Roasted coffee beans look pretty much the same. One of the common misconceptions in the world of coffee is that there are dozens of different coffee-bean varieties. Well not, there are only two primary types of coffee beans that all our favourite coffee drinks are coming from: Arabica and Robusta.
If you are a regular coffee drinker, then it is important for you to understand the differences between both types, so that you can choose the best coffee for you that will suit your personal taste and preferences. Keep reading and find them out.
This is one of the most notable, yet important differences between coffee Arabica and coffee Robusta. Hence, Robusta is commonly described as the coffee that tastes like burnt tires or rubbery, which it does not sound pretty attractive, isn’t it? No matter how unpleasant it may sound, the truth is, Robusta coffee beans are ideal for making espresso-based drinks, as they give that strong, harsh, rich, full-bodied hint of the coffee. On the flip-side, Arabica coffee beans tend to be sweater in taste, featuring sugar and fruity notes.
The reason why Robusta tastes the way it tastes is caffeine. Robusta coffee beans contain higher level of caffeine compared to Arabica, so it is caffeine that makes the coffee taste bitter and be a bit unpleasant to drink. Thus, a Robusta coffee bean features 2.7% caffeine presence, while the Arabica bean has 1.5% caffeine content.
- Lipid and Sugar Content
When it comes to the lipid and sugar level of both coffee-bean types, it is Arabica that has 60% more lipids in its composition and almost twice the level of sugar than Robusta. This is the key factor that determines why coffee drinkers prefer the Arabica taste rather than Robusta taste.
As for the ‘price’ perspective, Robusta coffee beans hold half the price of Arabica coffee beans.
- Growth Ease
Robusta coffee trees are much easier to grow in comparison with Arabica ones. Reasons why? They allow growing at lower altitudes and are less vulnerable to weather conditions and pests. Moreover, Robusta trees mature much faster than Arabica, which results in faster coffee-bean produce and higher yield.
In terms of ‘shape’ difference, you will notice that Robusta coffee beans are circular and Arabica beans are more oval when compared one to another.
- Plant Height
Robusta trees tend to grow between 4 to 6 metres in height, while Arabica trees are usually 2.5 to 4.5 metres tall.
- Chlorogenic Acid (CGA) Content
Regardless of how awkward it may seem, the chlorogenic acid is indeed a part of coffee’s composition. Therefore, Robusta features 7-10% CGA and Arabica 5.5-8% CGA. This is what explains the acidity and the so-called ‘winey’ taste of coffee.
According to all the aforementioned facts, it is quite reasonable that 75% of world’s coffee production goes to Arabica, while the remaining 25% belong to Robusta. Brazil is known as the world-renowned producer of Arabica coffee, whereas Vietnam is considered the biggest producer of Robusta.