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Excelsa Coffee Beans: Brews, Production Regions & Facts

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$ 8-15

  • Flavor Profile: Slightly woody flavor with higher acidity and sometimes an earthy, almost rubbery aftertaste
  • Grown in: South-East Asia
Flavor Slightly woody flavor with higher acidity and sometimes an earthy, almost rubbery aftertaste
Grown In South-East Asia

Almost everyone knows about coffees such as Arabica and Robusta. But not many coffee lovers have even heard of such a variety called an Excelsa. Meanwhile, it is one of the four most used coffee varieties in the industry.

Excelsa beans grow on special trees. The fact is that in the wild, plants reach 65-82 feet, which is much higher than that of low-growing Arabica and Robusta. However, these plants require good care, are quite capricious, and excessive drought can destroy both the crop and the tree – That means that you have to maintain high humidity with all your might.

We should also note several facts about Excelsa coffee beans:

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The Background Story of Excelsa Coffee Beans

Excelsa is one of the four main types of coffee, the least common, not of industrial importance and used mainly in elite coffee blends to enhance the aroma of the drink.

Excelsa is very picky about the composition of the soil – the tree can only grow in conditions of high humidity, on soil that has a rich organic composition. At the same time, the plants of this variety can withstand prolonged drought.

The trees of this variety grow wild in the Congo, however, apart from Excelsa, not a single crop of it is eaten or used for making coffee. In a cultivated form, Excelsa is grown in the Philippines, Vietnam, as well as in Venezuela, Kenya and other countries. It should be noted that Excelsa is used in the coffee industry not only for obtaining grains but also for grafting trees of other varieties. Excelsa coffee trees are resistant to pests and diseases, and therefore their use for grafting plants is quite common.

Nevertheless, the variety has no industrial value, because its fruiting is unstable and not constant – it is very difficult to predict the yield of the Excelsa. At the same time, the fruits of this type are highly valued – they are similar to Arabica fruits, are fragrant, and rather large, but also have an original, unusual aroma. It is because of this aroma that Excelsa is often used in elite coffee blends in order to obtain additional flavors.

Currently, there are several varieties of Excelsa, and the most famous, of course, is mocha. With its use, many varieties of Arabica have been obtained. Such a variety should not be misleading – so far, Excelsa remains the rarest type of coffee, and it is almost impossible to taste it in its pure form.

Where is Excelsa Coffee Grown?

Excelsa coffee is usually grown in tropical regions mostly located in South-East Asia. Culturally, Excelsa is grown in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia. It grows wild in Congo, but there the fruits have no nutritional value.

The first plantations of this type of coffee appeared in Vietnam in the first half of the twentieth century thanks to the French colonialists. The share of Excelsa accounts for 5% of the area of ​​all coffee plantations. Vietnamese coffee is considered to be of the lowest quality because of the way it is harvested: farmers do not separate the fruits according to the degree of ripeness but mix them. As a result, it has to be sold at minimal prices.

Due to the complexity of cultivation, Filipino landowners gradually uprooted plantations for the sake of unpretentious crops: corn, pumpkin, tobacco. The government and scientists had to intervene to preserve plantations in at least some provinces.

Only ripe fruits are picked during the collection of Filipino Excelsa, which is why they are highly valued in the market. Their share reaches 7% of the total volume of Philippine coffee. Oddly enough, these moody coffee trees liked the peaty soil of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where Arabica and Robusta did not take root. In Indonesia, beans are wet-processed. This gives the coffee a rich flavor.

Excelsa vs Liberica Coffee – What Are The Differences?

Liberica is native to West Africa, or rather from a small state called Liberia. Liberica is a rather unpretentious type of coffee tree and is very resistant to various adverse factors, but the ideal conditions for its cultivation are high air temperatures and high soil moisture.

Liberica is also very resistant to various diseases of coffee trees, the only exception is rust fungus. The taste of Liberica leaves is much to be desired. Therefore, Liberica is not used as an independent coffee variety but is used only in combination with other varieties.

Excelsa is even less widespread than Liberica. As a cultivated tree, Excelsa is cultivated in Vietnam and the Philippines. Excelsa, like Liberica, is resistant to various kinds of diseases of coffee trees, but at the same time, it is whimsical to growing conditions.

