Coffee is traditionally grown in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamilnadu extending to Andhrapradesh and Odissa as well. The two main types of coffee grown in India are Coffee Arabica and Coffee Canephora (Robusta). A coffee bean consists of seed, silver skin, endocarp (provides protection), mesocarp (flesh of coffee fruit), and epicarp (outer skin). Let us focus on these main 2 species i.e Robusta and Arabica.
It is grown in cool temperatures and at a higher altitude from November to January. Arabica is smoother, sweeter and is preferred more over Robusta due to its strong aroma and flavor. The yield obtained though is pretty low and Arabica is more prone to pests and hence requires constant care. Arabica has higher lipid content compared to Robusta. Arabica is further divided into two types i.e Typica and Bourbon.
Subtypes of Arabica:
- Typica: Typica is pretty tall i.e around 5 meters. This variety though has a low yield but it has excellent cup quality. It is not commonly grown due to its increased susceptibility to pests/insects. A well known Typica variety is the Blue Mountain Coffee produced in Jamaica. Subtypes of Typica include Java, Maragogype, and Timor Hybrid. It is often cross-bred with other varieties for better benefits.
- Bourbon: It is a mutated version of Typica and has a sweeter taste. This variety has a balanced aroma and has a variety of mutations and subtypes. These species can have red, yellow, pink, or orange berries depending on its variety.
Benefits of Coffee Arabica:
Arabica is a good source of B vitamins, Vitamin E, Magnesium, potassium. Coffee is also known to have protective effect against Alzheimers, Type 2 diabetes and Dementia. It also helps in reducing blood pressure.
Robusta requires a hot and humid climate and is grown from December to February. It is more resistant to pests and caffeine content of this bean is higher than that of Arabica. Robusta has a bitter and nutty flavor attributed to chlorogenic acids and may not be preferred by a lot of people.
Benefits of Robusta:
Owing to its high chlorogenic acid content, Robusta can help in reducing cholesterol typically bad cholesterol levels also known as LDL. It may also help boost fat metabolism, thus aiding in weight loss. It also helps in regulation of blood pressure.