Wait a minute, you can get green coffee? Yes, you certainly can. But it may surprise you what the term actually means (spoiler alert, it’s not referring to a halloween themed beverage).
What is Green Coffee?
Green coffee refers to unroasted coffee beans that are harvested from coffee plants. These beans are known for their greenish hue, hence the name. Unlike the roasted coffee beans that we know of used to brew our favorite cup of joe, green coffee beans retain their original color as they have not undergone the roasting process.
2 Main Types of Green Coffee:
Arabica Green Coffee.
Arabica green coffee beans are known for their superior quality and delightful flavors. Grown at higher altitudes in regions with cooler temperatures, Arabica beans are often considered more challenging to cultivate but yield a smoother and less acidic cup of coffee when roasted. They contain a higher concentration of sugars and lipids, contributing to their pleasant taste.
Robusta Green Coffee:
Robusta green coffee beans are hardier and easier to grow than Arabica beans. They thrive at lower altitudes in warmer climates and are more resistant to diseases and pests. Robusta beans have a higher caffeine content and a more bitter and robust flavor compared to Arabica. They are commonly used in espresso blends to add body and crema.
Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) is the most widely cultivated species of coffee in the world, accounting for approximately 60-70% of global coffee production. It is revered for its smooth and nuanced flavors, mild acidity, and aromatic complexity. Arabica plants are more delicate and susceptible to pests and diseases compared to the hardier Robusta coffee plants.
Arabica Coffee Varietals:
Within the Arabica species, there are numerous varietals which you may see showcased on a bag of coffee, each with its unique attributes and flavor profiles. Some of the popular Arabica coffee varietals include:
Typica is one of the oldest and most widely distributed Arabica varietals. It originated in Ethiopia and is known for its delicate flavors and balanced acidity. Many other Arabica varietals have genetic roots in Typica.
Bourbon coffee has its origins in the Bourbon Island (now known as Reunion Island) in the Indian Ocean. It is recognized for its sweet and fruity notes, often with a rich body and a pleasant aftertaste.
3. Geisha (also Gesha):
Geisha coffee gained immense popularity in recent years due to its exceptional cup quality. Originally from Ethiopia, it was rediscovered in Panama, where it earned acclaim for its tea-like qualities, floral aroma, and vibrant, complex flavors
4. SL28 and SL34:
These varietals were developed in Kenya and are known for their resistance to certain diseases and their vibrant acidity. They produce coffees with bright citrus and blackcurrant notes.
5. Ethiopian Heirloom:
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, and there are countless traditional heirloom varietals cultivated throughout the country. Each region in Ethiopia has its unique heirloom varietals, contributing to the diverse flavor profiles found in Ethiopian coffees.
Arabica Coffee Origins:
The taste and characteristics of Arabica coffee beans are significantly influenced by their geographical origin. Various regions around the world are renowned for producing exceptional Arabica coffees, and some of the most well-known Arabica coffee origins include:
Ethiopia is often considered the birthplace of coffee, and it boasts an incredibly diverse range of heirloom varietals. Coffees from Ethiopia are known for their floral aromas, fruity flavors, and distinct complexity.
Colombia is famous for its high-quality Arabica coffee, grown in regions like Huila, Antioquia, and Nariño. Colombian coffees are known for their balanced acidity, medium body, and notes of caramel, chocolate, and citrus.
Kenya is renowned for its bright and lively Arabica coffees, often exhibiting vibrant acidity, berry-like flavors, and sometimes a wine-like richness.
- Costa Rica:
Costa Rican Arabica beans are prized for their clean and bright profiles, with flavors ranging from floral and fruity to nutty and chocolatey.
As the world’s largest coffee producer, Brazil contributes significantly to the global supply of Arabica coffee. Brazilian Arabicas often have a mild acidity, nutty sweetness, and a full body.
Guatemalan Arabica coffees are celebrated for their complexity and balance, with flavors ranging from floral and fruity to chocolatey and spicy.
These are just a few examples, and there are many other regions worldwide producing exceptional Arabica coffees, each contributing unique flavors and characteristics to the global coffee market.
What is Organic Green Coffee?
Organic green coffee is cultivated without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms. Organic farming practices prioritize sustainability, biodiversity, and soil health, making organic green coffee a popular choice among environmentally conscious consumers.
What is Fair Trade Green Coffee?
Fair trade green coffee is sourced from farms that adhere to fair trade principles. These principles promote better wages and working conditions for coffee farmers, ensuring that they receive a fair share of the profits from their labor. By choosing fair trade green coffee, consumers support ethical and sustainable coffee production.
What is Single-Origin Green Coffee?
Single-origin green coffee beans are sourced from a specific region or even a single farm. Each origin has its unique flavor profile, influenced by factors such as climate, soil, altitude, and processing methods. Coffee enthusiasts often appreciate the distinct characteristics and terroir of single-origin green coffee.