Though they may sound unfamiliar, Arabica and Robusta are the two primary species or types of coffee grown and consumed globally. Most individuals only consider espresso or their homemade coffee that provides an energy boost to start their day. Many people are not even aware of these two coffee species. For those who are unfamiliar, it can be challenging to distinguish between these two coffee varieties, as they are quite similar. However, there are differences in taste and aroma, as well as other distinctions, which will be discussed in this article.
Robusta accounts for nearly one-fifth of the world’s coffee production and consumption. These coffee beans’ origins can be traced back to Ethiopia, with western and central Africa being considered indigenous areas for this coffee variety. It was only recognized as a coffee variety in the late 19th century. It is a flowering plant with two sub-varieties called Nganda and Robusta. The plant grows into a robust shrub of around 10m height, and its flowers produce cherries that yield coffee seeds upon ripening. The plant is strong and not susceptible to pests, requiring very little pesticide.
Today, Vietnam is the country that produces the most Robusta coffee, although Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer.
Coffee Arabica is a prevalent type of coffee believed to be indigenous to Arabia. It is also referred to as Mountain coffee, as it is grown in the mountains of Ethiopia. Although it contains less caffeine, Coffee Arabica is considered very tasty by coffee enthusiasts worldwide. This white flowering plant grows to a height of 9-12 meters. The fruit is red, and upon ripening, it yields two coffee seeds.
Arabica vs Robusta
- Arabica is considered more flavorful than Robusta
- About 20% of the world’s coffee production is Robusta
- Robusta is more bitter in taste than Arabica, which is why Arabica is grown much more than Robusta. This is due to the higher caffeine content in Robusta.
- Arabica is more flavorful and less bitter than Robusta, which contributes to its higher popularity and production.
- Robusta is more robust, requiring less pesticide, and is primarily used for instant coffee, while Arabica has a fruity flavor and is considered tastier.
- Arabica and Robusta differ in appearance, with Robusta beans being round in shape and Arabica beans being elongated and flat. Additionally, Arabica has a lower caffeine content than Robusta.