What makes Arabica the world’s favorite?
What makes an Arabica coffee special, is the less bitter feel to it, a more leathery rich and smooth drink. Now today because of the demand in coffee, most coffee farmers don’t wait the full seven years for the coffee tree to fully bloom, around the 5th year, the coffee picking begins and that’s the mistake here.
Although the coffee is somewhat ripened, it hasn’t reached its full potential at the end the 7th year. The typical sign of knowing that the Arabica bean is fully ripened is simply at the fact the cherry will have fallen off the tree, instead of the farmers having to pick it off the branches. For that reason, a poor quality Arabica will generally have a slightly more of a bitter feel to it-which is fine if that’s what you like but in an Arabica coffee, that’s the taste of an unripe coffee grain. That’s only for an Arabica, if your looking for a slightly more strong and bitter feel- try going for a blend or a Robusta based coffee for the Robusta is by nature more of a strikingly bitter berry, giving it more of that fruity, forest feel to it. A true Arabica coffee however, is more rich and enchanting and that why we source our coffee from our independent coffee growers have a love for coffee and are not so interested in the so-called ‘mass production’ of coffee but care to produce the most perfect coffee grain for our Italian coffee roasters at Mixpresso. That’s why Mixpresso is a family run boutique company- we are authentic Italian coffee roasters-looking for that authentic, rich aromatic cup of coffee and espresso.
A Good Arabica plantation begins at the roots!
Arabica coffee grains thrive in more of a moist, nutrient rich soil type. Vital to the growth of a good coffee plant is the habitual draining of water through the soil. It’s vital here to understand that overwatering the coffee essentially drowns it’s roots thus restricting it of a good air supply. When the plant roots don’t breathe as it should, the resulting quality of the coffee beans coming from the plant is of poor quality. The cherry won’t ripen to that healthy red purple color but will be more a burgundy, less bright, slightly darkened hue. The grain will look unhealthy and that sexy slim line down the middle of the grain will widen and eat up the plump healthy smooth roundness of the grain. However, this type of coffee will only come if your lucky enough the plant didn’t die before hand!
The quality assurance & care of an Arabica harvest.
Arabica coffee grows, as nature intended in the open landscape. However, sadly enough, much of the coffee crop today is container grown and that means that it is fertilized slowly and steadily though it’s 7 years harvest.
A natural growing coffee will harvest in the Spring to the very first week of summer- at which point, the temperature will rise above the suggested 25 Degrees where the Coffee plant will struggle to survive above those hot temperatures. That being said, the optimal temperature for the perfect harvest of a coffee plant is between 15-25 Degrees.
A coffee plant will generally begin to show its cherries after about 3-5 years since it’s initial growth but the good quality cherries should not be picked until the 7th year, at which that point the cherries don’t need to be ‘picked off’ the tree, they would have fallen off. Quite contrastingly to a Robusta plantation, where the grain will have to be ‘picked off’ the plant. Today however because of commerce, it has become more common for coffee growers start to pick the cherries from the middle of the end of the 4th year to mid of the 5th year, to provide for the growing coffee demand. The taste of a quality Arabica is therefore jeopardized massively and you lose the typical woody, leathery rich character of an Arabica. The absence of this taste is immediately noticeable by our coffee connoisseurs’ at the Mixpresso coffee factory. Our specialists are on site to ensure only the upmost quality coffee grain is picked for a perfect roasting at the factory. A coffee plant can typically be producing for about 55-60 years, however the actual plant species can live for up to 100 years.
At Mixpresso, the coffee picking of our coffee growers, is generally in the spring about 9 months after the budding season of its Jasmine-like creamy blooms.
Where do Mixpresso Coffee beans come from?
Majority of coffee Arabica but not strictly to- are coming typically from the native African regions on the coffee belt but the generally known best quality coffee producers of Arabica is in Ethiopia, Kenya, Hawaii Guatemala, Costa Rice and Columbia. The Columbian’s take their position in the coffee producing industry very seriously and work hard to rank high. What gives the Columbian coffee grain that uniqueness to it is the ever-so slightly sweetness to a typically leathery and bold Arabica plantation. We use these grains to give our LUNGO flavor the more heavenly aroma to it with a hint of sweetness only to enlighten the coffee experience. A Colombian Supremo, the highest grade, has a delicate, aromatic sweetness which is what is used in the Mixpresso Lungo flavor, while Excelso Grade might be softer and slightly more acidic which is what we use in our Mixpresso speciality Classe blend.
Although Puerto Ricco has not steadily remained at the top of the world’s #1 of the coffee producers. It certainly does not mean they are not one of the best. It is due to a misfortune of this Native Caribbean island being subject to bad weather and hurricanes that has interrupted its coffee produce. Grand Lares in the south central and Yauco Selecto in the southwest of Puerto Ricco are small regions have excellent coffees, noted for their balanced body and acidity and fruity aroma. They are a slightly more of a rare source, yet the their speciality taste to them is why Mixpresso have chosen to use The Puerto Rican coffee grain in their blends.
As a rule of thumb coffee producers yielding the highest quality coffee grains, would generally have a volcano- or two, nearby. It’s the nutrient rich soil, or rock that flavors the coffee, giving it that Earthy body to the cherry and Rich boldness to it. It’s the weather that would contribute mainly to the acidic feel of it.
Guatema, Antigua, Coban and Heuhuetanango of Guatemala, each cultivate a distinctive coffee grain, each with a unique character to it. The rugged landscape of Guatemala, and volcanic soil all have a hand in flavoring the coffee grain to a slightly spicy taste with a hint of chocolate.
Brazil is unmistakably, the largest coffee producer worldwide of Arabica and Robusta. Being that the country is so large, the yield largely replies on the site of the coffee plantations. The Brazilian coffee bean is one of the best of its kind to be used in blends for its low acidity and somewhat clear, medium bodies, less intense feel. It’s a perfect base for any blend, giving it that full body whilst leaving room for a speciality coffee grain to flavor it.
Sidamo, Harer or Kaffa, in Ethiopia are the first ever regions in Ethiopia to cultivate coffee back in the 18th Century. It is a place of history, as well as quality. The grains here are more Earthly flavored and full bodied. It has a signature dessert feel to the grain, giving it a unique woody and bold experience.
Kenyan coffee is well-known for the fragrance it give off with a perfect roasting. It is well-liked and produce a sharp and fruity acidity and combined with full body and rich aromatic fragrance. In Kenya, they make extra effort in the drying process to maintain that speciality signature aroma. A Kenya coffee AA would be labeled as a first grade aromatic coffee yield perfect dried to maintain that rich fragrant aroma.
Indonesia, although not to exciting to the sound as we don’t think ‘tropical holiday’ however, has the most distinct taste of an age coffee grain that cannot and has yet to be matched by technology. It’s prized for a deep and rich body with an unusually low acidity for that sort of body. It’s warm and damp climate makes it ideal for an Arabica plantation and because of the quality of the coffee increasing with age, it can be stored in a warehouse longer than other coffee producing countries worldwide.