Definition of arabica in English:



  • 1mass noun Coffee or coffee beans from the most widely grown coffee plant.

    • ‘Both Sweden and Denmark consume over eight kilos per capita, but the Finns are the world champion coffee drinkers, getting through an extraordinary 11.26 kilos of coffee each a year - all of it arabica.’
    • ‘There are about 25 different types of coffee but only two - arabica and robusta - are produced on a commercial basis.’
    • ‘Five years ago, top quality arabica coffee such as that produced by Ethiopia would fetch around £1 a pound; now it's down to 40p.’
    • ‘The Fairtrade minimum price paid to farmers' associations and co-operatives is $1.26 per pound for arabica coffee.’
    • ‘By 2001, the New York trading price for unroasted arabica coffee had sunk below 40 cents per pound.’
    • ‘Burton's arabica beans end up in many cafés’ coffees.’
    • ‘Unlike arabica coffee, which accounts for over 70 percent of world production according to the ICO, robusta is easier to harvest because it ripens and remains on the branch.’
    • ‘While farming cooperatives often receive above-market prices for gourmet arabica coffee, the extra money doesn't always filter down into the pockets of the small farmers who grew the beans and the pickers who harvested them.’
    • ‘It is feared that, as a practical matter, some varieties of arabica coffees could actually cease to exist in world commerce.’
    • ‘It retails at £26 per pound, four or five times the amount of most other pure arabica coffees.’
    • ‘Its high-quality coffee came from arabica beans, which in 1971 accounted for a small fraction of the coffee consumed in America.’
    • ‘‘We sell two kinds of coffee, robusta and arabica, but our customers can ask for a mix of the two,’ Widya said.’
    • ‘By next year, the self-taught coffee grower hopes to have 200,000 plants producing first-class arabica - the gourmet's choice, already grown in Madagascar for the domestic market - from his estate in the mountains.’
    • ‘Zambia produces washed arabica coffee that it exports mainly to Europe, the United States and Japan.’
    • ‘Prices of higher-quality arabica coffee have reached nine-year lows.’
    • ‘He bought the Pearl Mountain plantation (high grown, wet processed arabica, for those who know their beans) which will be marketed under celebrity chef Brian Turner's food label.’
  • 2The bush that produces arabica coffee beans, native to the Old World tropics.

    Coffea arabica, family Rubiaceae. See also robusta

    • ‘There are two general types of coffee plant, arabica and robusta, which yield two very different beans.’
    • ‘They now plan to genetically modify the Coffea arabica plants which produce high quality coffee for 70% of the world market.’
    • ‘Coffea arabica, the source of today's premium beans, and C. canephora, known for the robusta beans commonly used for making instant coffees, are the two most widely grown coffees in the world.’
    • ‘Coffee cultivation began in the Yemen in the ninth century, the beans being obtained from a bush, Coffea arabica, and they were introduced into Europe alongside tea in the sixteenth century.’
    • ‘Coffea arabica originated in the Ethiopian highlands, where the raw, unroasted beans were masticated and the leaves brewed like tea by the locals.’
    • ‘Systematists have described over 80 species, including two cultivated species, C. arabica L. and C. canephora Pierre.’
    • ‘Roubik put fine-mesh bags over some branches of flowering blooms on 2-year-old, shade-grown Coffea arabica shrubs.’
    • ‘Isola Madre is more laid back, and more playful in its layout - so, for example, the coffee plant coffea arabica grows next to a burst of sugar cane.’
    • ‘It includes more than 80 wild coffee species, all of which are diploids except C. arabica.’
    • ‘Scientists have discovered a strain of arabica coffee plants that do not produce caffeine.’
    • ‘Only two species of coffee are commercially important, Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora.’
    • ‘The coffee cover was dense and high, consisting primarily of modern dwarf hybrids of Coffea arabica.’
    • ‘Only two Coffea species are widely cultivated: Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora, known in the trade as robusta.’


1920s: from Latin, feminine of arabicus (see Arabic).