Once roasted, nearly all coffee beans appear identical, but few people are aware that there are dozens of different varieties of coffee beans grown throughout the world. Nevertheless, among the numerous coffee species, the most widely consumed varieties are Arabica and Robusta, also known as Canephora. This brings us to a brief examination of the distinctions between the popular coffee species. Without further ado, let’s spill the beans and help you broaden your coffee horizons:
To begin distinguishing the two, one must be able to physically tell the difference between Robusta and Arabica beans. If you are a coffee enthusiast, you should know that Robusta is darker in colour and has a more circular shape, whereas Arabica is lighter in colour and has an oval shape.
One of the most noticeable distinctions is the taste of the two coffees. While Robusta is frequently described as having a burnt flavour or being rubbery, Arabica is aromatic and has a subtle flavour and taste.
CONDITIONS OF GROWTH
While Robusta is grown from sea level to approximately 600 metres and produces fruit that is resistant to pesky insects, Arabica is more delicate in nature, as it is grown above 600 metres on mountain tops and in tropical environments and is easily damaged by bugs.
CONTENT OF CAFFEINE
Unsurprisingly, given the physical characteristics, you’ve probably guessed that Robusta contains a higher caffeine content. Arabica contains 1.5 percent caffeine, while Robusta contains 2.7 percent caffeine. As a result, Robusta is frequently used in instant coffee and as a blend additive to add some extra zing.
CONTENT OF SUGAR
Arabica contains nearly twice the amount of sugar as Robusta, which explains why the latter has a bitter taste and why we prefer Arabica.
Brazil, the world’s largest producer of Arabica coffee, produces approximately 75% of the world’s coffee. Additionally, Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of Robusta coffee, accounting for 25% of global production.