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Liberian Coffee: History, Flavors, & Brewing Tips

close up of roasted liberica coffee beans

Liberica coffee is one of the rarest andmost unique coffee beans in the world。Largely overshadowed by the Arabica and Robusta beans, Liberica coffee makes up only百分之百的豆子在全球消费。

With such minimum quantities, it’s not surprising that Liberica beans are facing near extinction (the original beans, anyway). Many coffee enthusiasts are eager to try the brew, yet few are familiar with the plant’s long history.


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Liberica Coffee Origins

顾名思义,Liberica咖啡豆来源ated on Africa’s western coast in the Republic of Liberia. With a hot, equatorial climate, most of the fruit-producing plants were grown on the western side of the country, on the Atlantic coast.

这是在1880年期间coffee plant看到了普及的高度。利比里亚的农民也生产了罗斯塔豆,但收获了10,000公吨的利比里亚豆,并干燥了当地350万人的消费。

一个s a hardier plant, it also managed to resist many of the diseases Arabica or Robusta fall prey to. It was the coffee rust outbreak in 1890 that shut down harvests across the globe. While Liberica plants survived the rust started its global migration.

liberica coffe beans on white cloth
Image Credit: eanjoseph, Shutterstock


Coffee rust, also known as coffee leaf rust, is a fungus by the name of Hemileia vastatrix that can decimate an entire coffee crop in little time. In the early 1890s, much of the globe’s coffee crops had been wiped out due to the fungus.

Coffee rot starts on the leaves of the plant. It appears as a brown powdery substance that resembles metal rust. The fungus quickly consumes areas of vegetation leaving disaster in its wake.

Farmers and merchants began to recognize that the Liberica bean was not decimated, however. They began to plan for the restoration of their coffee crops. To help keep the coffee trade from failing completely, Liberica coffee was sent to different parts of the world in hopes it could be re-cultivated.

Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia

这就是利比里亚咖啡的方式Philippines, Malaysia, andIndonesia。然而,它在菲律宾,它在那里闪闪发光。在重新种植过程中,菲律宾是美国的省,他利用咖啡贸易。


This allowed Malaysia to grow into one of the largest coffee exporters in the world. Today, Malaysia is still the top producer of the Liberica bean with The Philippines, Indonesia, and Libera trailing behind.

Coffee Growth in Liberia Post Civil War

一个fter the re-cultivation of their namesake plant, Liberia continued to grow both罗布斯塔和liberica咖啡豆。不再是他们的主要出口之一,大部分酿造都是在本地消耗的,减少进入世界的金额。

Unfortunately, late 1980 brought civil unrest to Liberia. In 1989, a military-led coup started the first of two civil wars which caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. With the second civil unrest ready to follow on its heels, Liberia’s harvests did not regain strength until peace was established in 2003.


基础设施问题等其他问题以及投资种植和过程技术的思维也造成了损失。利比里亚从未恢复成为Liberica Bean增长的领导者。相反,农民转向更有利可图的追求或继续抢劫抢劫案豆。


Liberia is still a leading coffee producer, but mainly in the Robusta bean category. Any Liberica coffee produced in the area is made for local consumption as it is still a popular local beverage.


Coffee plantation in indonesia
Image Credit: Svetlana Bykova, Shutterstock

The Liberian Coffee Plant

Liberica coffee is unique because of its history, but it’s also because of its unique features compared to its more common counterparts. First, the Liberica plant is a lot bigger and taller than the Arabica or Robusta plant. Standing at 20 meters, it is one of the tallest coffee plants in the world.

Not only is the plant itself oversized, but the cherries are equally so. They also stand out in appearance, Where Arabica and Robusta have smaller beans, Liberica’s beans are nearly double the size and have an asymmetrical shape.



Liberica coffee is thought to have one of the most interesting and distinct flavors around. It has a bold, woody mouthfeel that has a certain kick. The complex notes are both woodsy, smokey, yet sweet. Interestingly, most experts find much of the flavor to be in the aftertaste.

