Skip to Content

The Liberica coffee bean: all you need to know!

The Liberica coffee bean: all you need to know!

You might have heard of the Arabica or Robusta bean but not the Liberica coffee bean.

What are Liberica beans?

Where do they grow? We dive into the history of this coffee bean and talk about how much they have in world consumption.

What is the Liberica coffee bean exactly?

We all know that coffee is brewed from coffee beans. Liberica is one of the 4 main types of coffee beans in the world.

The Liberica isn’t as common and known as Arabica or Robusta.

Its botanical name is “Coffea Liberica”.

Production is very little when compared to the 2 giants Arabica and Robusta. It’s becoming one of the rarest coffees in the world!

These beans are usually larger than Arabica or Robusta beans, not symmetrical.

History of the Liberica coffee bean?

While the Liberica bean doesn’t come with worldwide recognition and fame, there’s some history to it!

The bean comes from Liberia, an African country.

In 1890, something like coffee rust has occurred. This reduced the Arabica supply and stock by about 90%. In order to give the economy and demand some air, they’ve tried to grow the Liberica plant.

During this period, the Philippines were the only supplier, resulting in a great boost for their economy.

A dispute between the United States and the Philippines led to the isolation of the Philippines, and also Liberica.

All this makes that Liberica isn’t as common as other bean types.

If this dispute hasn’t happened between the 2 countries, the worldwide supply could today have been different but that’s of course guessing. We’d like to stay with the facts here.

Production of Liberica coffee beans

The production is not as high as the other beans and is mostly concentrated in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and so on.

Some coffee lovers are afraid that Liberica might go extinct because of climate consequences.

We can try other blends like Arabica-Liberica instead of Robusta for espresso blends.

Liberica accounts for around 2% of the coffee consumed worldwide, and most of this consumption occurs in South Asia and not Africa, where the bean is from.

The Taste of the Liberica

The beans have a wide range of tastes: fruity, floral notes, or smoky. There’s a lot of debate about these beans and their taste.

These beans taste generally very bitter. When you compare it to Arabica and Robusta, it will be much closer to the Robusta.


How is Liberica different than Robusta?

Liberica beans are larger than Robusta beans.

Also, they have a more intense smoky/woody taste than Robusta.

Robusta beans are smaller, hence the name (robust).

Smokiness taste is more intense in Liberica than in Robusta.

Is Liberica suited for making coffee?

Back in the 19th century, it was a great solution or alternative to making coffee and giving the supply.

Liberica has a stronger flavor profile than regular Arabica or regular Robusta beans, thus resulting in an intense and strong cup of coffee.

Also, Liberica has more caffeine than Arabica or Robusta beans.

Is Liberica good with espresso?

Espresso blends are based on the Arabica bean, which has a low caffeine content and subtle flavors.

Blending Liberica with Arabica would make the espresso too intense and with an overbearing smoky taste.

Is Liberica coffee good?

We wouldn’t say that robusta coffee is bad. Every product has the right amount Yes, it can have fruity, floral tastes, as smoky. The taste is bitter and is closer to the Robusta coffee than Arabica coffee. It can be great to have in a blend with Arabica beans for brewing that espresso!

Is Liberica coffee rare?

Yes, unfortunately. These beans are good for about 2% of the overall world coffee consumption. It’s not easy to harvest and use these coffee beans. History has learned that it was a solution for the coffee rust, but was blocked from global trade due to dispute between the U.S. and Philippines. Worldwide production kicked and is now dominated by Arabica and Robusta.

What does Liberica coffee taste?

The taste can be from fruity to smoky. Generally, it’s quite bitter and smoky but as with most coffees. There are a lot of possibilities in taste because of different factors. It’s closer to the Robusta bean than the Arabica bean.

Enjoy your coffee!