Arabica vs Robusta: What's the Difference?
When it comes to coffee, there are two main types of beans: Arabica and Robusta. While both types of beans are used to produce coffee, they have a number of differences that make them unique. Here is a closer look at the difference between Arabica and Robusta beans:
Taste: The biggest difference between Arabica and Robusta beans is the taste. Arabica beans have a sweeter, softer flavour with notes of fruit and berries. They also have a higher acidity, which gives them a bright and lively flavour. In contrast, Robusta beans have a stronger, more bitter taste with a nutty and woody flavour. They also have a lower acidity, which gives them a more earthy and heavy flavour.
Growing conditions: Arabica beans are grown at high altitudes, usually between 3,000 and 6,000 feet. They thrive in cool, moist environments and require a lot of care and attention to grow. In contrast, Robusta beans are hardier and can be grown at lower altitudes, usually between sea level and 3,000 feet. They are more resistant to pests and diseases, and can withstand drier conditions.
Appearance: Arabica beans are oval-shaped and have a smooth, curved surface. They are larger than Robusta beans and have a pale green colour when they are harvested. Robusta beans are rounder and have a more jagged surface. They are smaller than Arabica beans and have a yellowish colour when they are harvested.
Caffeine content: Another key difference between Arabica and Robusta beans is the caffeine content. Arabica beans have a lower caffeine content, usually ranging from 0.8% to 1.2%. In contrast, Robusta beans have a higher caffeine content, usually ranging from 1.7% to 2.7%. This is why coffee made from Robusta beans has a stronger, more energising effect.
Price: Arabica beans are generally more expensive than Robusta beans due to the higher cost of production. Arabica beans require more care and attention to grow and are grown in smaller quantities, which drives up the price. Robusta beans, on the other hand, are more widely available and are grown in larger quantities, which makes them more affordable.
In conclusion, Arabica and Robusta beans are the two main types of coffee beans used to produce coffee. While both types of beans have their own unique characteristics, the main differences between them are the taste, growing conditions, appearance, caffeine content, and price. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right type of bean for your coffee needs.