The Ultimate Coffee FAQ

If you are a coffee enthusiast and love the taste of a freshly brewed cup of Joe, you may have some questions about the tasty beverage. Or maybe you just want to learn more about the world’s most popular drink – if that is the case, you have come to the right place, as we will be answering some of the most frequently asked questions in this ultimate coffee FAQ!

Coffee has a rich history and is a staple in many homes around the globe. While it is mostly consumed in liquid form, it is also enjoyed in desserts and can be used as a rub on meats or as a “secret” ingredient in some of the world’s best tasting chili.

In addition to being consumed, coffee (and coffee beans) serve many other functions, both in nature and in the common household. Did you know that you can clean pots and pans with ground coffee? How about the fact that coffee can help keep your garden safe from certain pests and is a great palate cleanser?

Because coffee is so ingrained in our everyday lives and has been for centuries, it is only fitting that people may find themselves with some questions about the tasty little bean. Below, we hope to answer some of those questions!

Question: Is Coffee really a bean?

Contrary to popular belief, coffee beans are actually seeds that come from the coffee plant. Coffee plants bear red or purple fruit, known as cherries, and inside of this “cherry” you will find coffee seeds. Coffee seeds are called coffee beans because of their close resemblance to members of the legume family.

Question: Do coffee beans look the same as they do straight off the plant?

When coffee beans are first gathered, they are light green in color and do not possess an oily sheen. They are also slightly smaller. They get the rich, brown coloring and texture from the roasting process, which helps bring forth the rich flavors and aroma we are all so fond of.

Question: What are the different types of coffee beans?

While there are dozens of types of coffee grown around the world, the main two coffee beans that make up the majority of consumable coffee in the world are the Arabica bean and the Robusta bean. Arabica coffee beans account for roughly 70% of coffee produced in the world, while Robusta makes up most of the rest.

Question: What is the difference between Arabica coffee beans and Robusta coffee beans?

There are many differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, but for brevity’s sake, the majority of these differences can be summed up by two categories: taste and production.

Arabica beans are harder to grow, as they require a stricter climate, temperature, and elevation to thrive, versus Robusta, which are a little more lenient. That being said, Arabica beans are grown around the world, while most of the Robusta crops tend to come from Africa, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

From a taste perspective, Arabica beans are viewed as being higher in quality, though there are high quality Robusta beans on the market. Arabica, at its core, is typically sweeter with hints of sugar and berries, while Robusta is known for its “robust” taste (often described as bitter or harsh), with notes of earth, grain, and nuts.