风味的胆量通常也被描述为液体烟草,因为它分享了相同的烟熏甜味。许多Phillipean收获者被称为“Kape Barako”,这大致转化为“Manly咖啡”。

On another note, Liberica beans are less bitter than their two counterparts. Additionally, Liberica doesn’t have as much caffeine. With only 1.23 grams of caffeine per 100 grams of beans, it puts Liberica coffee closer to the area of tea.


The这咖啡的香气is in marked contrast to its flavor. Instead of the bold, earthiness, you would expect, it has a light floral aroma. Some enthusiasts even describe it as a fruity scent. This is pre-bloom, however.


a hot cup of coffee
Image Credit: René Porter, Unsplash

New Varieties of Liberica

一个fter the Philippines won their independence from the United States, the impending restrictions on coffee beans (specifically Liberica coffee) made it difficult for them to keep up with the market on a sustainable level. Although the restrictions were lifted during the 1950s, the damage had been done. Liberica coffee was in the minority.

That was only the beginning, however. Like most coffee plants, Liberica beans require specific elevations, temperatures, and humidity levels to thrive. With the ongoing climate change and deforestation, the areas where it’s harvested has been greatly reduced in size.

That being said, all four countries continue to produce Liberica coffee, but on a smaller scale. Most of the harvest is kept for local consumption. It keeps the beans from being in danger of extinction, yet it also keeps them rare.

a male farmer drying coffee beans in the sun
图片来信:Darrin Henry,Shutterstock

Hybridized Coffee

What is in danger of disappearing, however, is the wild-grown coffee plants. Liberica is a notoriously difficult plant to harvest and cultivate. That has led to many farmers creating hybrid beans that are easier to deal with.

这些“新”豆类正在失去原始的Liberica bean的特征。首先,植物和豆类小于原始对应物。虽然这使得豆类更容易收获,但成品咖啡产品正在失去其常规的鲁棒风味。


It is no wonder, though, it is such a rare treat to try the original version of this bold brew.


coffee in a teal cup ang saucer

Kapeng Barako

如果您想尝试Liberica咖啡,有几种方法可以享受啤酒。在菲律宾叫Kapeng Barako,它传统上是通过“渗透”在沸水中的研磨来制作。还添加了红糖或澳洲烃来增强大胆的口味。
准备时间 3mins
Brewing Time 5mins
Total Time 8mins
课程 饮料
Cuisine Philippines
Servings 1drink(s)


  • Small saucepan or kettle


  • 2cupsof water
  • 2tablespoons地面咖啡
  • 2teaspoonsof sugar建议使用红糖或葡萄糖


  • Start by bringing the two cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat immediately.
  • 一个dd sweetener of choice to the water. Stir until it completely dissolves.
  • 一个dd the coffee, cover, and turn off the heat.
  • Let sit for five to ten minutes while the coffee brews.
  • Strain coffee into a cup to remove coffee grounds. Enjoy.


关键词 kapeng barako, liberica coffee

Liberica beans from Malaysia tend to be a bit sweeter, so the recipe is adjusted slightly. For example, if you are grinding the beans, they should be a bit coarser than normal.

  • Boil two cups of water. Reduce heat.
  • 一个dd one tablespoon and one teaspoon of coffee.
  • Turn off heat. Let brew for two minutes.

You will also notice the sweetener was left out. Most Liberica coffee drinkers find the Malaysia brew to be sweet enough, but sweeteners can be added if need be.

While this is the traditional way of brewing Liberica beans, there is no limit to the imagination. Feel free to experiment with grind size, water amount, and additional ingredients.

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With such a long history, Liberica coffee is a rare treat in the brewing world. Not only does it stand apart from its more popular cousins, but its robust flavors and aromas are enough to make it a favorite. Keep your eyes open for your chance to experience this hearty cup.



Kate MacDonnell


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