In this opportunity, I really want to talk about the different types of coffee that exist.
Some time ago I set out to learn about the most popular coffees in the world and that is why I wanted not only to be an expert on the world of coffee and its industry but also to take my knowledge to my senses.
That is to say, to taste all the types of coffee I could find.
From the most traditional to the most exotic varieties that exist.
I discovered coffee as one of my passions, and that led me to write this blog.
Part of my discoveries you will be able to see reflected in this huge post that I have written about all the existing types of coffee.
I hope that in your next coffee adventure you will be able to find the type of coffee you like the most and that this article will guide you in your search!
Let’s start, of course, at the beginning.
How did coffee as a beverage come about?
Although the coffee plant or coffee tree is native to Africa and Asia, the precursors in preparing a coffee infusion for the first time were the Arab countries.
Then, this beverage was exported and spread in Europe in the XVII century and progressively expanded to the rest of the world.
Nowadays, coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide, and many and varied ways of consuming it have been developed.
In this article, we will discuss the different ways in which coffee can be drunk.
So, what is coffee?
Coffee is the beverage obtained by making an infusion with roasted coffee beans, either whole or ground.
Although sugar can be added according to the tastes of each consumer, coffee is a bitter drink with a strong flavor.
However, the flavor of coffee is always determined to a great extent by the conditions in which the coffee plant has grown: light, humidity, climate, the process of separating the beans, and the way the beans are roasted before grinding can generate coffee with very varied flavors.
In addition, there are different types of coffee plants that generate, of course, different types of coffee.
Coffee also contains a high amount of caffeine. Caffeine is a natural substance that stimulates the central nervous system and works as a diuretic. In other words, it helps the body to eliminate liquids.
Our body absorbs caffeine and sends it directly to the brain, it does not accumulate in the bloodstream and is subsequently eliminated with the urine.
Although there are many myths surrounding caffeine, the truth is that it has no nutritional benefits for the human body.
However, caffeine is known to provide short-term relief from tiredness, fatigue and drowsiness.
In addition, caffeine reduces the risk of heart attack, protects against diabetes and even skin cancer.
So, as with everything, the key is balance. Too much caffeine, like too much of anything, can be detrimental to your health: it causes anxiety, heartburn, dehydration, arrhythmia, increased heart rate, nausea, diarrhea, high blood pressure and insomnia.
Coffee seeds according to their geographical origin
The seeds that are cultivated in South America come mostly from Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica.
The Colombian seeds are very bitter, with a strong smell and a bit acidic.
On the other hand, Brazilian seeds are softer and sweeter, Mexican seeds are slightly acidic and have little aroma, and Costa Rican seeds have an intense flavor.
African seeds originate from Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. All of them have a high acid level, strong flavor and aroma.
Finally, Asian seeds come from Java, Yemen and Sulawesi.
While the seeds from Java are characteristically very bitter, those from Yemen have a strong chocolate taste and those from Sulawesi are very sour and have a strong flavour.
There are many ways to categorize the types of coffee:
- According to the plant
- According to its presentation
- According to the type of grinding
Types of coffee according to the plant
Let’s start with the varieties of coffee according to the plant.
Basically, we can find two main types of coffee plants. These produce two different types of coffee, and a third type of coffee that is generated from the combination of both.
1. Arabica coffee plant
The arabica variety of coffee is the most commonly used and, moreover, the one that consumers tend to like the most.
This delicate species of coffee plant is native to Ethiopia. The Ethiopian bean is very aromatic and has high levels of caffeine.
Despite its origins, Arabica coffee is usually grown in South America, Central America and Asia.
The coffee bean of this plant is deep green with hints of blue, has a pronounced indentation in the middle and is long and flat.
- This variety of plant can have variations in its seeds. These are the types of seeds that the Arabica coffee plant can have:
- Java seed: this seed is spicy and a little sweet, it has a very strong taste. It was introduced in the coffee market by Holland in the 17th century.
- Moka seed: this seed has a taste similar to chocolate, as its acid level is very low. Its name, Moka, comes from the port of Moka in Yemen.
- Kenya AA seed: this type of seed is grown in volcanic soil, as it has abundant nutrients that increase its value and prestige. It has a very strong and slightly sour taste and is native to Kenya.
