Although there are thousands of varieties of coffee beans, there are only three major beans used for commercial consumption:


The most popular of all coffees representing 75% of all coffee production.  It is from the mountains of the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and has been cultivated for over 1,000 years.  It is grown worldwide in semitropical climates near the equator, both in the western and eastern hemispheres, at high altitudes.  Beans are harvested from the tree as they ripen and before they fall to the ground and spoil.  It is the preferable coffee, as it produces a better tasting coffee having less caffeine that causes the bitter taste in coffee.  It has a delicate flavor and smooth aroma and is roasted from light roasting to the heavy French and Italian roast.  It is susceptible to disease, pest and frost.  When growing regions are affected, coffee prices worldwide increase drastically due to the large share of worldwide production


Robusta is the second most popular with 25% of all worldwide coffee production, and is a lot cheaper than Arabica coffee. It was first discovered in the area known as the “Democratic republic of the Congo”.  It is easier to grow in lower altitudes of the eastern hemisphere near the equator.  Ripened beans remain on the tree, unlike Arabica, there is no concern on them falling and spoiling.  It is a lower grade of coffee having a less desirable taste, having twice the amount of the bitter producing caffeine than Arabica.


Kona is a very distance third in worldwide coffee production.  It is Arabica coffee grown on the slopes on the big island of Hawaii.  Due to the limited growing region, it is one of the most expensive coffees and makes up less than 1% of total coffee consumed worldwide.  It has all the properties of Arabica coffee, but has a very powerful aroma that is desirable to some.