Arabica or Robusta?

When considering what coffee beans you should buy there is one crucial decision that must be made, Arabica or Robusta?

With hundreds of different varieties of coffee, Robusta and Arabica appear to be the front-runners in the coffee making industry and you might even be choosing between the two for your daily cup of coffee!

So, what exactly is the difference?

Well, apart from the fact that these two beans are primarily the only two cultivated for drinking, there are a few other key differences between the beans to consider.

Robusta is grown at a lower altitude to that of Arabica bean, therefore making it less prone to pests and insect contamination. They are exclusively grown in the southern hemisphere, predominately in parts of Africa and Indonesia and because of such growing conditions make them less expensive than Arabica beans.  Robusta, as the name suggests, is a harder bean, holding almost twice as much caffeine than that of its competitor.

More so, the Robusta bean is a larger bean, offering a thicker crema. The Robusta bean offers a much harsher flavour, and for the most part, has a much stronger taste.  Most people that like a Robusta bean, claim it is because of the nutty aftertaste and strength of the coffee.  It’s the perfect bean, for anyone looking for that powerful coffee hit!

However, with many positives come a few negatives, Robusta beans lack the complexity and sophistication to that of the Arabica bean.  As a result, most consumers and businesses opt to buy Arabica beans, because of its unique flavour offerings.

Arabica makes up almost 75% of the world’s total coffee production.  The bean is grown at a much higher altitude, offering the consumer a more refined cup of coffee.  Due to its growing conditions the Arabica bean is more prone to diseases from pests as it is a much softer bean making harvesting quality beans much harder.  The Arabica bean is predominantly grown in Latin America, small parts of Africa and even Papua New Guinea.

The Arabica bean offers a unique variety of undertones and flavours be that; berries, sugar, fruits, or acidity.  For this reason, we often see businesses advertise 100% Arabica beans. 

Arabica beans do not always mean a higher quality of bean; however, they are usually priced much higher because of the growing and harvesting conditions involved.

More often than not, the choice of beans comes down to a personal taste, in fact, a lot of people will usually opt for a blend in beans so that they can get the best of both worlds.

At North Code Coffee, we use a blend of two Arabica beans from Colombia and Brazil, our unique blend supplied by Inglewood Coffee Roasters offers hints of mild chocolate, caramel, red apple and hazelnut proving to be a crowd favourite.

So, are you an Arabica or Robusta lover?