This is another one of the most commonly asked questions among our customers in 2023:
Is there really much of a difference between Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee? If you’re planning on picking up a batch of gourmet coffee, does it really matter if you choose either of these types of coffee beans?
The short answer… well, it largely comes down to your own personal preferences. With so many different types of coffee beans within both categories, it’s not as if you can realistically say that one category is ‘better’ than the other. Some specialty coffee connoisseurs may tell you differently, but it’s all down to your tastes.
That said, there are some definite and distinct differences between Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee, which are worth familiarising yourself with a future reference. Along with being two very different coffee species in general, the characteristics of Arabica coffee and Robusta beans are also separated in a number of ways, including the following:
For example, Arabica coffee typically has a significantly lower caffeine content than Robusta. Once again, whether or not this represents a good thing or a bad thing comes entirely down to your own personal preferences. Robusta beans usually have a caffeine content in the region of 2.8%, while gourmet coffee produced with Arabica beans may have a caffeine content of no more than around 1.6%.
As for the aroma and flavour profile, there are very different opinions regarding the qualities that define both Arabica coffee and Robusta. Those who are extremely partial to the best Robusta celebrate its smoky and almost charred flavour. However, others will confidently claim that low quality Robusta has a fragrance not dissimilar to that of burning rubber. Typically indicating you’ve picked up a severely substandard batch!
The market for both Arabica coffee and Robusta worldwide is simply enormous. Nevertheless, Arabica coffee and Robusta beans tend to be used for somewhat different purposes. While the vast majority of gourmet coffee is produced using Arabica beans, Robusta finds its way into most cheaper and generic mass-produced coffees. The reason being that with such plentiful supply of the latter beans, Robusta beans typically sell for around 50% less than their Arabica coffee counterparts.
Just in case you wondered, the answer is yes – you can identify Arabica coffee and Robusta, simply by looking at the beans. Robusta beans tend to be relatively circular in shape, while Arabica coffee beans are oval. Put the two side by side and the difference will immediately become obvious.
Last but not least, it’s really not up to us to specify which of the two primary types of coffee bean provides maximum enjoyment. There are literally too many different types of coffee beans available within both categories to make generalisations. You could certainly argue that all gourmet coffee is Arabica coffee, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t also some good Robusta coffees on the market (though rarer than specialty grade Arabica coffee).
So our advice as usual – try out as many as you can and see which works best for you!
At Hayman’s online coffee store you will find only the best coffee in the world. Our incredible menu includes delicious and very famous coffees, such as Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, the best Kona coffee Hawaii produces, and Panama Geisha coffee beans (aka Gesha coffee). All of our specialty coffee is roasted just before being shipped to you for amazing freshness – click here to order today, we offer free worldwide shipping!