Regular vs Specialty Coffee

What is Excelsa Coffee?

I can’t imagine that you have heard of the Excelsa coffee bean. It is one of the rarest coffees in the world. The rarity of the coffee bean makes it incredibly expensive. A lot of coffee providers will steer clear of it as a result. It also has a rather unique taste in comparison to the more common coffee beans.

On this page, I want to talk about Excelsa coffee. I want to discuss where it is grown. How it is grown, and I even want to talk a little bit about the unique flavor profile of the bean.

What is Excelsa Coffee?

The Excelsa coffee bean grows on a coffee plant that is part of the Liberica coffee plant group. Excelsa coffee can be grown in locations that those other beans cannot since it doesn’t require a huge amount of water to grow. It also doesn’t require the best soil to grow in.

Just like Liberica coffee, the Excelsa coffee bean is not popular at all. In fact, the amount of Excelsa coffee consumed worldwide isn’t significant at all. There are some people that believe that it makes up less than 1% of worldwide coffee consumption.

That being said, there are some people that argue that Excelsa coffee isn’t actually a Liberica plant. Since it is fairly newly discovered in the grand scheme of things, many researchers believe that the Excelsa coffee plant has been incorrectly classified. I wouldn’t be surprised it became its own distinct type of coffee plant in the future.

Since it is an incredibly hardy plant that is able to deal with some tough conditions. It take a bit longer for the Excelsa coffee bean to ripen in comparison to its competitors.

Where are Excelsa Coffee Beans Grown?

Excelsa Coffee plants are found around Lake Chad in Chad. They were discovered there in the 1900s. They do grow in other parts of Chad, but this is where you will find the vast majority of the plant. In fact, the growing of Excelsa coffee makes up a rather decent chunk of income for the farmers that live around Lake Chad. Although, this coffee isn’t really shipped around the world. It is just sold to neighboring countries, and maybe a little into Asia.

It can, however, also be found in the following locations. A lot of this will be farmed Excelsa coffee as opposed to naturally occurring coffee, though:

  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam
  • Central African Republic
  • Liberia
  • Philippines
  • Sierra Leone

It is actually a wonder that this plant isn’t really grown in more locations. Sure, it is not going to be producing the most popular coffee bean in the world, but it is certainly one of the hardiest coffee plants that you will encounter. I suppose that the taste of the plants has really had a huge impact on who actually wants to deal with the coffee bean.

The Taste of Excelsa Coffee

It is remarkably difficult to explain the taste of Excelsa coffee. This is because in the places where it is consumed, it is unlikely that you will be consuming straight Excelsa coffee. The taste of it is so overpowering that it is often mixed with other coffee types. It helps to dilute the taste of the coffee a little bit.

Even if you are a lover of coffee, you may not necessarily enjoy the taste of Excelsa coffee. There are some that claim that it is somewhat of an acquired taste. It has an overpowering earthy taste to it. It tastes like coffee, but it is unlike any other coffee that you will have tasted.

Perhaps the biggest issue that many people have with Excelsa coffee is just how much it smells. Yes. It smells like coffee, but it smells incredibly strong. It seems as if there are a lot of people that are put off by the aroma of the coffee. This, again, is because it is likely that you are not used to it.

It is also worth pointing out that Excelsa coffee beans are naturally lower in caffeine than other coffee beans.

If you ever do stumble across Excelsa coffee, then you can try it out. You may like it. However, I have found that the vast majority of coffee lovers are not fans. It just tastes way too different from what they are used to. if you do plan on consuming Excelsa coffee, then it may be worth your time to mix it up with some Arabica beans or something similar to that. It will help to round out the taste. You will still get the earthy taste of the Excelsa coffee, but the aroma and the taste won’t be quite so overwhelming.

The Future of Excelsa Coffee

Excelsa coffee is never going to be a mainstream coffee. In fact, I reckon that it is going to remain a rather niche coffee. There are a couple of reasons for this.

For starters, it is not grown in that many locations. In the places where it is grown, it is not exported. I can’t imagine that there are going to be many coffee producers that will want to switch their standard crop over to Excelsa coffee. It just doesn’t sell well enough.

The taste of the coffee is certainly not going to be good for mainstream tastebuds either. If you are going to find coffee lovers that absolutely loathe the taste of Excelsa coffee, then you are almost certainly going to struggle when you are looking for normal people that enjoy the taste.

That being said, Excelsa coffee has started to appear in a few stores that sell coffee beans. While you are probably never going to find at Starbucks or something, you may be able to find it in those more specialty coffee shops. It also seems that many smaller coffee roasters have started to offer a limited selection of Excelsa coffee.

Final Thoughts

Excelsa coffee may be something that you never taste. It is far too rare for it to be easily available. However, if you do manage to find some, check it out. The taste is completely different to anything that you will have consumed before. I can’t promise that you will like it, though.