Arabica coffee beans are considered by some coffee lovers to make milder, less bitter coffee. They are generally more costly to source because the plants they grow on are not as hardy as the Robusta coffee bean plant and it is trickier to transport the coffee from the farmer down the mountainside to the ports.
Arabica best grows in mountainous climates while Robusta grows in more varied climates. The Arabica coffee plant is more vulnerable to pests and needs low pH soil, light shade, evenly distributed rain and a temperature of around 20 C (68 F) to thrive.
Arabica was first grown in the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia, southeastern Sudan, Yemen and Kenya, hence the name Arabica – meaning “from Arabia”. It is now grown in many regions of the tropics including Indonesia, Brazil and Colombia.
So next time you see that a coffee contains Arabica beans, you’ll know that you hold a precious commodity in your hands.