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Bourbon Coffee Beans: Brews, Production Regions & Facts

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$ 12-35

  • Flavor Profile: Balanced acidity with hints of savory chocolate and a little bit of natural sweetness.
  • Grown in: Central & South America
Flavor Balanced acidity with hints of savory chocolate and a little bit of natural sweetness.
Grown In Central & South America

Bourbon coffee beans are a kind of Arabica, which is one of the two primary varieties of coffee, the other being Robusta. Arabica Heirloom and Arabica Typica are Bourbon’s other siblings in the Arabica family. Bourbon arabica beans are famous for their rich, buttery chocolate flavors, which are distinguished by a robust sweetness and mildly fruity undertones.

Bourbon coffee was created on Réunion, which was previously known as Île Bourbon. The French then took it to continental Africa and Latin America. Bourbon grows best at elevations ranging from 3,600 to 6,500 feet and provides a 20% greater yield than Typica while maintaining a similar coffee quality.

It is important to note that Bourbon is a very small part of the global coffee production. It mostly grows in South and Central American countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and etc. As we already mentioned, Bourbon beans are a variety of Arabica and are considered to be gourmet beans more than anything else. But they also have their subcategories as well. In this guide, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about this variety of coffee along with the best bourbon coffee brands.

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The History of Bourbon Coffee Beans

In the early 18th century, the French planted a cutting from the Noble Tree on the Indian Ocean island of Bourbon (today it is known as Réunion). Because of a spontaneous mutation in its new soil, the resultant plants bloomed and fruited more effectively than their predecessors. As a result, the variety became a useful transplant throughout Brazil and other areas of Central and South America, as well as on the African continent, particularly in Rwanda.

The Bourbon variety, which is more prolific than its parent Typica, was part of the reason Brazil became one of the world’s coffee super producers in the 1860s when it was introduced to compensate for a supply loss caused by a leaf-rust epidemic in Java. Bourbon coffees are somewhat sweeter, with a caramel character, and have good, sharp acidity, but might offer varied flavors depending on where they’re grown. El Salvador Bourbons are all butter, toffee, and fresh pastry, whilst Rwandan Bourbons have a punchier fruit flavor.

Bourbon has undergone several mutations and changes since its introduction: Among the various subvarieties are plants whose cherries ripen to red, yellow, or orange, a dwarf mutant called Caturra, and an El Salvadorian kind called Pacas.

Because of its figgy sweetness and mild brightness, Bourbon remains a favorite variety among both coffee producers and coffee drinkers. Best-tasting bourbon coffee beans are the peanut butter and jelly of the coffee world, with a smooth body and a sweet, nice aroma.

Where Do They Grow Bourbon Coffee Beans?

Bourbon coffee may be found all over the world, although it is most prevalent in South American nations, which most nearly resemble the environment of Reunion Island. It grows best on mountains over 3,600 feet above sea level, which means that most Bourbon coffees are either High Grown or Strictly High Grown (also known as SHG), and up to 6,500 feet above sea level. The trees don’t yield a lot of cherries and beans, but they’re ideal for commercial cultivation and are usually rated as good or excellent by the majority of coffee drinkers.

Bourbon has a commercially feasible degree of output potential and growing habit, although it is sensitive to disease and pests in general. The tree may grow tall and has a medium output capacity of extremely excellent quality cherries. Bourbon quality is typically regarded to be standard to good.

Currently, the largest producers of the best Bourbon coffee beans are:

You can check out individual information on countries that produce Bourbon coffee from the list below:

Guatemala Costa Rica Brazil Honduras
Colombia El Salvador Nicaragua Panama
Ecuador Puerto Rico Mexico Venezuela

What Sub-Varieties of Bourbon Beans Are There?

Bourbon is one of three main siblings of Arabica, the other two being Arabica Heirloom and Arabica Typica coffees. Arabica’s Bourbon subspecies may even be further subdivided into sub-subspecies.

While a varietal has some characteristics in common, the flavor is ultimately influenced by altitude, nutrients, and other important growing practices. These are fascinating to notice as a customer but ultimately aren’t crucial in selecting what coffee to buy – there are good Bourbon coffee beans to buy and bad Bourbon coffee beans to buy.

As we already mentioned, Bourbon has a lot of sub-varieties as well, the most popular of which are the following:

Caturra Beans Villa Sarchi Beans Mocha Beans Jackson Beans Pacas Beans

What Does Bourbon Coffee Taste Like?

Bourbon beans are well-known for their rich, buttery chocolate tastes, as well as their sweetness and subtle fruit undertones. They produce well-balanced coffees and are less popular than other types of coffee beans due to the fact that Bourbon trees produce fewer coffee cherries per plant than other varieties.

Bourbon coffee has high acidity like most Arabica beans with a very rich chocolate flavor – that is almost like drinking butter chocolate, leaving a pleasant and sweet aftertaste. As for the caffeine level of the beans, compared to Robusta (which is another popular type of coffee beans) it is relatively low, making this type a little less strong and bitter.

