Coffee varieties

All coffee varieties are part of the large family Rubiaceae. Coffee tree is an evergreen. It needs a lot of moisture and heat, but hot sun is adverse to it and therefore it is grown in the shade of other trees to keep it cool. If left to grow freely, coffee trees can reach heights of more than 10 meters, but to facilitate the harvesting of the fruits, people trim them. Coffee trees bloom abundantly. The colors are snow white and with a scent of jasmine.

Coffee tree berries ripen over a period of 7 to 9 months and during this time they change color - first they are green, then yellow and red before turning black and falling off.

Most often each fruit contains two beans. The two main species of the Rubiaceae family of which coffee is made are called Arabica and Robusta. A few other coffee varieties are also known (e.g. Liberica), but they are characterized as low yield and poor adaptability, and therefore are not widespread and are used only for admixtures.


Arabica is grown in tropical mountains at an altitude of 900 to 2100 m, fertile soil, high humidity, frequent and heavy rains, temperatures between 15 and 24 degrees. Such conditions are offered in Latin America and in the central and eastern parts of Africa. Arabica coffee is the nobler coffee variety, with less caffeine, a richer fragrance and balanced acidity, which makes Arabica the most important coffee plant.


Robusta is grown in tropical littoral areas at a height of up to 900 meters, high humidity, frequent and heavy rains, temperatures between 22 and 27 degrees. Brazil in South America and many African countries offer such conditions. This is the most common farmed species in Asia and Oceania. Robusta coffee is typically characterized with its high content of caffeine in the beans - they are more bitter, more oily, and with a pungent taste. Robusta is mainly used for producing extracts for instant coffee, though in some countries like Bulgaria, it is the preferred variety for espresso.


Liberica is grown primarily in Malaysia and in West Africa. To thrive well Liberica requires higher temperatures and plenty of water. Liberica is highly resistant to diseases. The quality of this coffee variety is low, therefore it is rarely used - mainly for admixtures with other varieties.