Behind the Beans: Arabica vs. Robusta Coffee

Behind the Beans: Arabica vs. Robusta Coffee

As with most species of the plant kingdom, coffee comes in different “varieties” or “cultivars.” Similar to how a riesling wine might have a different flavor profile than a sauvignon blanc, the two predominant parent varieties of coffee – arabica and robusta – present notable differences in the cup. Some of the main differences between arabica and robusta coffee include:


1. Flavor profile: Arabica coffee typically offers a more balanced, nuanced, and clean flavor profile compared to robusta. Flavors can range from fruity and floral to nutty and chocolatey. Arabica coffee also tends to have a more pleasant acidity. In contrast, robusta coffee often has more bold and sharp flavors, including earthy, woody, and bitter notes. The taste is generally less complex compared to arabica.

2. Caffeine content: Robusta coffee contains a higher amount of caffeine than arabica beans, with as much as close to double the caffeine content.

3. Growing conditions: Arabica coffee is more delicate and requires specific conditions for optimal growth. It thrives in higher altitude regions, generally between 600 and 2,000 meters above sea level, with mild temperatures and well-distributed rainfall. Robusta coffee is more resilient and adaptable. It can tolerate a wider range of growing conditions, including lower altitudes and hotter climates. Robusta plants are also more resistant to diseases and pests.

4. Commercial Usage: Arabica coffee is more highly regarded for its quality, to the extent that robusta cannot technically be considered “specialty coffee.” Arabica is commonly used in single-origin or lighter-roast blends, while robusta coffee is often used in commercial blends, instant coffee, and espresso blends. At Schuil, we are committed to offering the best coffees at the best value to our customers. As previously mentioned in our blog titled "What is Speciality Coffee?" Schuil is proud to exclusively offer specialty coffee, from our flavored options to our deepest, darkest roasts.

Leave a comment