A Guide to The Different Types of Coffee Beans

While you’ve probably heard of robusta and arabica coffee beans, you might not have heard of liberica and excelsa, the two other bean varieties.

At Nguyen Coffee Supply, we’re all about helping our customers — along with anyone who visits our site — get the tools they need to brew their perfect cup of coffee. That includes brewing method guides, tools and products, and of course, providing coffee lovers some of the best coffee from the first ever Vietnamese-American-owned importer, supplier, and roaster of green coffee beans from Vietnam in New York. But most importantly, we’re here to provide people with the most versatile tool of all: knowledge. One of the first things you should think about when purchasing coffee is what kind of bean you’re interested in trying. And while you’ve probably heard of robusta and arabica coffee beans, you might not have heard of liberica and excelsa, the two other, rarer bean varieties. So check out this quick fact sheet on the different styles of beans. Believe it or not, the four main styles are very different from each other — in flavor profile, caffeine content, sugar content, fats, density, and even shape. 

Arabica - Arabica beans are one of the most popular beans in the world. In fact, they account for around 60 percent of the world’s entire coffee consumption. Arabica beans also have more acidity and far less caffeine than robusta beans. The flavor profile is generally sweet and fruit-forward. 

Robusta - Robusta beans have 60% less fats and sugars than arabica, and robusta beans have nearly twice as much caffeine content than arabica. Robusta beans have historically been considered to be of lesser quality than arabica beans — a common misconception that Nguyen Coffee Supply is working tirelessly to change. The flavor profile is usually bolder and nuttier than arabica beans. 

Liberica - Liberica beans are natvie to west Africa, specifically Liberia, the bean’s namesake. Liberica beans have a fruity and floral aroma and when brewed create a full-bodied cup packed with bold and earthy aromas and flavors. Today, most liberica beans are grown in southeast Asia, in countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia.

Excelsa - Excelsa coffee beans are considered a subspecies of liberica beans. They are grown in southeast Asia, and feature a flavor profile full of tart and fruity notes. Excelsa coffee beans are often combined with other bean varieties to add extra thickness and flavor. This is a rarer bean, and only accounts for seven percent of the world’s coffee production.

Purchase our game-changing peaberry robusta coffee beans here.

Make your own fun, complex coffee creations using our recipes here.

Learn about the differences between robusta and arabica coffee here.