There are several different types of coffee beans, several different ways to roast them, and quite a few different ways to prepare them, and then a huge amount of drinks you can make with the prepared coffee. We will be going over the different varieties of beans in nature and the different kinds of roasts. All coffee beans are green when you pick them off the plant, but they are then roasted at different levels to make it so they can be boiled later over water and turned into coffee.
As for the different types of beans, there are two main species. Everyone has heard the hype behind Arabica beans, and that is because they generally have a considerably smoother taste and are less acidic and thus less harsh on the stomach (many ways of preparing the beans are done that way just to have a less acidic coffee). These are actually a lot harder to grow, and the land that can actually sustain them is limited. They need very wet areas, with plenty of sun, high up in the mountains. And in the mountains there is very limited growing land. Because of the fact that the conditions create restrictions and those restrictions created a limited supply, and the better quality increases demand, they are considerably more money. We use Arabica at Mochas and Javas.
Robusta tends to be harsher and more acidic, and does not taste quite as good. Most instant coffee and big name brands like Folger’s use Robusta beans. They do not have to be grown in the mountains, and can be grown basically anywhere that can sustain other normal crops. Because of this they are far more affordable. But the more affordable price is why Robusta is used everywhere for hospitality coffee, for those on a budget, and as Nestle instant coffee overseas.
There are also light, medium and dark roasts. It may seem like it would make sense that light roasts would have the least amount of caffeine, but they actually have the lightest roasts also tend to have more flavor, and that is because the beans start off green, so light roasts have not been roasted quite as much. They are considered more flavorful, but they are generally a bit harsher. Part of that is because they are not heated hot enough to extract the oil from the beans, so they may seem a bit dry. Medium roasts are the most commonly drank roasts, and these are sometimes referred to as “breakfast” roasts. They are an in between for the amount of acidity and still having a full flavor. These have a medium amount of caffeine in them. Dark roasts have the least amount of caffeine, and while for some they may be considered to be less flavorful, they are also considerably less acidic. The long time that they are roasted adds to the smoky flavor, but they do tend to be strong and bold, even if they are boldly bitter at times.