A busy coffee shop will need something which can cope with plenty of use and produce more than one cup of coffee at once, it needs to produce multiple cups in moments. You will more than likely want to invest in something which is able to produce different types of coffee and hot drinks, such as Latte, Macchiato, Espresso, Hot Chocolate, Mocha Chocolate etc. to add to your repertoire. The Alliance website has a number of stylish and impressive coffee machines to choose from, suitable for all different size food businesses and built to withstand plenty of daily use.

In addition to the coffee machinery you choose, you need to understand the different flavours of coffee bean to decide what you want to offer on your menu. A dedicated coffee shop or café will want to give customers plenty of choice and produce absolutely mouth-watering cups of coffee to encourage regular custom and entice new customers through the door. There’s plenty to the humble coffee bean and much to consider when selecting the flavours, such as the type of bean, where it comes from and how it is roasted. Here’s a short guide from Alliance Catering to help you decide which beans to use.

There are two different varieties of coffee beans which are the most popular and they are the Robusta bean and the Arabica bean. These are very pure coffee beans and come in ground coffee blends or whole, ready to be ground later. Here’s a little more about each.

Arabica Coffee Bean (Coffea Arabica)

This delicious tasting coffee bean comes from the coffee plant which is part of the family called Rubiaceae and this particular type of bean is responsible for 59% of the world’s coffee production. Coffee grows best in hot, humid countries and this bean originally hails from Ethiopia, growing high in the hills, in fact, the higher the position of the coffee plant, the better the end product tastes. Arabic beans are grown in many different areas of the globe today, the plants can be found in Latin America and plenty of other parts of Africa. Different regions produce slightly different flavours; Ethiopian beans tend to produce a smoother flavour whereas Arabic beans grown in Kenya are a little more tart.

Coffee beans come from the seed of the plant and live inside the “cherry” which is the red fruit grown by the coffee plant. It takes nine months for the fruit to appear after the coffee plant flowers. There are two seeds inside each cherry and the Arabica coffee bean is flat and long. Arabica coffee is harvested after rainfall when it ripens. The flavour of the Arabica coffee bean has a strong but sweet aroma with chocolate hues and a whisper of bitterness.

The Robusta Coffee Bean (Coffea Canephora)

The Robusta coffee bean comes from the coffee plant grown in Central and Western Africa and parts of South America, India, Indonesia and Vietnam and is part of the same species as Arabica coffee, the Rubiceae plant. It is responsible for approximately 30% of the world’s coffee production. This bean’s plant grows to a 10 metre shrub and doesn’t flower as often as the Arabica bean, it takes up to 11 months to flower and produce fruit.

Fruit is the same as the Arabica coffee bean in that it looks like a cherry but the beans inside are oval shaped. It’s worth mentioning that Robusta doesn’t need as much pesticide as the Arabic bean because it doesn’t attract as many insects. The flavour is quite different to Arabica in that it is very strong with an earthy undertone and much more bitter, favourable in Italian coffee especially Espresso coffees.


Key Differences Between Arabica And Robusta Coffee Beans

There is a distinctly different flavour, Robusta is much more bitter than Arabica which tends to be smoother and sweeter.
Robusta has more caffeine than Arabica at 2.7% whereas Arabica has 1.5% caffeine.
Arabica has twice the amount of sugar than Robusta.
Robusta is less expensive on the commodity market
Robusta beans are oval whereas Arabic beans are elongated.
The best quality Robusta coffee makes superb Italian espresso!
Roasting Coffee Beans

When coffee beans are first harvested they are green in colour and this shows just how fresh they are before they go through the roasting process. There are four different roasts, light roast, medium roast, medium dark roast and dark roast. Here are the main differences:

Light Roasts are mild in flavour and the coffee is light brown in colour.
Medium Roasts have a stronger taste and plenty of rich flavour.
Medium/Dark Roasts are darker in colour with slight glistening of oil left on the beans giving them a light sheen; they are richer, deeper and often spicier in flavour.
Dark Roasts have a glossy sheen on the bean and produce a very deep, full and bitter taste. The aroma can be quit overpowering and these dark roasts are usually used in Espresso coffee.
Now you know the different types of coffee and coffee roasts available and where they come from, pair them with premium quality coffee machines from the Alliance website and give your customers the ultimate cup of coffee.