3 Key Differences Between Arabica and Colombian Coffee?


There are many different types of coffee. Sometimes the difference is how the coffee is roasted, and sometimes, it’s based on how the coffee is brewed. Other times, it’s based on what plant the coffee bean comes from.

Colombian coffee comes from Coffea arabica, the same plant that Arabica coffee comes from. Colombian coffee plants, however, are Arabica plants and are grown specifically in Colombia. The difference in location changes the plant’s size and makes Colombian coffee smoother, richer, and less acidic.

Location is not the only difference between various types of coffee beans, but it affects a lot. 

If you’d like to see a more thorough breakdown of Arabica coffee versus Colombian coffee, comparisons between them and other types of coffee, and information about where to find the right coffee for you, keep reading.

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What Is Arabica Coffee?

Arabica coffee is actually from the most common type of commercial coffee plant. Most of the coffee we buy in stores is either Arabica, which comes from the Coffea arabica plant, or Robusta, which comes from the Coffea canephora plant. This is also known as Coffea robusta.

Coffea Arabica originated in the Arabian Peninsula (northeast of Africa), where it gets its name. 

However, it now grows in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world, including South America. 

Some of these locations have sub-varietals (naturally occurring varieties) or cultivars (human-directed varieties), and this is where coffee varieties like Colombian coffee originate.

Arabica coffee is popular for its taste. It has lower acidity than Robusta coffee, which makes it better tasting to a lot of people. 

It tends to have a rich, smooth flavor, and it’s lower in caffeine than Robusta coffee.

Best Way To Brew Arabica Coffee Beans

Since Arabica coffee is already one of the most common types of coffee, you can pretty much brew it however you’d like. 

If you like the flavor and appreciate the subtle differences in each cup of coffee, then you might consider getting whole roasted beans and grinding them right before use. 

Put the ground beans into your favorite brewer or press, then enjoy the delicious results!

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Arabica coffee still tastes good even if you choose quick and easy brewing methods and buy coffee that’s already ground. This is why it’s so well-liked.

Nutritional Content of Arabica Coffee

If you look at a simple breakdown with calories and such, the nutritional profile of coffee is pretty straightforward. 

There are a lot of zeros. It has almost no calories, and it has just a little bit of fiber and iron.

However, coffee does have other health benefits. It has antioxidants and can help reduce the risk of several diseases and health conditions. 

It also has a good mix of nutrients, though there’s some debate about how much of those survive all the way to your cup.

Where Can I Find Arabica Coffee?

You can find Arabica coffee virtually anywhere coffee is sold! Arabica coffee accounts for about 60 percent of all coffee sold. 

You can find it available as a whole roasted bean, coffee grounds, or coffee pod.

What Is Colombian Coffee?

Colombian coffee comes from a specific type of coffee arabica plant grown in Colombia. 

The difference in location means there’s a difference in weather, elevation, and soil. 

The specific combination of Colombian factors makes the Colombian variety of Arabica coffee into a very well-liked coffee.

Additionally, Colombian coffee has an extra washing step in the processing stage of preparation. 

This added more labor and the required skill, making Colombian coffee beans more valuable and harder to get.

Colombian coffee is milder than Arabica coffee. It also has less acidity. This makes for a very smooth, pleasant drink. 

Different flavor notes are available depending on where your coffee originated in Colombia, so sticking to Colombian coffee doesn’t mean denying yourself variety.

Colombian soil is rich, and it’s fantastic for growing coffee beans with plenty of flavors. 

Colombian coffee is generally grown and processed on small farms, further enhancing the good quality that Colombian coffee beans are known for.

Columbian coffee plants tend to be a little smaller than their Arabica relatives, contributing to their difficulty and flavor.

Best Way To Brew Colombian Coffee Beans

Like Arabica, Colombian coffee will taste good any way you brew it. Since Colombian coffee is a little more specialized and a little more expensive, though, it’s common to take a little extra effort with your brewing process.

