Robusta versus Arabica Beans

What are the Different Species of Coffee Beans?

Did you know that there are hundreds of species of coffee trees, but only two are commercially grown?

What are the two species of coffee?

You may have seen 100% Arabica advertised on packages of coffee. Thus, I’m going to let you in on a little coffee secret. Coffee with 100% Arabica beans is like having the greenest lawn in the neighborhood. It’s fresh and luscious, and wondrous to roll around in. Of course, everyone wants green grass, and because of Arabica’s superior quality, it makes up 75% of the world’s coffee production. Why only 75%?

What is the other 25%?

Well, sometimes grass is brown, but that’s cruddy grass that no one likes because it’s prickly, stubborn, and no fun to roll in, just like having a coffee with only Robusta beans. Too bad that Robusta beans are easier and cheaper to grow than Arabica. Hence, Robusta beans are added to coffee products, producing a low quality, cost-effective brew. Instant varieties like Folgers and Maxwell often use this method to keep costs down.

Robusta isn’t all bad:

Even though 100% Arabica is ideal, it won’t kill you to have a few small patches of lightly brown grass on your lawn. It adds character, making your lawn look more natural and less manicured. Because of Robusta’s high oil and caffeine content, adding a few beans of high-quality Robusta to a batch of Arabica helps to create a much desired crema (i.e., the thin layer of foam on top of an espresso) and balances the natural acidic flavor of Arabica. An experienced coffee artisan can create the perfect blend between Arabica and Robusta beans without harming the overall quality of the brew.


Now, go out and impress people with your random coffee knowledge! And as always, thank you for reading and joining me on this #internationalcoffeejourney

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