The Ultimate Coffee Glossary


What is the Arabica coffee varietal?

Coffea Arabica is a species of flowering plant in the Rubiaceae family, native to the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia. It is the most widely cultivated species of coffee in the world, accounting for around 75% of the world’s commercial coffee crop. Arabica coffee is a woody perennial evergreen that grows to a height of up to 10 meters, with a trunk diameter of up to 30 cm. The leaves are dark green, glossy, and oval-shaped, with a pointed tip. The flowers are white and fragrant, and the fruit is a red cherry.
Coffea Arabica is a tetraploid species, meaning it has 44 chromosomes, and is self-pollinating. This is in contrast to its close relative, Coffea Canephora (Robusta coffee), which is diploid with 22 chromosomes and is cross-pollinating. Arabica and Robusta differ in terms of genetics and taste. While Robusta coffee beans are more disease-resistant than the Arabica, they generally produce an inferior tasting beverage and has more caffeine.
There are two main botanical cultivars of Arabica: C. Arabica Var. Arabica (Typica) and C. Arabica Var. Bourbon. Typica is the oldest and most widely cultivated variety of Arabica, and is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. It is a tall, upright plant with a conical shape and a single main stem. The leaves are large and oval-shaped, and the fruit is a red cherry. Bourbon is a mutation of Typica, and is believed to have originated in the island of Bourbon (now known as Réunion). It is a shorter, bushier plant with multiple stems, and the leaves are smaller and more oval-shaped than Typica. The fruit is also a red cherry.
Arabica coffee is grown in many countries around the world, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, Brazil, and Indonesia. It is grown in tropical and subtropical climates, at elevations between 600 and 2000
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