Arabica vs Robusta – Difference Between Arabica and Robusta

Coffee is a go-to drink for a lot of people. Once the different types of coffee beans are processed and converted into milk or a water-based drink, they more or less look the same.

However, this is not true since there are a lot of coffee beans that include Arabica and Robusta coffee.   

Arabica vs Robusta

The main difference between Arabica and Robusta is that Arabica has a sweeter and smoother taste with tones of berries, sugar and other fruits. On the other hand, Robusta has a strong and bitter taste with tones of peanuts and also has a grainy texture while drinking the coffee.  

Arabica vs Robusta

Arabica Coffee, also known as Arabian Coffee, is a subtype of coffee that falls under the Rubiaceae family.

Arabica Coffee was first found in Ethiopia and cultivated for the first time in Yemen. Arabica is a premium choice of coffee due to its rich taste and texture. The acidity levels of Arabica are very high.

Robusta Coffee, also known as Coffea Canephora is a type of coffee that has originated in the central and western Sub-Saharan region.

Robusta is one of the most popular types of coffee since it occupies more than 40 per cent of the global coffee market. The Robusta coffee beans are very easy to grow. 

Comparison Table Between Arabica and Robusta

Parameter of ComparisonArabicaRobusta
TasteArabica Coffee comes with a smooth and sweet taste. There are different tones of taste in Arabica since it is grown using different methods.  Robusta has a hard and bitter taste. Robusta has a very strong taste and has a dark after taste attached to it. 
Conditions of GrowthArabica is generally cultivated and grown in areas 600 meters above sea levels. One can find Arabica cultivation in mountain ranges and tropical regions. Robusta is not grown in areas with much height. It can easily be cultivated in areas from a sea level of 0 meters to 600 meters. 
CaffeineArabica has medium caffeine content. The amount of caffeine in Arabica Coffee is said to be around 1.5 per centRobusta Coffee has high caffeine content. It contains over 2.6 per cent of caffeine within them.
Bean ShapeArabica Bean comes with a distinctive circular shape. The colour of the coffee bean can be considered light brown.  The shape of the Robusta bean is almost circular. Robusta Coffee beans come in a dark brownish colour.  
Sugar ContentThe Arabica coffee bean has a definite edge in terms of sugar concentration. Arabica has 60 per cent more sugar than Robusta.The hard and bitter taste of Robusta Coffee comes due to the lesser content of sugar. People who like darker coffees prefer Robusta.

What is Arabica?

Arabica Coffee can be considered one of the major types of coffee beans out there. Several cultivation centres grow Arabica beans.

Once these beans are cultivated, they are either shipped out in a pure form or mixed in with other coffee beans such as Robusta.

Arabica is said to have originated in the early 17th Century by African and Arabian coffee brewers.

The coffee plant of Arabica is originally native to East African regions. Warm and temperate conditions with high altitudes combined are the most conducive environment for the Arabica Beans plant to grow.

The taste of the Arabica coffee depends on the process by which they are washed and roasted before being sold in the market.

The soil on which the plant is being grown alongside the climate also plays a major role in the taste. Due to these factors, there have been different variations and types of Arabica coffee bean plants which are known as varietals.

Speaking in terms of taste, Arabica has a less bitter taste and is a smoother taste as compared to other coffees. The Kona coffee and the Columbian coffee are two popular varietals of Arabica.

What is Robusta?

Robusta coffee, also known as Coffea canephora, belongs to the canephora genus.

Alongside the Arabica coffee, Robusta is the most popular coffee bean to be grown as per the demand of the global consumer market. Robusta Coffee originated in the early 18th century in Congo.

There are widespread cultivation sites for Robusta near the Lake Victoria region of Uganda. Robusta coffee is popular in South America, Central and Western regions of Asia and West Africa as well.

Robusta is ideally grown in an environment that has an average temperature of 26 degrees celsius. It is generally grown around the equatorial regions.

Robusta plants need a sufficient amount of water to grow healthily. The coffee plant does not have a lot of tolerance for cold and would wither in colder conditions.

The term ‘Robusta’ has been given to this coffee plant since it has high resistance levels to insects, fungus, rust and other plant-based diseases.

The Robusta coffee enjoys a bitter taste and is known for its strong and dark after taste. There is a lack of good aroma in the coffee. Robusta coffee is best known and appreciated for its high caffeine content.

Main Differences Between Arabica and Robusta

  1. Arabica coffee has a much more premium taste since it has a smooth texture and a sweet taste with an after taste of berries and fruits. Arabica has a strong and bitter taste with a loose texture. 
  2. Arabica coffee plants are generally grown in high altitude areas with a temperate climate and Robusta coffee plants are grown in equatorial regions with high rainfall levels.   
  3. The caffeine content in Arabica based coffee drinks is average to low since the plant has 1.3 per cent of caffeine and Robusta coffee is preferred due to its high 2.5 per cent caffeine content. 
  4. Arabica is easily affected by the conditions it is being grown on as it gets easily damaged from pests and plant-based diseases. Robusta does not get affected by rust, pests or plant-based diseases easily.
  5. Arabica is comparatively more produced than Robusta. The total market share of Arabica is around 75 per cent whereas Robusta has a 25 per cent share in the production of coffee.
Arabica vs Robusta – Difference Between Arabica and Robusta

Conclusion

Arabica and Robusta are the two most popular types of coffee seeds available on the market.

Even though Arabica is considered to be more premium because of its taste, Robusta has its pros and advantages, namely the bitter taste and the high caffeine percentage which is appreciated by a lot of coffee drinkers.

People tend to decide their coffee based on their choice and preferences. A person who enjoys sweeter and smoother types of coffee may go for Arabica.

If a person wants a bitter and high caffeine-based coffee then he may go for Robusta.   

References

  1. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0047981
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00045900
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