Excelsa coffee has no industrial value and is used only in a mixture with other types of coffee beans.

Excelsa Liberica
Caffeine 11 milligrams per gram 10 milligrams per gram
Acidity Low Medium
Taste Fruity Dark Chocolate
Price Average $1 per ounce Average $1.10 per ounce
Varieties 0 2
Production Percentage 1% 1.2%

What Does Excelsa Coffee Taste Like?

According to connoisseurs of coffee, this variety has a fruity, obsessive aroma, reminiscent of the smell of perfume. To highlight the advantages of arabica, the mixture should not contain more than 23% of the Excelsa. If it is more than 25%, then the fruit shade begins to prevail.

Competently preparing a blend with Excelsa is an art that only real specialists can do. Excelsa is not used in its pure form, but experts say that its taste has fruity, nutty, chocolate notes with a slightly sour taste. The grains are similar in appearance to the Arabica fruit, but in contrast to it, they have a strong aroma of fresh spices.

What Brews are Best to Make With Excelsa Beans?

As we have already mentioned several times in our guide, Excelsa beans have specific features and characteristics that are not to be seen in other varieties. Because of that, not every brew is ideal to make a good coffee. You need to be familiar with different methods before you decide to prepare your cup. The 2 main methods that we are going to review are espresso and cold brew. Both of them have their advantages over other brews, which we will explore thoroughly.

Espresso – Best Way to Feel The Excelsa Bean Aroma

The first way to feel the excellent bean aroma of Excelsa is espresso. This is a type of coffee with a long history and massive popularity. Most roasters suggest that Excelsa beans be roasted in light or medium-light fashion, meaning that we have to concentrate the flavor as much as possible to truly get that fruity aroma. Because of that, espresso could be a perfect choice. A properly prepared drink has a very balanced and delicate taste and the use of any additives is a matter of your taste and imagination.

If you are not satisfied with the abovementioned method, then another great alternative to Espresso can be the Doppio or the Ristretto. You need to be familiar with the brewing process in advance.

Check Out our Espresso Brewing Guide

Cold Brew – Helps With Bringing Out The Taste

Most beans benefit from a cold brew since it helps retain as well as enhance the natural acidity and flavor of the grind. Because of that cold brew is an ideal choice for Excelsa beans. You might be wondering, but this is simply an iced coffee that you drink frequently during the hot summer months. Cold-brew alongside espresso is one of the most preferred methods that will help you bring out the best taste.

In order to make the cold coffee with Excelsa beans add sugar to cold strong coffee, mix thoroughly to dissolve all the sugar, strain, and pour into a glass. You can add a food ice cube if you like.

Top Excelsa Coffee Brands on Amazon

Unfortunately, there was only 1 product for Excelsa beans on Amazon. Other brands usually work on individual orders or don’t export at all. This brand is Vietnamese Excelsa. However, it does not mean you should abstain from purchasing this coffee, as it comes with numerous characteristics and specifics that are definitely worth your attention.

Vietnamese Excelsa

Price: $8.95 (subject to change)

Size: 8 oz

Type: Excelsa

Roast: Medium

Producer: Len’s Coffee

Beans: Whole

I am pretty sure that you are aware of the fact that Vietnamese coffee is known around the world – Therefore, Excelsa beans are one of them. This product is a rare premium variety, however, I was surprised when I checked the price. For an 8-ounce package, you will have to pay $8.95 which is pretty affordable and makes this product very popular among Amazon users. In your cup of this Vietnamese Excelsa, you can find a rich, bright taste.

I believe that this product is a perfect choice for anyone who is looking for lower caffeine beans. I have tried different brewing methods with this one, however, my favorite so far is Espresso. Overall, the taste you get is very smooth and does not leave a bitter aftertaste. Another thing I enjoyed a lot was that the beans were very fresh and its strong aroma made the overall preparing process very exciting.

Check Price on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions on Excelsa Coffee Beans

What are Excelsa coffee beans?

Which is better, Robusta or Excelsa?

What is Barako Excelsa?