Coffee, just the perfect drink to kick off your morning routine. A cup of coffee before work is a mood booster for sure. It can even make your day much better than it should be. Making the perfect coffee, however, is a challenge. First, you should know your coffee. What kind of coffee beans do you prefer? Is it Arabica coffee or Robusta Coffee? Do you know the difference between the two?
Well, they both belong to the same plant family called Rubiaceae, but they are different species. The main difference between Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee comes down to the flavor and characteristics of the bean itself. In general, Arabica coffee is considered smoother and sweeter than Robusta coffee and often has chocolate and fruity undertones. One reason why Robusta coffee is bitterly flavored is because it contains more caffeine than Arabica coffee. This sounds like a positive thing –for those who love the caffeine effect– but caffeine carries a bitter taste, which makes it a bit unpleasant. In fact, the Robusta bean has 2.7% caffeine content, almost double the 1.5% of Arabica. In the other hand, Arabica Coffee contains twice the concentration of sugar than Robusta. This, of course, contributes to the sweeter and more enjoyable taste of Arabica coffee.
Arabica coffee is also a more delicate species than Robusta coffee. Slight climatic changes may have dramatic effects on the yields and health of Arabica coffee. Robusta coffee is easier to grow on the farm, has a higher yield and is less sensitive to insects. These factors help lower the agricultural costs, making Robusta coffee much less expensive than Arabica coffee.
So, is Arabica coffee simply better than Robusta coffee? Not necessarily. Robusta is still widely used in espresso blends –specifically Italian style blends. While its flavor is considered less refined, it is known to produce a better crema than Arabica. Adding Robusta coffee to an espresso blend also gives an extra boost of caffeine, something that some people would love from their coffee. Thus, many popular espresso blends contain both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans.
The International Coffee Organization estimates that around 60% of the world’s coffee are Arabica coffee. As for Indonesia, it produces more Robusta coffee than Arabica. 80% of Robusta coffee and 20% of Arabica coffee are grown in all coffee fields in Indonesia. This is mainly due to the fact that Robusta coffee beans are easier to handle. Yet amazingly, Indonesia is also home to the most unique and expensive Arabica coffee beans in the world. Sumatra Gayo Coffee and Mandheling Coffee, for example, their unique flavors have drawn interest from coffee lovers around the globe.
Now, after learning about Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee, plus the great difference between the two species, which one do you prefer? Arabica coffee with its delicate flavor? Or Robusta coffee, the more caffeine-packed brother? Or just settle down with a blend of both worlds? That works too. Whatever you like best, you are welcome to discuss it with us at Coffee Arks. We provide coffee beans from across Indonesia that will definitely enrich your knowledge of coffee. And we always love to meet anyone who respects good quality coffee.