Do you ever wonder why coffee tastes so different depending on where it comes from? One of the main factors that affects the taste. There are two main types of coffee beans - Arabica and Robusta - and they each have their own distinct characteristics. So grab a cup of Coffee of Death and let's dive in!
Difference between Arabica and Robusta beans
Size: Arabica beans are larger and longer than Robusta beans. They have a slightly curved shape and a more oval appearance, while Robusta beans are rounder and smaller.
On average, Arabica beans are about 1 cm long and 0.6 cm wide, while Robusta beans are around 0.8 cm long and 0.5 cm wide. The size and shape of the beans can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions, but as a general rule, Arabica beans are slightly larger and more oval in shape, while Robusta beans are more round and compact.
Growing conditions: Arabica beans are typically grown at higher altitudes, in cool and subtropical climates. Temperatures ranging from 15°C to 24°C (59°F to 75°F). The ideal temperature for Arabica coffee cultivation is around 18°C to 21°C (64°F to 70°F), with moderate humidity and rainfall.
Robusta coffee is typically grown in hotter and more humid climates, with average temperatures ranging from 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F). The ideal temperature for Robusta coffee cultivation is around 24°C to 26°C (75°F to 79°F), with plenty of rainfall and sunshine. Unlike Arabica coffee, Robusta coffee plants are more resistant to heat and humidity, and can tolerate a wider range of temperatures and weather conditions.
Check out this blog written by Michon Scott to learn more about the growing conditions in depth!
Taste: Arabica coffee is characterized by a diverse range of flavors and aromas, including subtle notes of fruit, berries, chocolate, and nuts, which contribute to its smooth and well-balanced taste profile.
On the other hand, Robusta coffee has a noticeably different taste profile, often described as more robust, bold, and with earthy and woody undertones, partly due to its higher caffeine content.
Types of Robusta Beans
CxR (Conilon x Robusta): This is a hybrid variety of Robusta that was developed in Brazil by crossing the Robusta and Conilon coffee varieties. It is known for its high yield, resistance to disease, and strong flavor.
Kouillou: This is a Robusta variety that is grown in the Kouillou region of the Republic of Congo. It is known for its low acidity, strong body, and earthy flavor.
Uganda Robusta: This is a high-quality Robusta variety that is grown in the mountainous regions of Uganda. It is known for its mild flavor, low acidity, and chocolatey notes.
Java Robusta: This is a variety of Robusta that is grown on the island of Java in Indonesia. It is known for its bold, earthy flavor and low acidity.
Robusta Cherry AB: This is a premium variety of Robusta that is grown in Coorg. It is known for its complex flavor profile, which includes notes of fruit and spice, and its high caffeine content.
Types of Arabica Beans
Bourbon: This is a variety of Arabica that originated on the island of Bourbon (now known as Réunion) in the Indian Ocean. It is known for its sweet and fruity flavor with hints of caramel.
Typica: This is one of the oldest varieties of Arabica and is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. It is known for its delicate and complex flavor with floral and citrus notes.
Geisha (also spelled Gesha): This is a rare and highly sought-after variety of Arabica that originated in Ethiopia but is now grown in other countries, including Panama and Colombia. It is known for its unique flavor profile, which includes notes of jasmine, bergamot, and tropical fruit.
- Ethiopian Heirloom: Ethiopian Heirloom is a term used to describe a diverse range of Arabica coffee varieties grown in Ethiopia. The coffee beans have a unique and complex flavor profile, characterized by fruity and tangy notes of berries and citrus.
Java: Java is a type of Arabica coffee that originates from the Indonesian island of Java. Its distinct characteristics include a full-bodied taste with an earthy flavor complemented by subtle hints of dark chocolate.
At the end of the day, the choice between Arabica and Robusta really comes down to personal preference. Some coffee drinkers prefer the delicate and nuanced flavors of Arabica, while others prefer the strong and bold flavors of Robusta. Whether you're a fan of one or the other (or both!), there's no denying that coffee is a beloved beverage that has been enjoyed for centuries and will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.