Arabica and Robusta
May 30, 2018

Arabica coffee is a type of coffee made from the beans of the Coffea arabica plant. Arabica originated in the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and is the most popular kind of coffee worldwide – making up 60% or more of coffee production in the world.

Second to arabica in popularity is robusta coffee which is made from the beans of the Coffea canephora plant.

11 Differences:

  1. Arabica has less caffeine than robusta. Arabica contains 1.5?ffeine content whereas robusta contains 2.7%. Caffeine has a bitter flavor – which makes arabica less bitter than robusta.
  2. Arabica contains more sugar than robusta. Arabica has almost twice as much sugar content as robusta.
  3. Arabica contains more lipids than robusta. There are around 60% more lipids (fats, oils, waxes, certain vitamins, hormones…) in arabica coffee.
  4. Arabica flavor has higher acidity than robusta. This is much like the acidity which makes wine taste good. It adds to the fruit, chocolate and nutty flavors in arabica coffee. Robusta is lower in this quality which lends to the woody or burnt rubber flavor.
  5. Arabica is more popular than robusta. Arabica makes up 60% – 75% or more of worldwide coffee production. Robusta makes up the other 40% or less.
  6. Arabica has a more pleasant flavor than robusta.
  7. Arabica is more expensive than robusta. Arabica is more difficult to cultivate because of how sensitive it is to the environment, and the fact that it produces less per hectare than robusta. It also tastes better which makes the demand higher.
  8. Arabica is more fragile than robusta. Arabica prefers a consistent climate (no harsh changes) and temps between 15 and 24 °C (59 and 75 °F) whereas robusta can handle higher temps 18°-36°C (64-97°F) and harsher changes in climate. Arabica also prefers a humid climate compared to robusta which can handle more direct sunlight and more drastic changes in rainfall.
  9. Arabica beans are shaped and colored differently than robusta. The arabica bean is slightly larger with an oval shape, and the robusta is more round. The raw arabica bean is also lighter in color than the robusta bean.
  10. Arabica produces less per year than robusta. This makes arabica more expensive to grow than it\'s opponent.
  11. Arabica beans smell different than robusta. The arabica coffee bean smells a bit like blueberries before it\'s roasted, the robusta smells kind of like peanuts.