The bean actually comes from a cherry that come from the coffee plant. The two main types of coffee plant are Arabica (coffee Arabica) and Robusta (coffee canephora).
Arabica vs. Robusta
Arabica coffee accounts for 60% of the world’s coffee market. Arabica coffees grow best at high altitudes and are known for their rich and complex flavours and aromas.
Robusta coffee plants are hardier and produce a higher yield than the Arabica plants. They also contain higher caffeine content. The vast majority of Robusta’s are of relatively low quality. These beans are often used in high- volume commercial coffee blends for their higher caffeine content. Very high-quality Robusta’s are also traditionally used in small amounts for classic Italian-style espresso blends, because they improve the thickness of the espresso and help sustain the crema. The strong taste of Robusta beans can also cut through the sweetness of the milk added to some espresso drinks.
Arabica’s, on the other hand, have a wide range of tastes, including the berry flavours associated with Ethiopian Harar, the spice and earthy tones of Indian and Indonesian coffees, and the citrus notes common with Central American beans. Arabica’s grow at higher elevations (2,000 to 6,000 feet) in relatively cool tropical climates with rich soil, a variety of shade and sun, and lots of moisture.