The Inside Truth Between the Robusta and Arabica Coffee Beans

With over several coffee bean varieties scattered across different regions, it is surprising to know that our favorite cup of espresso perhaps came from one of the two most popularly produced beans around the world. Despite the varying taste and individual attributes of our favorite brands of coffee, they all came from these two beans: the robusta (coffea canephora) and the arabica.


robusta and arabica coffee beans


Cultivated in many coffee-producing countries such as Brazil and Ethiopia, these beans are the most widely produced source of coffee in the world. Each coffee is distinct from each other and delivers a unique taste to a coffee drinker’s palate. Other factors such as the region from which they came in and the roasting method are what determines the variety of finished product that we know today.

Get to know more about what these wonderful beans can bring to the table with these major comparisons.

Which contains more caffeine content?

Unlike it’s bitter counterpart, the robusta beans are known to contain more caffeine content than the Arabica beans. In fact, the robusta beans contain 1.8 – 4.0 percent caffeine content which is twice the caffeine content found in arabica beans which only yield 0.9-1.4 percent. This is one of the main reasons why coffee made from robusta beans yield a bolder and stronger taste than coffee made from arabica beans.

Which is easier to grow?

Believe it or not, robusta beans are easier to grow than arabica beans. Most coffee producers harvest robusta beans since their variety is more resistant to disease and insects than the arabica variety. The robusta plant is also known to produce harvest three times more than the arabica plant.

Arabica beans are harder to cultivate since they require to be planted on the mountains above 600 meters while robusta beans can be planted at lower altitudes. Robusta beans are also cheaper to produce due to the less labor-intensive requirements it needs to be both produced and harvested.

Which produces a better quality bean?

Most coffee growers agree that the high-maintenance arabica beans are better not just in physical appearance but also in quality than the cheaper robusta beans. The arabica beans are slightly larger and more elliptical than the robusta beans, which are smaller and rounder than its counterpart.

Arabica beans which are both mild and aromatic due to its shape are imbued with subtle and varied flavors than the robusta beans. The robusta beans are often classified to come from the lowest grades which are believed to be more suited for instant coffee. Although there are horticultural practices aimed at improving the quality of these beans, most often arabica beans are more desirable than the robusta beans.

Which produces better-tasting coffee?

Caffeine content is one of the determining factors on what makes a good cup of coffee. However, avid coffee drinkers and coffee experts suggest that there is more to coffee than caffeine. The aroma and the hint of flavors are other factors that were taken into great consideration that help determine what makes a good cup of coffee.

Despite its amazing caffeine content, coffee made from arabica beans are considered high quality than that of the robusta beans. The sugar and lipid content found in arabica beans is found to be 60 percent higher than in robusta beans, which explains how most coffee drinkers prefer the taste of coffee produced by arabica beans. However, coffee created from robusta beans are also making a spot among coffee drinkers due to its bolder taste.

Which beans are produced more in the market?

Despite the robusta beans’ inherent trait of being able to produce more harvest than the arabica beans, arabica beans compose over 75 percent of the total coffee beans produced in the entire world. Robusta beans comprise 25 percent of the entire equation.

Despite the huge leaps indifference found within these beans, it has come to show that both beans are known to produce the high-quality roasts. One has to consider other important elements such as the climate where the beans were made and the roasting method in which they were exposed to affect the entirely finished coffee bean product.

No matter what cup you will be enjoying today, keep in mind that they came from these wonderful beans.