The Difference Between Arabica and Robusta

The Difference Between Arabica and Robusta

 If you're new to the world of home coffee brewing, you've certainly noticed that some bags of beans claim to be 100% Arabica, 100% Robusta, or a combination of the two. So, what precisely are Robusta and Arabica, and what does it all mean?


There are over 100 different species of coffee, but when it comes to your daily brew, there are only two coffee beans that really matter- the Robusta and Arabica. What is the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, and does it matter which type of coffee bean you use? Let’s see!


Their Characteristics

For starters, if you pause and make a note of what you're drinking, you'll notice that Arabic is significantly sweeter than Robusta. In comparison to Robusta's stronger, sharper flavour, Arabica has more sweet overtones, which many coffee drinkers prefer.


When Arabica is compared to Robusta, it has significantly more subtle flavours. Arabica is also known to have nutty, fruity, and chocolatey flavours, among other minor nuances. These extra flavours are rarely if ever, found in Robusta beans.


The amount of caffeine contained in the bean is another distinguishing feature of Robusta over Arabica. Arabica has around half the caffeine content of Robusta.


Robusta beans have a 2.7% caffeine level, while Arabica beans have a 1.5% caffeine content. As you can see, Robusta, with nearly double the caffeine level, is ideal for those of us who enjoy that additional lift in the morning that caffeine provides.


Coffee Bean Shapes 

Another distinction between Robusta and Arabica that I'd like to highlight quickly is the size of the coffee beans.


Arabica coffee beans are slightly larger and more elliptical in shape than Robusta coffee beans, which are smaller and more spherical. As displayed in the picture below-

Courtesy Gourmet Coffee 4 Coffee Lovers


Their Uses

Arabica is the more attractive of the two coffee kinds for coffee consumers. However, Robusta has a place in the coffee-drinking world, and you might be shocked to learn that it is used in both the least desirable and the most cherished brews in the world.


For example, nearly all low-cost instant coffee is manufactured from Robusta coffee beans. This is understandable given that Robusta is the less expensive bean and sells for less than Arabica due to its lower fragility and extended harvest season.


On the other hand, Robusta is the preferred bean for some of the most prestigious Italian espressos.