What’s the Difference Between Arabica and Robusta Coffee?
What’s the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee? You may be surprised. The Robusta coffee is more disease and pest resistant than Arabica species, but Arabica coffee is by far the most popular type of coffee consumed around the world, with nearly 85% of coffee drinkers preferring Arabica over Robusta. However, because of growing limitations and conditions, the taste, flavor, and levels of acidity in the two types of coffee can be vastly different.
Robusta coffee is, of course, more robust or hearty and flavor. It can also be a little more acidic than Arabica coffee. However, did you know that some weaker or less flavorful types of Arabica coffee are often “boosted” with Robusta coffee beans during the development and packaging process for that extra kick of flavor? Arabica coffee has to be grown at very high altitudes and is more delicate to changes in weather, humidity levels, pests, and diseases. As a result, Arabica coffee is the most commonly used in the creation of specialty coffees.
Robusta coffee can be grown at lower altitudes, and doesn’t require as much maintenance as Arabica, but it all comes down to taste preferences. For example, Arabica coffee can offer flavors anywhere from sharp and tangy to sweet and smooth. Robusta coffee offers a taste that, for some, is harsh and produces an earthy, woody flavor. A fresh Arabica coffee bean has a sweet or fruity aroma, while Robusta coffee beans are earthier, and some even equate the aroma to that of a raw peanut.
In most cases, Robusta coffee beans are used in creating espressos, but you can also find a variety of Arabica and Robusta coffee blends on the market that will suit your palate to a tee. For that extra smooth and aromatic cup of coffee in the morning, you most likely prefer the Arabica, while instant coffees tend to utilize Robusta coffee.
It all comes down to taste preferences. Some people wouldn’t touch Robusta coffee with a ten-foot pole, while others prefer it. It also pays to remember that while Arabica is the most popular around the world, quality between growing methods, manufacturing processes, and brands can differ greatly. If you want a cup of coffee to wake you up in the morning, however, you should opt for Robusta, which packs quite a punch, with nearly twice the amount of caffeine as Arabica.