The Ethiopian plateau is a region well known for it's gourmet coffee. In the 9th century, a goat herder by the name of Kaldi, discovered the effects of coffee after one of his goats ate the beans. Thus was the birth of gourmet coffee.
It is without a doubt that coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. In the United States alone, there is an estimated 400 million cups of coffee being consumed daily.
Gourmet coffee for this reason has become a more popular preference among coffee connoisseur's. Gourmet Coffee is usually roasted from a 100% Arabica bean for it's superiority in taste and smooth flavor. The Arabica bean is known for it's sweeter taste; with flavor notes of chocolate, sugar, fruits and berries. Arabica has two varieties, Typica and Bourbon.
Typica coffee beans are considered a higher quality bean because the trees the beans are harvested from grow taller than normal coffee trees; however these beans grow best in higher elevations .Thus for this reason the harvested yields smaller and are limited. Why would coffee drinkers want to chose this variety of bean over others? Typica coffee sweetness and fact that it cups well makes it world renowned. Some of the best coffee's in the world come from the Typica family include:
- Amarelo de Botucatu
- Blue Mountain
- Pache Commun
- Pluma Hidalgo
- San Ramon
- Sao Bernardo
Because of the difficulty to yield higher harvests, coffee farmers have turned to cultivating hybrid Typica beans in an attempt to produce a higher yield. The Typica Hybrids in this family include:
- Acaia (Sumatra & Bourbon)
- Macaturra (Maragogype & Caturra)
- Pacamara (Pacas & Maragogype)
- Pache Colis (Pache Commun & Cattura
- Mundo Novo (Sumatra & Bourbon)
- Catauai (Mundo Novo & Caturra)
- Rasuna (Typica & Catimor)
- Icatu (Mundo Novo & Robusta & Bourbon
Bourbon Arabica beans are known for the complex, yet balanced aroma. This bean is known to have many subtypes. Bourbon Arabica beans also are grown best at a higher elevation.
In the early 1700's French missionaries imported Bourbon from Yemen to Bourbon island, now known as La Reunion. In the mid 1800's the variety of the Bourbon bean was then brought to places in Africa and the America's.
The Bourbon bean was brought to Brazil possibly around 1860 and spread among the locals and on to the other America's . Since it's introduction, the Bourbon variety spread throughout the world, yet none can match the variety from Latin America.
Arabica coffee is said to be superior in taste and contain less caffeine than it's cousin the Robusta bean. Robusta is harsher and more bitter, with a grainy or rubbery undertone.
More than 60% of the coffee distributed around the world is Arabica, according to the International Coffee Organization. This bean attributes to the history of coffee, started in Ethiopia and has since spread across the world.