Arabica vs Robusta

by Nuri Yaylali

There are over 65 countries known for coffee production worldwide. Amongst these countries, Ethiopia stands out as one of the countries where a large variety of coffee beans can be found. While there remains a wide possibility of developing more coffee with different blend and brew, it should also be noted that the quality of coffee ultimately depends on the type of beans, the soil, and other climatic conditions in the region where the beans are cultivated.

In this article, we will be discussing the unique features of two common and high-quality beans used in the production of coffee. They are the Arabica beans and the Robusta beans. Making a choice from the brew made with either of these beans is easy because their characteristics are different, for example, the Arabica beans are characteristically milder, it has a stronger aroma due to the high quality rounded pallet which gives off mild flavors. The Robusta beans, on the other hand, have a stronger taste, and it contains more caffeine. The farmers have pointed out that they tend to use Robusta beans in the production of coffee more often because it is easier to grow and harvest. Hence the coffee produced is cheaper. Robusta is cultivated on farms with flat topography and at low altitudes which makes it less labor intensive to produce. Farmers, however, expect more profits when they cultivate the Robusta beans because the plant has been discovered to be more resistant to crop diseases and insects (due to the high concentration of caffeine which repels insects). Obviously, healthy crops will produce a higher amount of coffee.

The Arabica coffee plants are grown at a high altitude of about 600 meters because they need to be grown in shades high up the mountains. Hence, it is quite tasking to cultivate and harvest the Arabica coffee plants. However, the best coffee in the world is produced from Arabica beans which make it imperative that the farmers find ways to overcome the difficulties in cultivating and harvesting the Arabica coffee beans. It should also be noted that there has been some substandard Arabica coffee bean discovered in the market. This means, even though the brand indicates the coffee beans are Arabica, the product might not give the high-quality taste attributed to coffee made from Arabica beans. Pricing may be a good way to tell the difference in quality.