7 Differences between Arabica and Robusta Coffee Beans
Arabica and Robusta are two of the most famous coffee beans which are cultivated or consumed around the globe. Out of the 100 or more coffee species, it’s these two which are normally utilized to make your cup of Joe. If you’re an avid coffee lover, you might have noticed some coffee bags bragging about the type of coffee beans which are enclosed inside their packaging are 100% Robusta or Arabica.
Want to know more about the cup of Java?
From a coffee lover’s point of view, both Arabica and Robusta might look the same thanks to their similar external appearance. This is due to the reason that after roasting, almost all the coffee beans form a similar shape. However, there are differences in taste and aroma, in addition to other major differences which exist between Arabica and Robusta Coffee beans.
If you want to make the most out of your morning beverage here are a few major differences between two of the most popular types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta.
1: Difference in Taste
Arabica coffee beans are much more flavorful in taste than Robusta. They have a sweet, softer taste with much higher contents of acidity than Robusta. This is due to the reason that as compared to Robusta, Arabica consists of much more lipids content – almost 60% higher – with almost double the amount of sugar.
Coming towards Robusta, it has a lower acid content and a cup of coffee made with such type of beans will give you a harsh taste. Hence, Arabica is generally the most sought after coffee beans when it comes to the coffee marketplace.
2: Difference in Height
When fully grown, Arabica coffee plant attains a height up to 2.5 – 4.5 m whereas Robusta plant is much taller with an average height of 4.5 to 6m from the surface.
3: Growing Conditions
Robusta Coffee beans require a warm temperature, within the range of 18 – 36*C, with an annual rainfall of about 3000 millimeter per year for growing. As evident from their name, these types of coffee beans are robust in nature showing a greater resistance towards insects as well as other such diseases. Furthermore, they can be grown at lower altitudes and as compared to Arabica, Robusta coffee beans are capable of producing a greater yield per acre.
Arabica coffee beans require delicate growing conditions incorporating a mixture of moisture, rain, shadow as well as sun. 15 – 24*C is the optimal temperature while 1200 – 2200 mm/year is the optimal rainfall for the production of Arabica.
Such type of coffee beans are normally grown at lands of higher altitudes; and when they are more sensitive to attack from various environmental elements; one has to take great care of Arabica beans during the process of growing. Hence, from a farmer’s point of view, Arabica beans are much more difficult to cultivate than Robusta beans.
When Arabica coffee beans are much more difficult to grow than Robusta, it eventually shocking to know its price. As of today, Arabica beans are twice more expensive than that of Robusta.
5: Difference in Shape
Arabica beans are much more oval/elliptical whereas Robusta are more round in shape. As a result of such a structural difference, both these beans exhibit different behavior under similar roasting conditions.
6: Caffeine Content
Robusta coffee beans contain almost twice the amount of caffeine than that of Arabica. Similarly, the amount of Chlorogenic Acid, which is present in Robusta, is a bit higher as compared to Arabica. Chlorogenic Acid is a strong antioxidant and works extremely well as an insect deterrent. Thanks to such a composition, a cup of coffee, made with Robusta beans, provides a bit of rubbery taste.
At the moment, Arabica consists of almost 75% of the world’s coffee production. Amongst all the coffee producing nations, Brazil is the leading producer of Arabica beans.
Coming towards Robusta, 25% of the world’s coffee production is Robusta; while Vietnam leads the race when it comes to producing the most Robusta coffee beans.
When some people term Robusta coffee beans as of much inferior quality than that of Arabica; and that isn’t the case by any means. Robusta is just a different type of coffee which brings a unique flavor to your cup of Joe. Incorporating higher caffeine content, these are normally used while producing a stronger cup of Java. But if you’re looking for a smooth, sugary taste, select the Arabica coffee beans.