Liberica Vs. Arabica Coffee: Which Is For You?

Knowing your coffee beans can help you decide if you are traditional or unconventionally inclined. Read our guide on Liberica vs. Arabica coffee to learn more.

Liberica vs. Arabica coffee
Liberica vs. Arabica coffee

Most coffee lovers have an idea what Liberica coffee is since it is considered one of the primary four types of coffee beans alongside Arabica, Robusta, and Excelsa beans. However, many are unfamiliar with it since trying this type means going out of your comfort zone. The smell and flavor are widely different from the more common Arabica and Robusta.

Regardless, Liberica coffee is a must-try to level up your coffee experience. It is fairly easy to distinguish it from the Arabica, but our Liberica vs. Arabica guide will help you determine which is for you.

What Is Liberica vs. Arabica Coffee?

Liberica is a type of coffee that originated in central and western Africa. It was introduced in Southeast Asia, where it proliferated, particularly in the Philippines, where it was first commercially cultivated and exported to the United States and Australia as early as the 1850s. The Philippines, together with Indonesia and Malaysia, remains one of the top exporters of this rare coffee, with the country accounting for around half of the global production.

Arabica is the world’s most common type of coffee, accounting for up to 70% of the market share. You might enjoy our round-up of the best Arabica coffee brands.

What Liberica And Arabica Coffee Have In Common

Aside from giving a great cup of Joe, Liberica and Arabica are as different as night and day. It is no wonder that you can easily differentiate them, from the size of the beans down to the coffee’s caffeine content.

Different coffee beans
Differentiate them from the size of the beans

Liberica Coffee Vs. Arabica Coffee: The Differences

Liberica CoffeeArabica Coffee
Its tree can reach more than 60 ft.Its tree height peaks at about 15 ft.
The beans resemble an almond. Asymmetrical in form and has a hook shape at the tip.Oval but symmetrical beans and more rounded.
Can grow at low altitudes and are very resistant to high temperatures and coffee rust.Performs well at high altitudes as it is delicate to high temperatures and vulnerable to coffee bean diseases.
Rare and pricey.Common and affordable.
Slightly lower in acidity levels and caffeine content.Higher acidity levels and caffeine content.

What’s Better About Liberica?

The flavor and the experience of trying a rare cup of Joe is something to cherish. If you ever find yourself in a roaster processing Liberica, you will find the smell a bit funky as it closely resembles Durian fruit, which is infamous for its odor.

However, once brewed, its true aroma is fruity and floral. Interestingly, the flavor is very robust and complex despite being lower in caffeine and only mildly acidic. Notes of nuts and dark chocolate will hit you as it is complemented with pleasant woody and earthy undertones and a lingering smoky aftertaste. These attributes are why it makes for such an excellent espresso.

This coffee is often dark roasted, and Liberica patrons can attest that its flavor stands out more when done so. A teaspoon or two of unrefined cane sugar, known as muscovado, can bring a refreshing sweetness to the drink due to its caramel-like flavor. Personally, the darker the muscovado, the better your Liberica coffee will taste. 

What’s Better About Arabica?

The familiarity is what makes the Arabica the better cup of Joe for most coffee lovers. You know what you will get once you brew it, not to mention that it is accessible and more affordable. Nonetheless, its number of varieties and the wide range of flavor complexity is its greatest asset.

Close-up of Freshly roasted coffee beans near the word ARABICA
Arabica coffee is accessible and more affordable

Depending on the altitude it was grown in and the country of origin, the flavor can go from floral to bold, fruity to spicy, or sweet to bitter. Any coffee’s flavor profile can be influenced by the type of roast and brewing method, but not as much as Arabica.

Who Should Get Liberica (And Why)?

Coffee lovers who want a robust cup of Joe with less caffeine should try Liberica, though it will cost you. Additionally, if you want to expand your Java knowledge and explore new tastes, brew yourself a cup of this at least once. You can start by learning more about Barako coffee!

Who Should Get Arabica (And Why)?

Those who appreciate the complexity of flavors and the bright acidity of coffee should go for Arabica. It is the conventional choice, which is why you can never go wrong with this coffee.


  • Renz Lyndon Paguio

    His love for java originated from sidewalk vendors offering cheap 3-in-1 instant coffees poured in styrofoam cups. If he’s not in a studio or in an event venue, you’ll find RL crafting his own cold brew or sharing his experiences to fellow coffeephiles.