Grinding coffee beans yourself will help make sure that your coffee is fresh, with the maximum amount of flavor and depth. 

Brewing one cup at a time with something like an Aeropress gives you a lot of control over your cup of coffee.

You’re less likely to find Colombian coffee available in something like a coffee pod since enthusiasts generally agree you lose a lot of quality with a coffee pod as opposed to a more traditional method of brewing. This doesn’t make it impossible, though.

Nutritional Content of Colombian Coffee

Like regular Arabica coffee, Colombian coffee’s nutritional profile is mostly zeros. 

Like Arabica coffee, Colombian coffee is full of antioxidants and lesser-tracked nutrients like magnesium and potassium.

Where Can I Find Colombian Coffee?

While it isn’t as common as regular Arabica coffee, you can find Colombian coffee at most places that sell coffee. 

It’s one of the most popular coffee varieties, so sellers try to stock at least one Colombian coffee in their selections. They usually carry more than just one Colombian option.

Does Colombian Coffee Have More Caffeine or Arabica?

Colombian and Arabica coffees have relatively similar caffeine contents. However, just like a longer roasting process results in less caffeine, the extra washing step in Colombian coffee does lower the caffeine amount a little.

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If you really need high caffeine, though, you’ll want to take a look at Robusta coffee. 

As discussed further below, it has roughly double the caffeine content of Arabica coffee.

What Is the Difference Between Colombian and Other Coffees?

Given a choice of many different types of coffee, you’ll likely find Colombian to be the mildest and the least acidic. 

It’s also one of a handful of coffee beans grown in one specific region of the world, rather than anywhere in the tropics or subtropics.

Other varieties of coffee exclusive to particular regions include Guatemalan and Ethiopian coffees. 

These aren’t as easy to find as Colombian coffee, but they’re worth a try at least once if you try to taste as much different coffee as possible.

What Is the Difference Between Arabica and Robusta Coffee?

Colombian Coffee Beans

Arabica and Robusta coffee account for virtually all of the coffee that’s commercially sold in the world. 

They’re very different types of coffee beans, despite both coming from coffee plants. 

Both types of beans will produce coffee, but the taste profile and caffeine content are very different.

Taste

Arabica has a richer, smoother, sweeter taste. Between Arabica and Robusta beans, Arabica is generally considered far superior in taste.

Some people prefer Robusta, but it’s usually cheaper due to lower (perceived or real) quality and greater ease of production. 

To some people, it’s simply a matter of situational preference; bitterness is sometimes what you’re in the mood for, in which case, a Robusta is a good choice.

Caffeine Content

Robusta has a much higher caffeine content than Arabica. It has nearly double the caffeine content, making it a great choice when you really need that extra kick.

Production

Robusta is easier to tend, produces more coffee beans per plant, and is less likely to be attacked by insects. 

All these qualities combine to make Robusta a cheaper, easier product to produce.

Some sellers blend Arabica and Robusta coffee to get a good blend of caffeine content and taste.

Where Is Arabian Coffee Grown?

As we’ve already discussed, Colombian coffee is grown in Colombia. However, many other places grow Arabica coffee beans.

Coffee grows almost exclusively in the region of the world near the equator. 

Specifically, it grows between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. 

In more practical terms, this means it grows in the areas that get direct, 90-degree sun at some point during the year. These are the tropics.

In Central and South America, Brazil and Colombia produce most of the coffee, followed by Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala.

In Africa and the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula is still one of the biggest coffee suppliers. 

Kenya is also a very popular place to buy coffee from, as is Ethiopia.

In Southeast Asia, the most popular places to grow coffee are Indonesia and Vietnam. Indonesia is also known for its coffees.

Each geographic or cultural location has slightly different soil, elevation, weather, and farming practices. 

This means that each location produces coffee beans that are a little different from anywhere else’s coffee beans, even if they’re technically from the same plant. 

Coffee enthusiasts will likely enjoy trying coffee that comes from as many locations as possible.

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