When buying coffee, you might see the coffee bag having labels showing that the coffee beans are purely Arabica. But what does it mean?
While it might sound like something gibberish, it tells you about the kind of coffee species. As a coffee lover, you might have heard people telling you to only buy coffee that is 100% of Arabica. Besides Arabica, the other option you’ll find in the market is Robusta.
Therefore, there is a longstanding debate among coffee enthusiasts regarding which coffee is better among Arabica or Robusta. So, to help you out, we’ll give you a brief overview of both coffee beans and discuss the common differences between them.
This blog will help you choose the best coffee beans for your everyday coffee. Let’s start by understanding what Arabica and Robusta are.
What is Arabica?
Arabica coffee makes up around 2/3 of global coffee production. It comes from the Arabica plant and many consider it to be the first coffee species that were cultivated. Most people also know it as Arabian coffee.
As the name suggests, these coffee beans come from the Arabian region. It comes from the Ethiopian area, but today there are different countries today that have started producing Arabica beans.
For instance, countries like Indonesia and Brazil have an optimal tropical environment that is ideal for Arabica plants. You’ll find a wide range of varieties in Arabica coffee, such as Typica, Caturra, Bourbon, etc.
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What is Robusta?
Robusta coffee accounts for around 1/3 of the global coffee production and it comes from the Canephora plant. It is the second most popular coffee bean that many people around the world consume.
These coffee beans come from sub-Saharan Africa, but different regions have the environment and conditions. Vietnam is a leading producer out of the sub-Saharan Africa region. Let’s understand the factors that separate Robusta coffee beans from Arabica ones.
The Differences between Arabica and Robusta
There are significant differences between the Arabica and Robusta coffee beans that set them apart. As a coffee drinker, you need to know about these differences to choose the right coffee beans. Let’s go over them to get a better idea.
The most important difference between both these coffee beans is the caffeine level. Studies show that the caffeine content in the Robusta is higher than in Robusta. The Arabica coffee has around 154 mg of caffeine in 100 grams, whereas the caffeine content in the Robusta coffee beans is 182 mg for the same quantity.
Most people enjoy a drink with high caffeine since it gives them the energy to get through their day. Therefore, if you prefer to have a coffee blend with a high caffeine content, then you should go for the Robusta coffee beans.
On the other hand, Arabica just gives you the right amount of caffeine that can give you a refreshing and energizing. So, keep the caffeine content in your mind when choosing between both these coffee beans.
The taste and flavour that you get from both of these coffee beans are also quite different. One of the best things about Arabica coffee is that it doesn’t have a bitter or strong taste, which makes it an appealing factor for most people.
You can get a sweeter and smoother taste from Arabica coffee. When it comes to Robusta, the coffee beans have a slightly chocolate flavour with slight notes of fruity flavour. However, you’ll feel a more bitter taste for Arabica coffee since it has higher caffeine content.
Robusta coffee plants are quite resilient, making them an optimal choice for coffee producers. On the flip side, Arabica plants are fragile and need much more nutrients to sustain.
Robusta plants can grow in various temperatures and altitudes, giving them a higher resilience than Arabica. Also, they are less vulnerable to any diseases or pests that can damage the plant. The high caffeine content is the key factor behind the Robusta plant’s high resistance level.
Pests and insects abhor the caffeine’s bitter taste and the microbial properties also provide strong protection against diseases.
Talking about the Arabica coffee plants, they need specific nutrition and a tropical environment for proper growth. They grow and cultivate in a sub-tropical climate and require plenty of both sun and shade.
The fragility also acts as a drawback for the Arabica plant since it makes it prone to diseases and pests. Also, coffee framers have to handle the Arabica plants with proper care and delicacy to prevent them from possible damage.
Last but not least, the prices of Robusta coffee beans and Arabica coffee beans are also quite different from one another.
As mentioned earlier, the cultivation process for both of these coffee beans is different. Since the Robusta doesn’t require any special conditions and is resilient to pests and diseases, it has a lower production cost. Therefore, it has a cheaper price than Arabica coffee.
Conversely, coffee producers have to invest more energy and resources in growing and cultivating the Arabica coffee plant. It is why Arabica coffee has a higher cost of production, leading to a higher retail price.
Nevertheless, Arabica continues to retain the larger market share in the coffee market. Despite its high production cost, many coffee producers focus on producing Arabica coffee beans because of its high demand.
Which Coffee is Better Arabica or Robusta: Final Thoughts
We hope you now have a clear idea about the key differences between Arabica and Robusta. Now that leads to the main question: which one is better? Although there is no clear answer to this question, many people choose Arabica coffee beans over Robusta.
The primary reason for this choice is the taste that you get from the Arabica coffee beans. It is popular for its sweet and smooth taste, whereas Robusta has a name for being slightly bitter.
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