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Arabica vs. Robusta Coffee

Apr 22, 2021

If you’re a coffee lover, you may have noticed the words “Arabica” or “Robusta” on your coffee. These are the two popular types of coffee species grown commercially. Both can make a hearty brew, but there are a few key differences between them. Understanding those distinctions can help guide you to your ideal cup of joe.

What Is Arabica Coffee?

The most popular type of coffee in the world is Arabica, made from Coffea arabica plant beans. There are many types of Arabica coffee, including Kona and Typica. Arabica has more lipids and sugar when compared with Robusta coffee. This distinction makes Arabica coffee's taste smoother and more pleasant to many palates.

What Is Robusta Coffee?

Robusta coffee comes from the Coffea canephora plant. It is often used in instant coffee, espresso, and some blends. The Coffea canephora plant that produces these beans comes from Africa. Robusta coffee has more caffeine and less acidity when compared with Arabica. It has a stronger flavor, tasting of wood and sometimes being compared to leather. It is known for its bitterness.

The Differences Between Arabica Coffee and Robusta Coffee

Where do you fall in the Arabica vs. Robusta debate? While both types of beans can perk you up, there are some big differences.

Arabica coffee has fruity notes and comes in a range of flavors, from mild to sharp. Robusta has a slight oatmeal or wood flavor. Arabica is considered richer and more complex.

Growing conditions for the beans are different, too. Robusta beans come from plants that are easier to grow. Coffea canephora plants can grow in low altitudes. They have high yields and are resistant to pests. But while Robusta is less expensive to grow, it has been linked to the clear-cutting of rainforests and stripping the land of its nutrients. 

Arabica beans come from much more fragile plants that need higher altitudes and more shade and water to thrive. Coffea arabica plants can also be susceptible to pests. As a result, these beans are more expensive to grow. They can take up to seven years to grow to maturity and be ready for harvesting, compared to the two to three years required for Robusta. This extended time frame is another factor in the higher price

All factors considered, Arabica comes out as the superior type of coffee. Robusta is grown for heavily flavored blends, instant coffee, and coffee products. It's not as tasty on its own. Some manufacturers blend Arabica and Robusta to save money while producing a less bitter brew than Robusta alone. Coffee aficionados know to look for 100% Arabica.

Real Good Coffee Co Is Your Source for Arabica Beans

At Real Good Coffee Company, our goal is to be good for the planet and good for your wallet. Of course, we also want your coffee to taste good. That's why we use 100% Arabica coffee beans. Stock up on your favorite blends in the form of whole beans and convenient coffee pods to taste the difference.