give a blend an extra energy boost.
Arabica coffee contains almost twice as much fructose as Robusta, as evidenced by the more bitter taste of Robusta. Because Arabica is usually sweeter than Robusta, many coffee drinkers prefer the aroma of Arabica.
In addition to the general sweetness that Robusta lacks, Arabica beans also have more variations in aroma and flavor than Robusta—fruit, chocolate, nut, and other notes are found in Arabica coffee but almost never in Robusta.
Arabica is often used in instant coffee, thanks to which the product gets a more pleasant aroma and deep, nourishing taste. But if you want 100% Arabica, you will have to buy only expensive, high-quality brands, because it is unlikely that you will find cheap instant coffee that uses only Arabica and nothing else.
- What is Arabica coffee?
- Why Is Arabica Coffee So Popular?
- How to find 100% Arabica coffee
- Varieties of Arabica
- Arabica vs Robusta
- Arabica Coffee Enjoyed Today and for the Past Few Millennia – ThoughtCo
- What Does 100% Arabica Coffee Really Mean? – Hawaii’s Local Buzz
- Arabica vs Robusta coffee – what’s the difference – Nespresso.com
Coffee is part of the lives of everyone on the MyFriendsCoffee team. We are a group of professional baristas, coffee bean roasters, and coffee machine repairers. Coffee has connected us, and together we strive to provide the best information to our readers.
Our responsibility is to provide advice on any and all coffee-related issues. And we know that to do this we must be experts in this field.
Coffee consumption culture has changed dramatically over several centuries. New brewing methods, bean quality control methods, roasting methods, and much more have appeared. We are sure that coffee will change further, and we want to be involved in changing it for the better.