Arabica coffee, also known as Arabic coffee, Arabic bush coffee, or mountain coffee, is a species of the genus Coffea. This species is believed to be the first coffee species to be cultivated, and is the dominant cultivar, representing about 60% of global coffee production
Coffee seems to have become a staple in today’s society. Whether it’s to provide a quick energy boost during a long workday or just to enjoy its refreshing taste and aroma, drinking coffee is now a lifestyle habit for most Singaporeans.
Even though there are dozens and dozens of coffee bean varieties, two of the most commonly used are Arabica and Robusta beans. Sure, they both look similar once roasted. But don’t let looks fool you! These two are as different as night and day.
It’s a great idea to learn their differences before drinking your next cup of joe. So let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Arabica coffee is one of the various types of coffee that is cultivated globally. At first, Arabica coffee came from the region of Ethiopia and was brought by Arab traders to Yemen.
The Taste of Arabica Coffee
The taste of Arabica is most commonly described as a very smooth and mellow sensation as it enters the mouth. It has a rich and deep body but it still delicate and not overpowering. Arabica does not have the bitter first sip and aftertaste that Robusta coffee tends to have; it has a smoother and balanced taste.
Arabica coffee is considered by most to be superior in flavor with a less bitter taste.
The caffeine content in Arabica is lower than other types of coffee beans such as Robusta.
High quality coffee generally will (or should) contain 100% Arabica beans. Always check labels.
You will pay more for Arabica coffee
The name espresso is Italian in origin. It was first coined around 1900 and, loosely translated, means a cup of coffee brewed expressly (just) for you. Today, you will often find that people incorrectly pronounce or spell it “expresso.”
So, what makes a true espresso?
It’s not the bean. It’s not the blend. It’s not the roast. It’s not that it has to be made by a certain kind of machine.
The fact is, you can use any type of bean, blend and roast, it just depends on your personal tastes.
What makes espresso is the way the coffee is prepared. Espresso coffee is a small (1 to 2 oz.) shot of pressure-brewed coffee, using about 1 Tablespoon of finely ground coffee. Brewing takes about 25 to 30 seconds and when done properly, it will feature a layer of rich, dark golden cream, called crema on the surface. This crema is one indicator of a quality espresso. Making a great espresso is truly an art as well as a science.
Espresso is often considered the most basic coffee, and for good reason. It is used as the key base ingredient for a number of different coffee drinks. However, the often similar compositions of those drinks may cause confusion for some people.
What is the difference between Cappuccino vs Latte? How about Cortados and flat whites? Are Americanos and Espressos the same thing?
This guide will aim to answer these questions and help you understand the different types of Espresso-based drinks out there.
An Espresso shot is simply espresso that is served in a tiny cup, usually around 30 millilitres. It is very concentrated and caffeine-rich, which makes it the perfect drink to sip in the morning to start your day. Also, make sure that you stir it a little before drinking so that all the layers mix.
Double Espresso Shot
A Double Espresso, also called Espresso Doppio, is exactly like what the name suggests. It is basically two cups of a single Espresso shot poured into the same cup (around 60 millilitres total). If you are looking to drink a bit more coffee or you want that extra kick of caffeine, then opting for a double instead of a single shot is the way to go.
Some people think that an Americano is the same as an Espresso. While they are similar, they are not the same. An Americano can be considered a diluted version of an Espresso as it mixes Espresso with water, with usually around 120 millilitres of water used for each shot. They lack the intense bitterness of an Espresso but still retain its characteristics.
A Cappuccino is made of a shot of Espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. The exact ratio may differ from place to place, but it is usually an equal 1:1:1. This drink was very popular in World War 2, and it is still today!
A Latte is made of the same ingredients as a Cappuccino, with the only differentiating factor being the ratio. While Cappuccinos tend to have an equal ratio of Espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, Lattes are usually ⅓ Espresso, ⅔ steamed milk, and only have a thin layer of milk foam on top.
The word “Macchiato” means stained or marked in Italian. This is a fitting name since it is a drink made from a shot of Espresso mixed with a little bit of foamed milk. The ratio is usually ⅔ Espresso and ⅓ milk foam.
Hailing from Spain, this drink is made from equal parts Espresso and equal parts foamed milk. A Cortado retains the intensity of an Espresso, with the foamed milk adding a small element of sweetness to the drink.
Flat Whites are often mixed with Cortados, but they are slightly different. A very popular drink in New Zealand and Australia, a Flat White consists of ⅔ foamed milk and ⅓ Espresso. The milk is micro-foamed, giving the drink a velvety and smooth texture. It is also less bitter than a Cortado due to the extra milk.