Though there are a few more coffee beans than the ones we are going to mention here, we are specifically targeting these 4 as they are the main beans in circulation.

So if you’re a coffee-lover, you are more than likely going to find that at least one of these beans would have made up your morning coffee.

In this article, we are going to go over some of their characteristics so that you can better identify the coffee you are drinking on a daily basis.

Perhaps even helping you with identifying the coffee bean that is best suited for you and your pallet.

So, in no particular order, let’s get into the 4 main coffee beans; Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, Excelsa.

Arabica Coffee beans

Accounting for over 60% of the world’s coffee production, these particular beans are grown in high altitudes in areas that receive steady rainfall as well as a generous amount of shade.

One of the main reasons why Arabica makes up a lot of the coffee bean industry is because it is one of the easiest trees to look after, and due to their relatively small size (6ft) they are also one of the easiest trees to harvest from too.

How Arabica beans look and taste

If you have high-quality Arabica beans, they will feature a noticeably bright color as well as a healthy amount of acidity to it, featuring a great layering of flavors and aromas which really sets it apart from the other roasted beans on this list.

One important thing to mention, though we think this warning will only affect a small percentage of the coffee community, Arabica beans are best served hot.

Their taste will be far less significant and impactful if you drink it cold or with some form of creamer.

Robusta Coffee bean

Robusta bean is the 2nd most-produced bean in the world and has requires some very different properties when it comes to growing, though its a very rugged and versatile bean to grow, as its name suggests.

You can grow Robusta trees pretty much anywhere without suffering hash downsides as you would with the Arabica bean.

Making them one of the easiest trees to maintain even in large groups – which is usually any coffee beans tree’s downfall.

It is seemingly immune to disease too, which makes it an even more desired choice for manufacturers who are looking to mass-produce this a coffee bean.

With all this being said, its name more than certainly suits it.

How Robusta beans look and taste

To spot a high-quality Robusta bean, you’re going to want to make sure it has a smooth texture and low acidity.

Some experts (coffee drinkers) say that the bean has a hint of chocolate associated with its tasting profile, so that is also something to look out for.

The sad part of the Robusta bean is that it will be very hard to find good quality beans, due to the fact that the trees can be grown in pretty much any climate, farmers have taken advantage of this characteristic and mass-produced low-quality beans in less than ideal living scenarios.

Thus changing their taste and texture altogether.

If you find Robusta beans that have a dull smell or it tastes rubbery, then you sadly have a low-quality bean.

However, if you are lucky enough to find great quality beans, then be sure to mix them in with creams and sugar as it can further enhance the taste rather than take from it as some beans suffer when adding other unnecessary’ ingredients.

Liberica Coffee Bean

As we get further down the list, we start to talk about coffee beans that aren’t as popular as some of the other in the coffee world.

Liberica has its own special place in coffee history despite its now small production rate; at one point in time it was actually grown to replace Arabica, the bean we first talked about in this article.

This was because in 1890 coffee rust, a fungus disease harmful to trees, decimated over 90% of the Arabica stock, so farmers had to find a replacement.

And Liberica for a time was the replacement which saved the coffee industry.

So, even to this very day coffee lovers still have a soft spot in their heart for this particular coffee bean.

How Liberica beans look and taste

Due to their asymmetrical shape, Liberica beans are easy to spot as their irregular shape is like no other.

Consisting of floral and fruity aroma, Liberica beans possess a smokey taste which is distinct from anything most coffee drinkers have every experienced before…but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Many coffee drinkers state that this bean taste “woody” and doesn’t taste anything like coffee at all – so it’s definitely one you’re going to have to seek out and try for yourself to see how your taste buds react.

Excelsa coffee bean

Our final bean on the list is Excelsa, classified as a member of the Liberica family; though the coffee community couldn’t disagree more on this one as they believe the two are completely different beans from one another.

The only similarity that you can draw between these two beans is that they grow on large 20-30ft tall trees and both featuring a similar almond-like bean shape.

How Excelsa beans look and taste

Featuring a tart and fruity like body, the bean has a flavor of lightness too it but also posses darker roasty notes.

Its one of the weirdest and most unique coffee beans on this list due to this taste alone, as there is nothing quite like it; and is one that coffee drinkers all around the world try to get their hands on.

It is also commonly used in larger blends to help give the coffee an extra boost in flavor especially if you roast them well. See this recommend review (Best Home Coffee Roaster Machines).


We have gone over the 4 most predominant coffee beans in the industry, all featuring their own tastes and their own appearance.

Now you have the knowledge to identify specific coffee beans thanks to this article, you can go out there and find the coffee bean that suits you the most; finally allowing you to drink the perfect roast.