Coffee is one of the most popular beverages all over the world, with millions of cup consumed daily. The majority of the world’s coffee production comes from Arabica and Robusta beans.
Even though these beans look the same when roasted, but they have the two varieties differ in taste, growing condition, productivity, and price.
WHAT IS ARABICA
Arabica coffee bean has a smoother, sweeter taste (Photo: Internet)
Arabica coffee is a type of coffee made from the beans of the Coffea Arabica plant. The bean of Arabica coffee has an oval shape and each fruit has only 2 seeds. That is the reason why the seeds of Arabica have higher economic value than other coffee beans. In addition, it also has some characteristics of flavor, caffeine content that makes up the unique characteristics of this coffee.
WHAT IS ROBUSTA
Robusta bean has a stronger, harsher and more bitter taste (Photo: Internet)
Robusta coffee is made from the beans of Coffea Canephora tree. It originated in western Africa where produce extremely large coffee yields. Robusta coffee has a slightly sharp aroma of wood. Robusta coffee is often used for coffees with relative prices and high levels of caffeine.
ARABICA VS ROBUSTA
Arabica bean has a smoother, sweeter taste, with flavor notes of chocolate and sugar. On the other hand, Robusta bean has a stronger, harsher and more bitter taste.
Arabica bean is bigger and more oval, whereas Robusta bean is smaller and rounder.
Lipid & Sugar
Arabica contains almost 60% more lipids and almost twice the concentration of sugar than Robusta.
About 70% of the world’s coffee production is Arabica, about 30% being Robusta. Brazil is the world's largest producer of Arabica coffee. Vietnam is the largest producing country of Robusta coffee.
The Arabica bean is around 1.2 – 1.5% caffeine, and the Robusta bean is around 2.2- 2.7%.
The price of Arabica is more expensive than Robusta. The reason is the Arabica plants are harder to grow, take longer to mature, yield less, and are more susceptible to pests, and plant diseases.
Arabica bean growns at a 600+ meter altitude and slightly less rainfall (about 1200 – 2000 mm/yr) with the cooler temperatures of 150C – 240C. Robusta bean growns at lower altitude and slightly more rainfall (about 2200 -3000 mm/yr) with the warmer temperatures of 180C – 360C.
Arabica usually grows between 2.5 – 4.5 meters compared to the 4.5 – 6 meter height of Robusta.
Arabica is self-pollinating, whereas the Robusta blossoms need to be pollinated with some pollen from a plant with a different genetic composition.
Arabica plants require much more semi-skilled manual work during cultivation because they grow on high slopes and do not like rough handling. The process with Robusta is much more mechanized because it can be grown on flat plains.
Arabica coffee was first found and consumed in Ethiopia. Robusta coffee was first discovered in Congo - Belgium (in Africa) in the 1800s.
Arabica is particularly vulnerable to pests and plant diseases, such as coffee leaf rust. Robusta is more resistant to pests and plant diseases. That is the reason why Robusta is easier and cheaper for producers to grow.