Arabica vs Robusta
There are more than 70 different types of coffee beans known today. However, there are 2 coffee beans that we drink or hear about in our daily lives.
Almost all coffee beans come from orchards in countries along the equator called the coffee belt. Countries located in the equatorial region have a hot climate, rainy weather and relatively high altitudes. All these conditions are necessary for coffee cultivation. In this article, we will talk about the most preferred and known coffee types.
Arabica coffee beans are the most produced (70% of coffee production) and the most consumed coffee bean variety in the world. It originates in Africa (Ethiopia) and has many different varieties. Compared to Robusta, it is considered “higher quality” and sells for a higher price. This is because Arabica is different in taste and is more difficult to grow.
Growing at high altitudes, this species is sensitive, delicate and less resistant to diseases. They are soft-drinking, highly acidic, aromatic and delicious coffee beans. Although Brazil is the world's largest producer of Arabica, African coffee beans come to the fore when it comes to specialty coffee.
We mentioned that this variety has high acidity. Moderate acidity is desirable in your drink, which gives coffee its complexity. They also contain more lipids and sugars. Depending on where the coffee bean is grown, they may also contain fruity notes. All these features make Arabica a more preferred species.
Arabica coffee beans are also classified according to their quality. While the qualified ones are grown in limited numbers and find buyers at high prices, the situation is the opposite for commercial coffees. Today, single-origin Arabica is generally used in filter coffees. The reason for this is the desire to experience the flavors and aromas of that region.
Finally, we would like to mention the word “100% Arabica”. Arabica beans are of course more expensive than other types and are perceived as higher quality. Those who want to use this positive perception commercially may also want to emphasize the 100% Arabica discourse. However, the important thing here is the quality of the Arabica used. A high quality Robusta is worth more than a low quality Arabica. In addition, using a mixture in some products allows you to capture better flavors.
Robusta (Canephora) is a resistant species that can be easily grown at lower altitudes than Arabica. This type, which bears fruit quickly, offers a harder and woody-earthy drink, adds intense consistency and creaminess to the coffee.
Robusta contains 2 times more caffeine than Arabica. 100% Robusta is a strong coffee and is therefore often blended with Arabica. Robusta coffee beans, which provide high cream, are indispensable for Espresso. The most popular coffees of many brands consist of a blend of high quality Robusta and high quality Arabica. As a result, Robusta is ideal for Espresso with its intense aroma and hardness. It is preferred in beverages with added milk and sugar.
Although Vietnam is the world's largest producer, the highest quality Robusta is grown in Uganda. Uganda is also the homeland of Robusta.
In recent years, the use of Robusta has been increasing regularly. We believe that global warming and climate change will pose a greater threat to Arabica in the coming years.
When coffee was commercialized, flavor and aroma were no longer sought after. As a result, dark roast and bitter coffee is the most common type of coffee in most coffee shops around the world. If you don't specify a different roast type, they will likely give you a dark roast or even burnt coffee.
In light roasting, coffee is fruity and acidic. This is because the coffee bean takes on some of the flavors from the coffee fruit. Medium roast coffee is balanced and sweet enough. This is because the glucose has been heated but not burned. In dark roasting, the only flavor left in the coffee is bitterness. When coffee is roasted for too long, its aromas also burn. As a result, you can only fully enjoy the taste and quality of the coffee bean in a lightly roasted coffee.
If your coffee bean is of poor quality, roast it as dark as possible. Burnt quality coffee and burnt poor quality coffee have similar flavors. Even if you add sugar and milk to it, there is no difference. Unfortunately, this is exactly the situation encountered in many coffee shops.
Whether your coffee bean is Robusta or Arabica, high quality and low quality of each type are available. The issue is not only the quality of the coffee bean. Roasting is just as important. Our advice is to avoid clichés such as "100% Arabica" or "Dark Roasted" and try different types of coffee and find the one that suits you best. Maybe a Robusta blend or lightly roasted Rwandan Coffee will give you what you want.
We should not forget that the best coffee is the coffee you drink with the most pleasure.