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Coffee Varieties 101

October 1, 2015 -

You’ve probably seen “100% Arabica” on coffee bags or heard about “Robusta.” But does it really affect the way your coffee tastes? The answer – absolutely!

To help demystify these coffee varieties, we’ll break it all down for you. There are two types (species, to be exact) of coffee that are commercially grown and produce the coffee you and I drink everyday.

First: Robusta coffee. A lower quality plant that flourishes at lower altitudes and has considerable disease resistance but tastes bitter.

Second: Arabica coffee. While it doesn’t produce as much fruit and is more susceptible to disease, arabica plants produce higher quality coffee and the only type that can be considered Specialty Coffee (which is why you’ll never see Robusta in your MistoBox).

We can classify coffees even further than just by species. These are the “varieties” of coffee. You may have seen varieties such as Bourbon, Caturra, Pacas, or many more in your MistoBox. (We won’t list them all here because there are A LOT). The easiest way to think about it is by comparing coffee varieties to the different varieties of apples. Think about how Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are all various types of apples with each one having certain characteristics that we associate with it. You probably have a couple favorite apples, and coffee varieties can guide you to your favorite coffees in the same way!

Knowing the variety of coffee can be an important piece of information that can tell you what flavors you might expect to taste, but remember at the end of the day it’s all about the quality of the coffee, great farmers, talented roasters, and truly enjoying every last sip.


Melissa Hall

Melissa Hall is equal parts hostess and culture queen. She knows how to throw a great party and is always up to date on her pop culture. Our resident coffee novice, she takes on the perspective of a coffee lover discovering new roasters and ways to brew. She loves sharing these discoveries, helping others become more coffee savvy (and caffeinated)!

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