2. Robusta coffee plant
The robusta variety has much higher amounts of caffeine than the previous one. This makes its flavor much more intense and bitter and, perhaps for this reason, it is a less consumed variety than arabica.
However, its economic value is lower, so it is usually used to make instant coffee.
The name of the robusta coffee plant is not accidental: it is so called because it is very resistant to diseases, heat and parasites.
The coffee bean of the robusta plant is light green with hints of brown and grey and has a curved shape with a very straight indentation in the middle.
3. Combination/blend of varieties
It is very common to drink coffee that comes from the mixture of the two varieties of coffee that we mentioned before: arabica and robusta.
The exact proportion of both varieties of coffee depends on the type of elaboration you want to carry out, which will also affect its taste.
Types of coffee according to its presentation
The preparation of coffee depends on several factors, among them, the ingredients with which we choose to accompany the beans.
Below we present some variants of coffee according to its presentation:
This is the well-known single-or black coffee. It is the easiest to make: it is achieved by boiling the water in contact with the coffee bean; this preparation takes a few seconds.
The result is a “short” coffee: of approximately 30cl.
This type of Ristretto coffee is very similar to espresso or black coffee, with the slight difference that less water is used to achieve a more intense flavor.
Also known as “café macchiato”, this variety of coffee consists of an espresso coffee to which milk is added to dye the coffee.
American coffee has a large amount of water, much more than what is added to the espresso. In this way, American coffee has a softer and watery taste, that is to say, sweeter.
The way to prepare it is to make an espresso and then add boiling water.
Long coffee consists of leaving the water in contact with the beans for longer than normal. This prolonged infusion produces a greater amount of coffee.
As its name indicates, this variety of coffee is usually served in long cups or glasses.
This coffee is prepared like a shot of espresso, but with a singular difference: a spirit such as a whisky, brandy or orujo is also added.
The liquor is heated beforehand, then the coffee is added and then sugar can be added or not.
If lemon is added to this variety, it would become the so-called café brulé.
7. Coffee with milk
In coffee with milk, the same amount of milk as coffee is used, which achieves a sweet and less intense flavor than that of coffee with milk.
8. Bonbon coffee
The café bombón is like the café con Leche, only much sweeter since it uses condensed milk instead of regular milk.
Cappuccino is made with one third coffee and two thirds milk. In addition, cocoa powder is usually added on top to sweeten it.
This type of coffee is very common.
Mocha coffee is a type of coffee that is the same as latte, but with chocolate or cocoa powder.
11. Irish coffee
The Irish coffee is an espresso that is characterized by having whiskey and cream on the surface.
This variant is usually served in a glass, as if it were a drink.
12. Viennese coffee
This variant of Viennese coffee is obtained by preparing an espresso and accompanying it with cream.
This modality of making coffee is also very well known: it basically consists of cold coffee.
It is prepared with instant ground coffee, milk cream or cream and lots of ice.
Many may think that the Aztec coffee is more of a dessert than a drink: this drink involves adding scoops of ice cream to the coffee with ice and milk.
15. Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee uses coffee ground so finely that it resembles flour. The coffee is then mixed with cold water in a container called a cezve.
16. Instant Coffee
While not usually a favorite in terms of taste, instant coffee is the easiest and quickest to make.
It uses a bean that has been treated to dissolve quickly in a liquid, either water or milk.
Types of coffee according to the type of grinding
The flavor and final texture of a coffee infusion is due, in great part, to the type of grinding that the bean has had.
This aspect is not detected at sight but it is evident when the beverage is tasted.
A key element in this subject is the time that passes between roasting the bean and grinding it: the longer this interval is, the more the bean deteriorates and the worse its quality will be.
On the other hand, it also comes into play how fine the coffee powder is after the bean is ground.
The finer the powder, the more bitter the taste of the coffee.
The coarser the coffee particles, the less the brew will taste.
Now that we know what differentiates them, let’s see what are the types of coffee according to the grind:
Very fine and homogeneous grain that is obtained through machines with several knives.
A blender is used instead of machines like the ones in the coffee shop. In this way, the beans are more irregular and coarse.
Manually crushing the beans is the oldest way of doing it. It generates homogeneous coffee particles of the right size, although it can be a tiring and time-consuming task.
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