Know Your Beans: Arabica vs. Robusta

Coffee growers around the world primarily cultivate two types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Though 95% of the world’s coffee production consists of blends made from these beans, most coffee drinkers are still unaware of the differences between the two.

What is Arabica Coffee?

The beans sourced from the Coffea Arabica plant are known as Arabica coffee. Historians have traced the origins of these beans to Ethiopia; however, the name Arabica or Coffea Arabica is thought to have been coined when coffee travelled from Ethiopia to Arabia in the 7th century. Today, Arabica coffee is the most frequently consumed blend of coffee in the world and makes up almost 60% of the world’s coffee production.

Arabica coffee plants prefer tropical climates close to the equator. This is why some of the best Arabica coffee is grown in countries such as Ethiopia, India Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil – the largest producer of Arabica coffee in the world. Arabica coffee grows well at high altitudes which is why it is often cultivated on hillsides. The plants themselves are fairly delicate, requiring a fair amount of pruning and constant attention to environmental factors. The Coffee arabica species is particularly prone to disease so farming in great quantities is a challenge. This drives up the cost of the bean considerably in the global market, but many coffee drinkers around the world are happy to pay the difference because of the softer, sweeter taste.

What is Robusta Coffee?

Robusta coffee is made from the beans of the Coffea canephora plant. The Coffea canephora plant is responsible for around 30% – 40% of the world’s coffee production. These beans originate from sub-Saharan Africa and it is largely grown in the east, specifically in Africa, Indonesia, and most importantly, Vietnam, which is the leading producer of robusta coffee. Robusta coffees have extremely high levels of caffeine, which makes the plant far more resilient than the Arabica species. That’s because caffeine acts as a natural insect repellent, eliminating a major threat to the tree. The Coffea canephora species is also particularly tolerant of its environment, so it can be grown in any number of altitudes and climates. Because of its reputation for tasting burnt or rubbery, robusta is not generally a very popular coffee commodity, except where very strong coffee is a cultural norm. However, because it’s so much easier to grow and harvest than Arabica beans, many farmers do tend to reap higher profits when they can sell Robusta.



Differences in Taste?

Many coffee enthusiasts often find themselves at a crossroad when trying to decide whether to opt for Arabica or Robusta beans for their coffee and are unaware of what the differences are between the two.
Arabica coffee is characterised by its extremely smooth, fragrant and aromatic flavour, with a touch of acidity that lends distinctive zesty notes that combine with the sweetness. Robusta, on the other hand, has an intense, persistent flavour and a chocolatey aftertaste, with a markedly higher percentage of caffeine.
[link to coffee list]

Which tastes better?

Arabica and Robusta have two completely different, but equally delicious, tasting profiles. Arabica’s light and fruity tones make it absolutely delicious in milky drinks while Robusta’s intense and rich qualities and smooth crema work beautifully in espresso. The holy grail of espresso is crema, and Robusta is better at producing crema than Arabica. Most espresso fans crave a creamy, smooth texture in their coffee, and using some Robusta in espresso blends makes it easier to coax out that delicious crema. Each coffee type has its own flavours and notes, but neither one tastes ‘better’ than the other.
[link to coffee list]

Arabica and Robusta: Our Selection

At Coffee’s Etc. we offer a wide selection of not only Arabica and Robusta beans, but also a variety of blends that are a mix of the two beans.
If you are interested in shopping for Arabica beans, our selection from Caffè Corsini might be perfect for you, as the brand offers a broad and varied selection of beans and ground Arabica coffees.

Up first is the interesting and unusual Purissimi Arabica Coffee blend [hyper link to product page]. This is available in the for of both beans and ground coffee and makes a perfect shot of espresso. It is 100% Arabica, of course, produced using only the very best quality Arabicas to obtain a decidedly intense coffee with a smooth yet robust flavour.

Our second suggestion is Caffè Brasil Santos: a 250 g pack of 100% Arabica ground coffee [hyper link to product page]. At an extremely affordable price, you can take home a mild coffee with low acidity and a flavour that’s subtle yet enveloping, with a very slight aftertaste of chocolate.

Caffè Corsini also offers a 100% Robusta blend called Caffè Corsini Espresso Gourmet, available in 1000g packaging [hyper link to product page]. This blend produces the right espresso coffee for everyone who wants a proper energy boost and a “hello – wake up” through their coffee. It guarantees a powerful aroma experience and can be served both as espresso and cappuccino. Very full-bodied with a creamy consistency. In the mouth, it develops a strong taste and an intense reverberation on the tongue.

If you’re somebody who is searching for a blend that is the perfect harmony of Arabica and Robusta, be sure to check out the Crema Espresso coffee beans from our Caffè Carraro line, available in 1000g packaging [hyper link to product page]. The Crema Espresso blend has been created to intensify the classic taste of coffee with the greater body and creaminess for which Italian espresso is renowned. Its distinctive selection is based on a combination of the great, sweet Central American Arabica beans with the best Brazilian Santos varieties. The extra body is given to the blend by the addition of fine Indian Robusta and Ethiopian Arabica beans.


Whether you are somebody looking to shop for Arabica beans, Robusta beans or a blend that incorporates properties of both the beans, Coffee’s Etc. aims to supply our customers with the best and highest-quality selections, sourced from premium Italian roasters. Our website provides detailed product descriptions to make it easier for you to choose the most suitable blend that matches your caffeine preferences, with a reasonable price/quality ratio. Our wide range of products serves as a great advantage because it allows us to meet the needs of every customer.

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