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The History of Arabica Coffee

The History of Arabica Coffee

From tree to coffee pod, the journey to your cup starts with a single plant. 

Arabica coffee is the most well-known coffee variety, made from the beans of the Coffea arabica plant. The growing process for this plant begins in the lush rainforests and mountainous highlands around the equator. Here, in the tropical climates, Arabica trees grow wild among the canopies.

As they mature, Arabica plants bear small red cherries. Farmers harvest the fruit by hand and leave it out in the blazing sun to dry. It is this unique drying process that gives the Arabica bean its distinct shape. When roasted, its magical aroma is released, and you enjoy a taste that is as smooth as it is rich.

While you, like most people, likely enjoy your daily cup of coffee, you may not know where your favorite brew comes from or the unique history behind its production. 

The Origin of Arabica Coffee 

Though the first written record of commercial cultivation emerged in the 15th century, the roots of Arabica coffee go back to 1000 BC in the southwestern highlands of present-day Ethiopia.

There, arabica trees grew wild. In the Kingdom of Kefa, members of the Oromo tribe crushed the beans and mixed them with fat, consuming them for the very same reason we drink coffee today — its stimulating effect.

The bean crossed the Red Sea into Yemen and lower Arabia. It was first commercially cultivated on the southernmost point of the Arabian peninsula around the 7th century. Coffee remained the beverage of choice in Arabia for the next thousand years. 

It was not until the latter half of the 17th century that coffee drinking seized Western Europe. The coffee plant migrated to India during this caffeine frenzy, putting an end to Arabia’s centuries-long monopoly on coffee cultivation. 

From there, coffee consumption spread to other corners of the world, including the American continent. 

To this day, Arabica is the most well-known and widespread coffee variety, accounting for approximately 70% of global coffee production.

What Makes Arabica Coffee So Special?

Arabica coffee has been cultivated for thousands of years, and is the most popular coffee variety around the world. 

It is rich in flavor and goes down smoothly, making for a reliable and consistent cup of coffee, no matter your palate preferences. That said, these qualities are expected in every good cup of coffee. 

So what is the buzz for Arabica beans really about?

Ideal Cultivation Conditions

Arabica coffee beans are the most cherished and valuable coffee beans in the world. Farmers cultivate them in a few select regions, but most are grown primarily in Africa, Central and South America, India, and Indonesia.

Growing best at moderate altitudes between 1500 and 2000 meters above sea level, these coffee plants thrive in mountainous regions and highlands. The plants require plenty of rain and warm temperatures (between 60˚F and 80˚F) during the growing season. While Arabica thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, it can grow successfully in temperate climates with a mild winter.

Unique and Tangy Taste

With the perfect balance of pleasant acidity and ever-so-slight bitterness, Arabica coffee is like a fine wine. It has a mild taste and slightly sweet flavor, with an intense aroma that instantly captures attention. 

Naturally, the roast you choose will affect how the different tastes percolate your palate and the degree to which you notice them. While most experienced drinkers will recognize hints of honey, chocolate, nuts, and caramel, those with the finest of palates will take comfort in its floral and fruity flavors. 

Roasting Coffee Beans - Paradise Roasters

Gourmet Quality

Known for its nuanced and complex taste, Arabica has a distinct flavor and aroma that you cannot get from other beans. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy a cup made from ripe Arabica beans, you will see how its top-tier cup quality and the freshness of its flavor profile give this coffee an edge over the competition.

These qualities make Arabica beans the most sought-after beans for gourmet coffees. Today, most of the world’s selection of gourmet coffee consists of the highest quality Arabica varieties.

Growing Arabica Coffee the Modern Way 

To this day, Arabica coffee plants continue to produce the world’s best coffee beans — beans that are as distinctive and delicious as they were to the Oromo tribe over a thousand years ago. 

Today, Arabica beans grow in various regions around the globe. While its versatile growing conditions make for some of the finest coffee worldwide, it takes more than just the right environment to curate the perfect cup. 

Through a rigorous selection process, local farmers choose which varieties to plant and which beans to harvest and roast. From there, coffee producers use their proprietary methods to process the beans.

For Paradise Roasters, this process combines meticulous methodology, careful attention to detail, and endless cupping trials to discover the best characteristics of every coffee bean, for each and every roast.

The result of this effort is a selection of coffees representing the best the world offers — equally innovative, immaculate, unique, and consistent in every cup.

Closing Considerations 

Coffee’s popularity around the globe can be credited to one variety of bean: Arabica. 

For thousands of years, Arabica coffee has grown in the foothills of Ethiopia, Yemen, and Kenya. With its wild relatives being harder to grow, there has been an effort to cultivate the Arabica variety across the globe.

Due to its unique taste and flavor profile, which growers have worked tirelessly to maintain over the centuries, Arabica coffee makes for some of the world’s most premium brews. Today, it is the most popular coffee variety around the globe. Despite its popularity and rich history, few people know the many ways in which Arabica coffee is special. 

From its ideal growing conditions to its distinct aroma and delicious flavor, every cup of Arabica coffee tells a story. 

With their selection of the finest Arabica varieties from around the world, Paradise Roasters ensures every story is a great one. 


Paradise Roasters Offers The Most Exclusive & Rare Coffees

Our specialty coffees have been rated 93 - 97 points by Coffee Review on over one hundred occasions since 2002! 

We curate with an emphasis on distinction, seasonality, and emerging origins. As often as possible our coffees are purchased direct from the farmer and sustainably grown, and all Paradise coffees are roasted to order.

For a taste of paradise delivered to your door, start a coffee subscription today!

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