Bourbon vs Arabica Coffee – What Are The Differences?

As we already mentioned a few times, Bourbon is a cultivar of Arabica, so it will be no surprise to say that they have some similarities. For instance, the caffeine level is the same for both of them, having 12 milligrams per gram. They are also both high in acidity. However, while Arabica might taste like chocolate, caramel, and fruits, with Bourbon you will only discover butter chocolate tones.

Other than taste differences, prices may also vary. For instance, the average price per ounce for Arabica is $2, while the same for Bourbon is $1.10. While the production percentage of Arabica is 60%, Bourbon is produced in much fewer quantities, accounting for 2%.

Arabica Bourbon
Caffeine 12 milligrams per gram 12 milligrams per gram
Acidity High High
Taste Chocolate, Caramel, Fruits Butter Chocolate
Price Average $2 per ounce Average $1.10 per ounce
Varieties 30+ 5+
Production Percentage 60% 2%

How to Make Your Own Coffee With Bourbon Coffee Beans

So, if you are already intrigued by Bourbon coffee beans and plan to purchase them, then you will definitely need to know about the ways to make your own coffee easily at home. While it is true that making Bourbon coffee is possible with a lot of different brewing methods, some definitely produce better tastes than others. That’s why I decided to share my personal favorites which are pretty simple and nothing too complicated. Let’s start with Macchiato which is considered the most delicious Bourbon bean coffee nowadays.

Macchiato – The Most Delicious Bourbon Bean Coffee

Making Macchiato with Bourbon bean coffee is a very good idea and let me tell you why. Thanks to the natural chocolate flavor, adding actual chocolate is going to enhance it and make it even more delicious. So, what exactly is Macchiato?

The macchiato is a coffee drink made with espresso that is topped with a tiny quantity of foamed or steamed milk to enable the flavor of the espresso to shine through. A macchiato is ideal for individuals who dislike the flavor of espresso but want the strength of a cappuccino.

The classic macchiato is created with a shot of espresso that has been slightly diluted by one or two tablespoons of steamed milk, which serves as the “stain.” The espresso macchiato has the greatest espresso-to-milk ratio, and the addition of milk is intended to be complementary, so the taste of espresso can still be experienced strongly.

While the Espresso Machine is generally created for making Espressos, it is also perfectly possible to use it for Machiatto. So, if you plan on making a perfect cup of it, I suggest you have an Espresso machine that can produce a really nice and smooth flavor.

Check Out our Macchiato Brewing Guide

Doppio or Ristretto – Helps With Bringing Out The Taste

The next great usage of your green Bourbon coffee beans can be found in Doppio or Ristretto. Before we dive into reasons why, let’s briefly review both of them, so you have a better idea of what we are talking about.

Doppio espresso is a double shot made using double the quantity of ground coffee and a bigger portafilter basket. This yields 60 mL of drink, which is double the quantity of a single shot of espresso. On the other hand, Ristretto refers to a “short shot” of a more intense espresso coffee. It is produced with the same quantity of ground coffee, but with a finer grind and half the amount of water.

As already mentioned, the chocolate taste is just a hint or like an aftertaste. Concentrating the coffee by brewing it as a Ristretto or a Doppio, will enhance that chocolate taste even more and make it more vibrant.

Check How Ristretto is Made Here!

Top 5 Bourbon Coffee Brands on Amazon

So, now we have told you almost everything about Bourbon coffee beans, it’s time to discover some high-quality Bourbon producing coffee brands. Considering the fact that Bourbon is not produced in high quantities, it might not be easy to find the best types of them near you. Thankfully, nowadays it is possible to get your desired products even from another part of the world. I have been buying my coffee from Amazon for years now, and I can say that so far, I have never been disappointed. So, if you want to buy bourbon coffee beans, then continue reading our guide.

How We Rated Them

We pay attention to the following:

For more detailed information on how exactly we rate the coffee products we suggest in our guides, click here.

Individual Overviews of Our Top Choices

In order to make the decision-making process easier for you, we’ve decided to do individual overviews of our top choices, stating all the special things about each of them. That way, you will make sure that they are useful and can suit your interests and needs the best. So, get ready to discover your new favorite type of coffee by reading our bourbon coffee reviews.

Allegro Coffee EL VOLCÁN

Price: $$9.63 (subject to change)

Size: 12 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Light

Producer: Allegro Coffee

Beans: Ground

This coffee is manufactured by a company that has been around for quite some time. Allegro Coffee has been a pioneer in the specialty coffee market since 1977 and is committed to sustainable production. Their El Volcán collection captures the spirit of Costa Rica – the birthplace of over 120 volcanoes, five of which are still active nowadays.

