Coffee comes in hundreds of different varieties and in hundreds of different forms, from freeze dried instant to espresso made with freshly roasted beans. The coffee consumer is never stuck for choice with such a huge range available. But where does coffee come from? Coffee in its purest form is basically the seeds of the coffee plant; a plant which has two main species and hundreds if not thousands of sub-species. The two main species are Typica-Arabica and Coffea-Canephora more commonly known as Arabica and Robusta respectively.
Coffee’s ideal growing conditions exist in the equatorial zone known as the “bean belt” and are situated between the two tropics, the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. Roughly located between latitudes 25 degrees North and 30 degrees South.
Arabica is the more prized variety and its growing conditions are a little trickier than its less desirable cousin. Arabica grows best at high altitudes with rich soil whereas Robusta prefers a higher temperature and will thrive on low ground.
Robusta coffee beans have around double the amount of caffeine compared to arabica beans. This is due to the environment in which they grow in, robusta (grown around sea level - lots of pests) produces more caffeine which acts as a natural pesticide whereas arabica (grown at higher altitudes) does not need to detect as many pests.
Here at Crosby coffee we source from all over the 'bean belt' from Guatemala and Nicaragua through to Malawi and Uganda and over to India, Indonesia and Sumatra.
Our current favourite is a fair trade Yirgacheffe bean from Ethiopia. The naturally processed bean retains its fruity sweetness and lasts from brew to cup with a beautiful mouth-feel and lingering aftertaste. This coffee is available to buy online now here.
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