Arabica vs Robusta Coffee Beans
KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ARABICA AND ROBUSTA COFFEE BEANS
For those of us who bask in the coffee world, you may have noticed that some grains boast of being 100% Arabica or Robusta. But what does that mean exactly?
Are you knowledgable of the fact that there are more than 100 different varieties of coffee? Arabica and Robusta beans are just two of these different types of coffee, but they are the two most widely grown beans for coffee consumption. But what is the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans and is it imperative to know what kind of coffee you use?
Let us closely look at these two behemoths and explore what makes them different and unique in the world of coffee.
ORIGIN OF EACH PLANT AND CULTURE
The coffee plant that produces Arabica coffee is called Coffea arabica or Arabian coffee. It is the most cultivated species in the world, and Arabica coffee is, in fact, the most consumed coffee as well. It is estimated that arabica coffee accounts for 65% of world coffee production.
This plant takes its name from the Arabian Peninsula: indeed, it is in the 15th century, in Yemen, that this plant was prepared and consumed for the first time in the form of coffee as we know it today.
Arabica is a tree that grows at an altitude between 800 and 2000 meters. Relatively chilly and delicate, it requires temperatures between 15 and 24 ° C, a humid climate and a lot of shade. These rather unusual conditions make it harder to grow Arabica coffee than Robusta coffee.
The coffee plant that gives Robusta coffee is called coffee canephora or robusta coffee. It is estimated that these species account for about 35% of world coffee production.
Like arabica, Robusta is native to Africa, and more particularly to the region stretching from Uganda to Guinea.
This coffee takes its name from the robustness of the plant. Indeed, it is particularly resistant to diseases, insects and severe weather conditions. In addition to this, Robusta coffee can be grown at a lower altitude than Arabica (between 0 and 800m), in a hot climate (between 24 and 30 ° C) and full sun. Robusta beans are much rounder than Arabica beans that have a more oval shape.
Overall, Robusta coffee is much easier to grow than Arabica coffee.
CAFFEINE, ANTIOXIDANTS, AND SUGARS
In addition to the differences between the plants and the cultivation of these plants, each grain contains different levels of minerals and other chemical compounds.
For example, Robusta beans contain much more caffeine than Arabica beans. Robusta beans contain 2.7% caffeine. Contrast this with the 1.5% caffeine content found in Arabica beans, and you see that Robusta, with almost double the caffeine content, is tailor-made for those of us who love this shot whip that caffeine brings us in the morning. But the caffeine content is not the only difference.
Arabica beans contain 60% more lipids and almost twice the amount of natural sugars compared to Robusta. This can certainly have an impact on the taste of coffee, but we'll talk about it later.
We all know that coffee contains many antioxidants that our body needs, but did you know that the amount of these antioxidants varies with different varieties of coffee? For example, Robusta beans contain 7 to 10% chlorogenic acid while Arabica beans contain only about 5.5 to 8%.
As you can see, even the chemical composition of these coffees and their health benefits are very different from each other.
When you read the fine print of most of the coffee beans that you find in a grocery store around your neighborhood, you will see that most of them are Arabica coffee. Many roasters boast that their grains are 100% Arabica as if it were a badge of honor.
The truth is that Arabica is the most popular type of grain used in coffee, but that does not mean that Robusta beans have no place in the coffee world. In many espresso beans, especially Italian roasts, you will find a mixture of Arabica and Robusta beans. You will even find Robusta beans used in coffee designed for those who like very strong coffee. Robusta beans are also almost exclusively used in the production of instant coffee. Not that we are fans of this type of coffee in particular.
IS THERE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN TASTE?
Clearly, Yes! The flavor of Robusta is more full-bodied, more bitter and its robust taste, it is, however, little aromatic. The Arabica coffee is softer, less full-bodied, with great aromatic finesse on the palate. Sometimes we find a Robusta coffee topped with a bit of Arabica to reduce its bitterness, and it's called an assemblage.
As already mentioned earlier, Arabica is the most popular coffee variety today, with many roasters selling their 100% Arabica coffee. The reality is that everything depends on taste.
