The coffee we drink is produced from either Arabica or Robusta Coffee beans, each of which have their own distinctive characteristics.
Arabica Coffee Beans
- Coffea arabica is known as Arabica coffee
- 70% of the world’s coffee production is from Arabica beans.
- Arabica coffee is grown in Central and North America, The Carribean, South America, Eastern Africa, Yemen, Papua New Guinea, Brazil and India.
- The Arabica bean produces a mild, smooth, well rounded aromatic coffee and often features a sweet hints of chocolate or caramel.
- It grows best at high altitudes such as mountainous and volcanic areas requiring mild temperatures between 59-75 degrees with an annual rainfall of approximately 60 inches.
- The plant is quite delicate being prone to disease and the yield is much lower than Robusta.
- It grows on terrain that is steep and difficult to access hence they are costly to cultivate.
- Arabica is regarded as much more superior quality and is used to produce speciality coffees.
Robusta Coffee Beans
- Coffea canephora is known as Robusta coffee
- 30% of the world’s coffee production is from Robusta beans.
- Robusta coffee is grown in Central and Western Africa, South East Asia, Indonesia and Brazil.
- The Robusta bean produces a coffee that is hard, astringent and not very aromatic.
- It is grown at lower altitudes and is able to tolerate warmer climates (preferring 75-85 degrees).
- The plant is much hardier and disease resistant and yields much more than the Arabica plant making it cheaper to cultivate.
- It is used mainly in blends and for instant coffees.
- Robusta contains approximately three times as much caffeine content than Arabica.
If you would like to indulge in heavenly chocolate then I would recommend you pay a visit to The Chocolate Garden of Ireland in Tullow, Co. Carlow.
Buzz and myself were delighted to have an excuse to visit under the guise of coffee training with Mary and her team. It was great to meet a group of ladies who are so enthusiastic and passionate about serving good coffee.
This was also the perfect opportunity for me to select an Easter Egg for our Easter Competition which I will be letting you know about shortly.
So whether you are interested in handmade chocolates, fudge, spreads, novelties, or even organic homemade ice-cream, I can safely say you will be spoiled for choice at The Chocolate Garden.
I just spent a great day on Saturday doing a Coffee Tasting at The Country Basket in Limerick. There was a fantastic turn out and plenty of questions/answers and opinions on how to get the best from your coffee.
The Country Basket is a wonderful store that opened its doors in June 2009. Limerick has indeed been crying out for a good speciality store for some time. Owned and managed by Simon Wilkinson he prides himself on stocking unique quality products that are difficult to source.
I was particularly impressed watching Simon in action and witnessing his outstanding customer service. There is a friendly word of advice for everyone in terms of getting the best from your purchases- such as how to cook it, alternative uses and suggested recipes.
As an avid food and wine lover, it was also a great opportunity for me to stock up on new items in the market. My favourite was the French style macarons made by Iseult Janssens, a Paris trained pastry chef who has previously worked in Michelin Star restaurants and now runs her own company The Cake Stand. The macarons come in eye catching colours and as well as being beautifully presented, are truly delicious! I also have a few new wines from Portugal and Argentina to sample and look forward to doing that next weekend!