You must have heard of Robusta and Arabica coffee types very often. Whether you’re a coffee lover or someone who likes to go to coffee shops, these two types of coffee must be familiar to you. But did you know that besides these two coffee variants, there are also coffee variants called Liberica and Excelsa?

Indeed, Liberica and Excelsa coffee are not as common as the Arabica or Robusta types that are commonly found in cafes, coffee shops, shopping centers, or markets. Both Liberica coffee and Excelsa coffee are not as well-known as the other two types of coffee variants. However, you should know this variant because it has its own uniqueness in terms of seed shape or flavor characteristics.

Liberica and Excelsa coffee variants are actually familiar to people who love coffee. However, these two variants are not yet widely recognized by Indonesians. Indonesia as one of the world’s famous coffee producers is more famous for its Arabica and Robusta variants. Therefore, the local market and instant coffee industry is dominated by these two types of variants compared to Liberica and Excelsa variants.

So, what makes the Liberika and Excelsa variants different from the Robusta and Arabica variants? What are its characteristics? Curious about the Liberica and Excelsa coffee variants? Check out the article below!

Liberica Coffee: Uniquely Flavored Coffee

The Liberica coffee variant is not native to Indonesia. Liberica is a coffee plant endemic to Liberia, West Africa. Originally, this plant had the scientific name Coffea canefora var. Liberica and belongs to the Robusta coffee group. However, scientists in the most recent grouping state that this coffee plant is its own species called Coffea Liberica, distinct from Robusta.

Although not the favorite of the world’s coffee drinkers. Liberica coffee is famous for its unique aroma and flavor characteristics. This coffee variant has a combined flavor characteristic of fruit, floral notes, and a slight woody aroma.

Liberica coffee beans are larger than Robusta and Arabica coffee types. In fact, it can even double in size. In addition, Liberica coffee fruits have thin skin and are also large in size. The shape of the Liberika coffee fruit is oval and measures about 18 – 33 millimeters. In one fruit there are two coffee beans, each measuring 7 – 15 millimeters.

Aside from its unique flavor and bean size, the Liberika coffee variant is also unique in terms of its growing ecosystem. Liberica grows in lowland areas at an altitude of 2 meters above sea level. In fact, Liberica can even grow on poor soil or peat.

Liberica coffee entered Indonesia in the 1870s brought by the Dutch. Based on Ir. According to Dr. Yusianto, Postharvest Coffee Researcher at Puslitkoka (Coffee and Cocoa Research Center), Liberika was imported by the Dutch because the Arabica coffee species brought to Indonesia were previously affected by leaf rust. Therefore, Liberica, which is more resistant to coffee rust disease, began to be planted and developed in Indonesia.

Although not as abundant as the Arabica and Robusta variants, Liberica coffee is still grown in Indonesia. In Indonesia, this Liberica variant is widely grown in Sumatra, Kalimantan, and East Java. Liberica grows in the Bengkulu and Jambi regions. Liberica production in Jambi region is concentrated in Tanjung Jabung.

Excelsa Coffee

Just like Liberica coffee, Excelsa coffee is not the most famous. The entire coffee market is dominated by Arabica and Robusta with 70 percent and 28 percent respectively. The rest is a combination of Liberica and Excelsa variants.

Many equate Excelsa coffee with Liberica coffee. Why is that? Because just like Liberica, Excelsa coffee trees can grow tall. In fact, many sources say that this coffee variant is one variety with Liberica. It is still a matter of debate that some researchers have come to the decision that they are different types of coffee.

Excelsa coffee, which has the name coffea dewevrei , has quite different flavor and aroma characteristics compared to Liberica. The flavors of Excelsa variants tend to be more complex and fruity , such as nuts, herbs, green apples and black olives. For example, according to Kominfo Jatim, Excelsa coffee produced from Carangwulung Village, Jombang Regency, has a dominant bitter taste, with hints of sourness, sweetness, and astringency.

This Excelsa coffee variant was first discovered by a French botanist named August Chevalier in 1905. Chevalier discovered this type of coffee in the area around the Chari River in West Africa. Due to its affinity with Liberica coffee, the French botanist Jelan Paul Antoine Lebrun included Excelsa coffee as a Liberica variety under the scientific name of coffea liberica var. Dewerei. This name became the scientific name Excelsa in 2006.

Although not as popular as Robusta or Arabica coffee, which have become the main commodities of the world coffee market, Excelsa is still grown in several countries because of its uniqueness and growth resistance. In Indonesia, Excelsa coffee variants are grown in several regions, namely Jambi, Riau, and East Java.

Robusta Arabica vs. Liberica Excelsa

Among the four existing coffee variants, namely Robusta, Arabica, Liberica, and Excelsa, the Liberica and Excelsa variants are less well-known. However, this is not because Liberica and Excelsa have no advantages. These two types of coffee clearly have their own uniqueness as previously described.

So, what is the clear difference between Robusta Arabica and Liberika Excelsa? First, the scent. Liberica or Excelsa coffee has a very distinctive aroma that makes it easy to distinguish from Robusta or Arabica. The aroma of these two types of coffee is more pungent than robusta or arabica.

Second, taste. The bitter taste of Liberica and Excelsa coffee is thicker than that of Robusta or Arabica coffee. Generally, to mask the sharp aroma and bitter taste, Liberica coffee is served with milk. In fact, Liberica coffee usually also serves as an aroma enhancer for Robusta coffee.

Third, size. Both the bean and fruit size of Liberica coffee and Excelsa coffee are larger than Robusta and Arabica coffee. The coffee trees can also grow up to 9 meters in height. Much higher than Robusta and Arabica coffee.

Fourth and finally, resilience. Compared to Robusta and Arabica coffee, Liberica and Excelsa coffee variants have a much stronger survival rate. In fact, Liberica and Excelsa plants can grow in peat or poor soil as well.


Despite being a minority in the world coffee market, the presence of Liberica and Excelsa coffee variants is still getting rave reviews from coffee lovers. It is precisely because of their rarity and complexity of flavor that these two variants are eagerly awaited and sought after. Coffee enthusiasts have a choice because coffee varieties are not limited to Robusta and Arabica.

Which is the better of the four varieties? The answer can be based on your own preferences. You can choose the variety of coffee according to the flavor you want. If you want a light-flavored coffee with a hint of fresh acidity, we recommend the Arabica variant. However, if you prefer heavy flavor characteristics with a tendency to bitterness, go for Robusta, Excelsa, or Liberica as well. Interested in trying the Liberika and Excelsa variants, no?

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Are you a coffee lover? It’s time to visit the KopiKita platform to find coffee from various regions in Indonesia at the best price.