Talking about taste, Robusta beans are not as sweet as Arabica. At least that is what a majority of the world's population think. Robusta beans, because of their high caffeine content and lack of sugars, tend to taste much more acidic and bitter than Arabica beans, and this taste is not for everyone.
Arabica beans tend to have a much fruitier and sweet taste compared to Robusta, which makes them much more popular than Robusta beans in the general population. But do not neglect the Robusta, as it is always comfortable in some of our specialty coffee drinks, such as espresso, and is perfect for coffee drinkers who prefer a much stronger cup of coffee.
It should also be noted that genuinely high-quality Robusta beans may taste as good as Arabica and, in some cases; many will appreciate them more than high-quality Arabica beans.
Although Robusta beans are often considered inferior in quality to those of Arabica beans, this is not the case. They are just a different kind of coffee, and these grains bring their unique flavors to the table. Although they are better suited to coffee drinkers who prefer a little more caffeine and a much stronger taste, just saying they are of lower quality is not exactly accurate.
The fact is that both beans bring something unique to the world of coffee and should be recognized for that. When you are looking for the best coffee to expand your palate, it is recommended that you give these two grains a chance. Even though Robusta beans are not for you, the experience will be the one you will never forget.
In the market, Arabica coffee beans are much more expensive than Robusta coffee beans. The high cost of Arabica coffee is probably due to the high demand for it because it tends to be the favorite of coffee fans around the world.
Again, its cultivation requires special climatic conditions, needs more attention and care; this makes Arabica coffee more expensive than a Robusta.
BENEFITS OF BOTH BEANS
Here are a few advantages that coffee can have on your health.
- Coffee drinkers would live longer
We start with this info, the most unexpected. According to two studies conducted this year, coffee can increase your life expectancy. If you are already preparing 3 liters of coffee after reading this line, we stop you any continuation. About three cups of coffee daily are enough to benefit from this effect.
One of these studies, conducted in 10 European countries, revealed that coffee consumption is linked to a reduced risk of death. This relationship did not vary by country. The explanation lies in the impact our coffee friend has on preventing the risk of certain diseases. If you like numbers and statistics, find here all the results of the studies.
- Coffee helps you stay young
We are often encouraged to "Eat five fruits and vegetables a day." Why? Because fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants. But it is often ignored: coffee is "number one" in terms of a source of antioxidants. Far in front of fruits and vegetables. Several studies, including that of The American Chemical Society, concluded that "no other food/drink provides as many antioxidants as coffee." These powerful molecules block free radicals responsible for aging factors or diseases. The coffee beans, the source of many nutrients, bring to the final drink real nutritional benefits.
iii. Coffee helps prevent type 2 diabetes
Another spectacular effect of coffee is that it reduces the blood sugar level and regulates that of insulin. The consumption of coffee with or without caffeine, for amounts ranging from 5 and 7 cups a day, can prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes. Between 28% and 50% still according to our American friends from Chemical Society. The percentage varies according to the number of cups of coffee consumed per day. The more coffee you drink, the more the prevention effects are essential!
- Coffee can make you smarter
We understand everything better why our dear coffee is the second most absorbed drink in the world. More seriously; we often take a coffee when sleep is felt. There is a reason for that. A little explanation by the American researcher Harris Lieberman: once your coffee is absorbed, reaction time, alertness, attention or logical reasoning is boosted. These functions are often associated with intelligence. Now you know why your brain is more effective after a good "shoot" of caffeine.
- Coffee: a slimming ally
You will be delighted to learn for this last health benefit that coffee is considered a "fat burner." Caffeine is also one of the only natural molecules to promote the elimination of fat. It is also found in most dietary supplements for weight loss sold commercially. Be careful though, a pure coffee without sugar is not going to have the same effect as a late macchiato whipped cream! Some drinks from the trade or some large coffee distribution chains often offer gourmet but also very caloric beverages.
In conclusion, between Arabica and Robusta, there are real differences in culture, aroma, and taste. You have also been acquainted with the benefits of coffee; hence, there is one thing to remember: if you want to drink a good coffee at home or in the office, prefer 100% Arabica coffees. Try Our Arabica Coffee