Coffea excelsa, commonly known as (Coffea excelsa), is one of the lesser-known coffee species compared to Arabica (Coffea arabica) and Robusta (Coffea canephora). Excelsa is often classified as a variety of Liberica (Coffea liberica) coffee, and it is primarily grown in select regions of Southeast Asia and West Africa.
Here’s some information about Excelsa coffee:
Origin and Geography: Excelsa coffee is native to West and Central Africa, particularly in countries like Cameroon and Central African Republic.
It is also grown in some Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam.
Plant Characteristics: The Excelsa coffee plant shares many physical characteristics with Liberica coffee plants.
It has larger and elongated leaves compared to Arabica coffee.
The cherries (fruits) produced by Excelsa coffee plants are notably larger and more irregularly shaped than those of Arabica.
Flavor Profile: Excelsa coffee is renowned for its distinct and vibrant flavor profile.
It is characterized by a tart and fruity acidity, often described as having a wine-like or fruity tang.
The flavor may include notes of dark fruit, citrus, and spices.
Excelsa coffee is known for its complexity and ability to add a unique dimension to coffee blends.
Culinary Uses: Excelsa coffee is used in various coffee blends to provide a sharp and fruity acidity.
It is often used to add complexity and depth to coffee blends, particularly in Southeast Asian coffee traditions.
Cultivation: Excelsa coffee is typically grown in regions with altitudes ranging from 600 to 1,200 meters (2,000 to 4,000 feet) above sea level.
It is well-suited to hot and humid tropical climates, making it suitable for cultivation in countries like Vietnam.
Market Share: Excelsa coffee represents a relatively small portion of the global coffee production when compared to Arabica and Robusta.
Its unique flavor profile makes it an attractive choice for coffee enthusiasts and roasters looking to create distinctive blends.
Varieties: Excelsa coffee is considered a variety of the Coffea liberica species. Within the Excelsa variety, there may be some regional differences in flavor and bean characteristics.
While Excelsa coffee is less common and widely known than Arabica and Robusta, it plays a significant role in the world of coffee blending. Its unique flavor attributes make it a valuable addition to coffee blends, especially for those seeking a complex and tart acidity in their coffee. Excelsa coffee is particularly associated with certain coffee traditions in Southeast Asia, where its distinctive taste is highly appreciated.