A fun fact about your favourite hot and cold beverage – did you know there are around 100 different species of coffees available all over the world? These species carry a significant difference in terms of taste and cultivation but end up looking the same once roasted. So we thought about introducing you to the two main types of coffee in India – Arabica & Robusta.
What is Arabica Coffee?
Arabica has a simple five-worded introduction. It is the “queen of the coffee beans”. Coffee lovers swear by its refined, complex, sweet and soft taste. Manufacturers love Arabica’s superior quality and purity. The acidity of these coffee beans is higher, which delivers it a winey nature with slight tones of berries, fruit and sugar in each sip. Brands even love to show it off with a “100% Arabica” noting on the package, wherever possible.
This coffee bean clearly rules the world of coffee production and speciality market.
What is Robusta Coffee?
Critics troll it. Coffee lovers do not see it with kind eyes. For them, Robusta is something blasphemous. Several even go to the extent of saying that it tastes like burnt rubber to them. Still, it is the second-most consumed and traded coffee in the world.
The beans are harsh, strong and have grainy overtone with a peanut-like aftertaste. When compared to Arabica, this coffee is considered much inferior but contains twice its amount of caffeine.
Arabica VS Robusta Coffee
Putting our own prejudices aside, let us look into the main difference between Robusta coffee from Arabica coffee point-wise.
- Cultivation: Out of the two, Robusta is easier to grow. The yield is also less sensitive to the insects. Its high levels of caffeine act as a chemical defence for the beans as it is very much toxic for the bugs. Robusta also produces its fruit quicker than its finer counterpart. The yield of Arabica takes several years to mature.
Robusta coffee is produced at sea level, whereas the Arabica is grown at higher altitudes blessed a cool subtropical climate.
- Price: Arabica coffee is pricier than Robusta. Cheap, supermarket and instant coffees tend to be Robusta. You can get Arabica coffee in grocery stores; but cannot always trust its quality.
- Production: Arabica coffee comprises 60% of the coffee world production. Rest of the 40% production belongs to the Robusta coffee.
- Beans: The original unroasted green beans of these coffees are easy to tell apart. Robusta coffee beans have round shape whereas the Arabica beans are elongated and flat.
- Taste: As stated earlier, Arabica gives off an aromatic and mild taste while Robusta has a grainy feel to it with a much stronger and harsher flavour. This stark difference comes from the fact that Robusta has double caffeine amount while Arabica contains 60% more lipid and twice the sugar concentration.
Which one to choose?
Honestly, it all depends on your own preference. Some blends of Arabica are too floral and high for few. Others love the dark and rich harshness of Robusta coffee. Plus, not all Robusta beans taste the same. Few high-quality Robusta beans give off good cream and deep flavour in espressos. It might be safe to say that Robusta hasn’t discovered its full potential yet.
Above all, the blend of these two mighty beans brings an entirely new range of flavours to your cup. Their individual advantages and characteristics mix well. Robusta balances the blend’s acidity while Arabica reduces the harshness.
Our suggestion would be – do not limit yourself to just one kind of coffee. Try both individually, blend and then decide which one deserves a spot in your kitchen cabinet.