Arabica and Robusta are the two most common types of coffee sold and produced in the world today. But the reality is that most people don’t know the difference between the two coffees.
So, today, in our blog we will discuss what are both of them and what is the difference between them.
We’re also going to look at what makes these beans unique and which ones you should choose for your next brew.
What is Arabica Coffee?
Arabica coffee comes from the Arabica plant and is believed to be the first cultivated coffee species. This coffee is also known as Arabian coffee. It accounts for about 60% of global coffee production. It originates from Ethiopia and is grown worldwide in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia, where tropical conditions and high altitudes are suitable for Arabica coffee plants. Typica and Bourbon are the two most popular varieties of Arabica coffee.
What is Robusta Coffee?
Robusta coffee is made from the beans of the Coffea canephora plant. Robusta beans are a common sight in coffee blends because their predominantly bitter flavors can be less desirable on their own. Producers often use Robusta beans to make pre-ground or instant coffee because they complement many blends.
Although beans are significantly less expensive than Arabica beans, their price is not an indication of inferior quality. Robusta beans can be the start of a great espresso blend with a rich layer of crema, a precious foam that results from the carbon dioxide gas trapped in the ground coffee.
What are the differences between arabica and robusta?
The easiest way to distinguish Arabica from Robusta is its flavor. Arabica is remarkably floral and smooth, with sweet notes of chocolate and berries. But on the other side, Robusta beans have a bitter taste and carry notes of smoked wood and peanuts.
Robusta has a higher caffeine percentage about 1.7 to 4.0%. Arabica has a lower caffeine percentage of caffeine about 0.8 to 1.5%. A cup of Robusta coffee will contain more caffeine than a cup of Arabica coffee.
Sugar & Lipids
If you compare Robusta coffee with Arabica, Robusta does not have many natural sugars and lipids. But Arabica coffee is completely different. If you compare it to Robusta, they have more than half the lipids and sugar.
Robusta coffee plants grow at low altitudes and are resistant to pests and diseases. That’s partly why each bean has a high caffeine content insects hate caffeine’s bitter taste, and its antimicrobial properties lend themselves well to defend against disease.
Arabica coffee plants, on the other hand, must be grown in cooler, subtropical climates at high altitudes with plenty of moisture, nutrient-dense soil, and a balance of both shade and sun. Because of its fragility, Arabica coffee plants are susceptible to pests, cold temperatures, or poor management.
What is the price of Arabica and Robusta coffee?
Robusta is much easier and cheaper to produce, so it is cheaper. But Arabica coffee requires more energy and resources to grow plants and that is why it’s more expensive than Robusta.
Arabica was sold in the USA at $2.93 per kilogram in 2018 and is projected to increase to the USA at $4.28 in 2025. Robusta, which has sold for the USA $1.87 since 2018, will sell for the USA $1.95 per kilogram in 2025.
In 2021, Arabica wa selling for the USA at $4.3 per kilogram and Robusta for the USA at $2 per kilogram. (source)
Which one is better?
If you are a lover of sweet and fruity flavors, you will enjoy Arabica and if you prefer earthy and bitter flavors, you are more likely to enjoy Robusta.
But If you have to choose between an Arabica bean and a Robusta bean, always choose Arabica! There are some special reasons for this. The reasons are:
- Robusta has more caffeine than Arabica
- Arabica is sweet while Robusta is bitter in taste.
- Robusta has low acidity
- Arabica is high in lipids
Taste preferences and profiles will vary from person to person. There are many people who enjoy a good robusta-filled blend while others prefer only 100% Arabica.
Learn more about coffee.