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What is the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans?

Posted on June 22, 2020

The world of coffee is massive, but did you know that in terms of bean type it comes down to just two? Yes, you may have heard this before: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica accounts for about 60% of the world’s coffee market, while Robusta takes the remaining 40%, with Arabica being more expensive.

Now for the big differences! Arabica beans are often oval and flat in shape and boast a sweeter, lighter and smoother taste, with more fruity flavours. Robusta beans, on the other hand, are smaller and rounder in shape and pack a bitter, stronger, and more powerful taste that offers a more natural and earthy flavour.

Majority of Arabica is produced in Brazil and the rest of South America, and is grown at higher altitudes. Arabica coffee is more vulnerable to pests and generally more difficult to maintain and harvest, which is what makes it pricier.

Most of Robusta is produced in Vietnam and other places with lower altitudes like Africa and Indonesia. They’re less vulnerable to pests, require less attention and are easier to harvest.

If you’re big on your caffeine intake and seek a bigger kick, you’ll want to know that Robusta beans contain more caffeine, with a 2.2-2.7% caffeine content, compared to a 1.2-1.5% that Arabica contains. Quite a difference there!

When it comes to taste, you probably have your preference, taste-wise, and most coffees are indeed a blend between Arabica and Robusta beans combining the best of both worlds. If you are looking for a smooth taste go for 100% Arabica, but if you need a flavour kick, make sure some Robusta is present in the blend. Now it’s time to enjoy a cup and think about all the different varieties and blends of coffee you still got to try, cheers!