Arabica vs. Columbian Coffee

Arabica vs Colombian Coffee: What’s the Difference?

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Arabica vs Colombian coffee: which do you choose if you have the option? You’re staring at the hot beverage menu of a café and the options ‘Original Arabica’ and ‘Pure Colombian’ are staring back at you. 

To make a well-informed decision, you first need to know the differences between Arabica and Colombian coffee.

Arabica and Robusta coffee beans

For starters, you must know that two main types of coffee plants are grown across the world – the Arabica and Robusta.

Each of these has multiple sub-varieties. Just to be clear, however, Arabica  and Colombian are both referred to as specialty coffee and are the base for the best coffee beans on the market today.

As the name suggests, Arabica coffee has its roots in Arabia. However, Arabica is cultivated by people living in different parts of the world, particularly South America.  

On the other hand, Colombian coffee came from Colombia, which has become a major coffee grower country considering its location and climate.

The main differences between Arabica and Colombian coffee exist because of the unique ways these coffees are made.

A Little Background of the Arabica Plant

The plant Coffea Arabica was introduced to the coffee world in the seventh century when the coffee

Arabica coffee plantation

Arab researchers were the first people to used cooked coffee beans to produce coffee. According to them, the blend helped in drawing out their working hours. The news of making coffee with broiled beans soon reached Yemen.

The Egyptians and Turks jumped on the bandwagon and soon, this Arab advancement found its way across the globe.

Among a few different types of coffee, Arabica seems to be the best quality available. And the fact that it speaks to 59% of the global coffee creation is proof itself. Arabica birthed in the Ethiopian countries.

The Arabica Coffee Plant

Highly sensitive to hot and wet conditions, Arabica beans are best made at elevations of 1.25 – 1.55 miles. The development of Arabic at such high elevations was an attempt to align with the rise of higher quality attributes in the cooking world.

The Arabica coffee plant grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions where there’s mostly spring or summer season. It is not until the beginning of the stormy season that these plants start to blossom. After eight to nine months of blossoming, the plants produce a deep red, sparkly full fruit that contains two Arabica beans.

In the season of heavy rainfall, the plant thrives and the process of seed collection begins. This is a very careful process, as both ripe and unripe seeds may come from the same plant.

Arabica is a fragile tree that usually stands 5-6 meters tall. The ones growing in Arabia are typically 9 feet tall while those in Colombia grow only up to 3-4 feet in height. The plant grows best in a calm atmosphere and requires careful considerations for proper development.

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Arabica vs Colombian Coffee

Arabica Coffee

The coffee blend made using Arabica beans tends to be thick, dull, and exceptionally strong. It is usually served in small cups that are only filled halfway. People often use flavors, such as cinnamon, cardamom, or saffron to give the coffee a distinct taste.

You can add sugar and milk as optional ingredients. The method of making Arabica coffee is somewhat similar to the way you brew tea. After you make it, you keep it covered in a pot to serve warm.

The strength of the coffee depends on when it is mixed. Generally, the longer it is brewed in the pot, the stronger it will come out to be. Arabica beans tend to have a gentle flavor with a prominent taste of sugar, characteristic item, and berries. It has a winey taste and an acidity level higher than other coffee types.

Colombian Coffee

Colombian coffee, on the other hand, is simply Arabica coffee that was grown in Colombia. This may make you wrongly assume that there are no major differences between Arabica and Colombian coffee but the truth is, the ground in which the plant grows plays a crucial role in deciding the quality and taste of the coffee.

Arabica coffee beans

In fact, Colombian coffee goes through an additional step of bean processing, which further influences the coffee flavor. Its harvesting and processing process is different from the traditional process.       

That extra step is the washing of the beans. This is why they are often called ‘washed Arabica’. After they are picked, they are mashed using a pulper. The mashing converts the beans into a pulp form that is washed off within two or more days.

The washing process requires a lot of water and some serious skills.   

The beans that remain are dried and roasted on specific levels. This additional process is the reason why the flavor of these beans is milder and just so different.

This brings us to the next big difference between the two blends – the cost.

The Cost

Colombian coffee is relatively more expensive than Arabica coffee because of the extra amount of time and energy invested in its seed processing. When it comes to the flavor, this coffee blend has a unique, harsher, and grounder taste.

This is because its caffeine content is approximately double of what you find in Arabica coffee. Moreover, the additional washing of the Colombian beans ends up reducing their acidity level.

Overall, the Colombian version is a superior blend that has a rich, smooth taste with a lavish aroma.    

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Benefits of Arabica Coffee

  • It has powerful antioxidant properties
  • Has caffeine to help you stay alert and active throughout the day
  • The composition is 95% water and hence, keeps the body hydrated
  • With no added milk or sugar, it contains very fewer calories
  • Contains a few essential vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, manganese, potassium, niacin, and riboflavin
  • Tastes and smells amazing
  • Nourishes moisturizes, and smoothens the skin when used in skincare products

Interesting Facts about Colombian Coffee

  • Has a mild, well-balanced flavor with medium-to-high acidity levels
  • Popular plant varieties include Catuura, Bourbon, Typica, and Maragogype
  • Colombian beans are perfect for espresso, as they do not turn overly bitter when roasted

Is There Any Difference in Their Nutritional Content?

Since both Arabica and Colombian coffee beans come from the same plant, there is not much of a difference in their nutritional content. Nevertheless, their batches of coffee may have some differences depending on the exposure to sun, rain, and soil during the growth period of the seeds.   

Arabica vs Colombian Coffee – Which Should You Get?

The simplest answer to this question is that you should go for the Arabica blend if you like your coffee strong. On the other hand, if just a mild dose is enough to wake you up in the morning, Colombian coffee is ideal for you.

In most places, Colombian coffee is considered as a superior variety. There is even a special harvest that is the highest point of the line for Colombian coffee beans. These premium Colombian coffee beans compromise no more than 5-15% of the mix but the unique taste and cream they offer is simply irresistible.

In addition to this, Colombian coffee beans are grown and processed under perfect environmental conditions and careful considerations. This ensures that Colombian coffee has low caffeine content and minimum acidity level. Hence, people who have any health issues find this blend to be perfect for regular use.

The bottom line is that your choice of the blend should depend on how strong you like your coffee and what flavor your taste buds approve of.

Conclusion

It is merely the process that follows the careful picking of beans that brings out differences between Arabica and Colombian coffee. The reason why many people prefer Colombian coffee is that it has a lower acidity level and caffeine value. The mild taste usually suits individual preferences better. Apart from this, Colombian coffee is available in the form of whole beans that you can grind yourself. Hence, you can brew it instantly. On the contrary, Arabica coffee brews like tea and so, it can’t be prepared instantly. You can keep it in a pot on a stove and serve it at all times during the day.

So, Arabica vs Colombian coffee, which do you think will suit your taste buds better?