When soaked for two minutes in a French Press, this mild Costa Rica coffee makes an outstanding cup. It has a taste that is rich, smooth, and creamy. I usually have beans ground immediately before brewing, but this ground source is more to my liking. I was kind of surprised when I discovered that it has no bitter aftertaste and has low acidity.

All in all, I can say that in terms of freshness and deliciousness, this brand never disappoints. The good news is that to order bourbon coffee online, you’ll just have to pay $9.63 for a 12-ounce package, which is a pretty good price.

Check Price on Amazon

Volcanica Yellow Bourbon

Price: $$19.99 (subject to change)

Size: 16 oz

Type: Bourbon

Roast: Medium

Producer: Volcanica

Beans: Whole

Brazil Yellow Bourbon Coffee is well-known for its delightfully mellow, full-bodied, and well-balanced flavor. The farm Fazenda Recreio is located near So Sebasti da Grama, Minas Gerais. Single-origin coffee is produced at elevations ranging from 3,600 to 4,300 feet.

The company behind the product is Volcanica, which is a family-owned business founded back in 2004. Volcanica Coffee is a specialty merchant of unusual coffee dedicated to providing only the highest quality coffee from volcanic locations throughout the world that is both exotic and delicious. Besides Bourbon, they have over 130 different coffees available, including single-origin, estate, decaf, peaberry, and many more.

A 16-ounce package of this coffee will cost you $19.99, which is pretty affordable, and considering the high quality you get, it is definitely worth it. If you wish to buy bourbon coffee beans online, then I highly advise you to consider this option.

Check Price on Amazon

Piedra Negra Organic Gourmet

Price: $$12.95 (subject to change)

Size: 12 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium

Producer: The Spirit of The Forest

Beans: Ground

Piedra Negra Organic Gourmet is grown in the provinces of Loja and Zamora. This coffee is a clean cup with noticeable acidity, a great creamy body, and a fragrance that will contribute a lot to your drinking experience. With the first sip, you will be able to explore citrus flavors and honey sweetness.

The company producing this coffee is The Spirit of The Forest – Their coffee is sourced from the top Arabica coffee estates. The particular circumstances under which coffee plants thrive, as well as the extra care used in bean selection and processing, ensure the outstanding quality of their coffee. All these things can be felt from their product – As soon as you open the package, you will feel the great aroma and freshness, making you thirsty for it.

One 12-ounce package of Piedra Negra Organic Gourmet costs $12.95 and the packaging is also very impressive. So, once again, if you want to order bourbon coffee online, this one is definitely worth looking at.

Check Price on Amazon

Finca Nextlalpa Unroasted Beans

Price: $$33.70 (subject to change)

Size: 5 pounds

Type: Bourbon

Roast: Unroasted

Producer: Smokin Beans

Beans: Whole

The next on our list is Finca Nextlalpa Unroasted Beans. Smokin Beans, which produces this product is a family-owned and operated coffee provider that specializes in specialty-grade coffee beans. It offers both – roasted and unroasted coffee beans (and you can choose not only Bourbon but a lot of other types as well).

This coffee comes with an excellent taste, with chocolate undertones (that is very common in Bourbon coffees). After brewing, I also discovered that the brewed coffee has a moderate, sweet, and toasted flavor. It’s also quite cloudy. It needs to be mentioned how fast the shipping process actually is – the product is packaged in a Sealed Foil Kraft Bag for convenience and longevity. Additionally, on the back, you can discover roasting guidelines and a link to detailed roasting tutorials and relevant coupons.

For 5 Pounds (Pack of 1) you will have to pay $33.70, however, the brand gives you the possibility to choose either a 5 or 10-pound version.

Check Price on Amazon

Java Planet Colombia Organic

Price: $$15.99 (subject to change)

Size: 16 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium-Dark

Producer: Java Planet

Beans: Whole

We are happy to end our list with Java Planet Colombia Organic. This Single-origin coffee offers the full-bodied flavor that Colombia is known for, along with some lovely fruit tones. It is important to note that this is the company’s best-selling coffee, loved by customers looking for low acidity and outstanding taste. Additionally, by purchasing this product you will not only get a good taste but also organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee – This ensures fair pricing, and the protection of employees’ rights, along with animals and the environment.

The good news is that this company only uses 100 percent organic certified Arabica coffee whole beans that are cultivated without the use of pesticides or GMOs. So, while drinking it, you will only absorb beneficial antioxidants present in coffee produced at high elevations.

This medium-dark roast is ideal if you want to experience both the original coffee flavor and the full-body flavor that comes from the roasting process. The coffee is offered in 3 different ways: You can either buy 1lb, 2lb, or 5 lb versions and they all come with different prices. All in all, I believe that this is one of the best bourbon coffee beans order online.

Check Price on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions on Bourbon Coffee Beans

What is Bourbon Arabica coffee?

Why is it called Bourbon coffee?

Is Red Bourbon Coffee arabica?