When one thinks of coffee, the most common knowledge that comes rushing to us is the most common type of coffee we find. That’s right, you heard your thought right, I am indeed talking about the Arabica.
The Arabica, found abundantly in our country, is scientifically called ‘Coffea arabica’. It is categorized into the genus (biological classification) of ‘Coffea’ and hence the name. This pearl of a bean doesn’t just grow anywhere; it has specific requirements which help the crop flourish and yield beans of excellent quality. It is known to grow at its best in regions of higher altitude and within some shade.
Shade farming is the kind of farming in which the crop is planted and is grown under a canopy of different trees, in practicing which; the sunlight that directly hits the plants gets filtered and also creates a space for ecological relationships to form and expand. This’ shade farming’ is what essentially leads to the flourishing of the crop.
Nature and its ways impacts the cultivation like nothing else can, the altitude, the region, so much as the wind, also has a role in the kind and quality of the yield. These plantations are often also a home for various other types of trees such as fruits and even spices; which has its own effect on the crop and all of these different kinds of crops being grown together on one piece of land provide the coffee with unique nodes of flavor.
Coffee beans always go through a process of grading based on a certain list of characteristics.
The Arabica coffee beans are primarily graded into 14 grades of coffee beans;
7 washed grades and 7 unwashed grades. In India, graded Arabica coffee is used 90% of the times while making any blend owing to the yield in very large numbers.
This then extends into the standardization of the products; as it can then be reproduced time and time again giving similar coffee experiences and tastes to the consumers.
In comparison to the ‘Robusta’ (another type of coffee beans) the Arabica is used more commonly and is used in most blends, atleast it is in India. With regard to Specialty coffee or even artisan coffee; which is all of the single origin coffees, 95% is of the Arabica kind.
The thing that differentiates the ‘single origin coffee’ from the others is that it completely emphasizes on the geographical and atmospheric conditions it is grown in and no other kind of crop or tree. This allows the coffee beans to pick up characteristics and flavor nodes naturally from Mother Nature, which give it its own flavor unique to itself.
The Arabica, takes its place as the ruler of them all as it is the most superior kind with its top notch flavor and ‘class-apart’ quality.