The difference between arabica and robusta can be seen from the following things:
- Arabica is more popular than Robusta.
- Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora.
- Planting Robusta is easier.
- Robusta is more resistant to pests.
- Arabica coffee bean size larger.
- The aroma and taste of arabica is richer.
- The caffeine content of Robusta is twice as much.
- Robusta is more suitable to be mixed with milk.
- Robusta price is cheaper.
There are two types of coffee that are often heard by laypeople, namely Robusta coffee and Arabica coffee. Do you know what is the basic difference between the two?
Most people say robusta is more bitter than arabica which tends to be more acidic. Yes, that is indeed one of the many differences between the two. There are still some differences that may not be known by everyone.
For that, we present some information relating to what are the differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee. Hopefully, it can broaden your horizons so that you don’t just sip it, but also recognize the character of the type of coffee you drink. Check out the following review.
Read too: History and Types of World Coffee
1. The Origin of Arabica and Robusta Coffee
Almost all literature says that the Arabica coffee plant was first discovered in Ethiopia. Then, coffee was popularized into drinks and spread throughout the world by the Arabs.
Europeans began to recognize coffee around the 16th century through the port of Mocha in Yemen. They tried to cultivate in their own country but often failed because the coffee plants could not grow well there. Some countries in Europe then bring this plant to other regions, one way is to utilize the colony or its colony.
While the origin of Robusta coffee can be a popular drink that cannot be separated from the role of Indonesia. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Dutch brought these native African plants on a large scale to Indonesia for cultivation.
The cultivation of Robusta coffee by the Dutch is to replace Arabica which is attacked by leaf rust or Hemileia vastatrix. Arabica plants are very fragile against these pests, while Robusta has a stronger resistance. At that time, Indonesia also had become the largest coffee exporter in the world.
2. Scientific Classification
Both Arabica and Robusta are both included in the Rubiaceae tribe with the genus Coffea. Based on the type or species, Arabica coffee has the scientific name Coffea arabica, while Robusta is named Coffea canephora.
Difference between Arabica Coffee and Robusta Coffee – Coffee Plants
You must be wondering, why Coffea canephora can be called Robusta. The term would have been inherent and commonly used by people for cultivation with commercial purposes.
Actually, the understanding of robusta coffee is one of the original varieties of Coffea canephora, namely Coffea canephora var. Robusta However, because people more often and used to refer to Robusta, this name is used to refer to the species.
3. Planting Environment
Coffea arabica plants can grow well at an altitude of 1,000-2,000 meters above sea level. This plant can actually still grow in the lowlands. However, the growth will not be optimal, so the yield will be bad.
Arabica plants require 1,500-2,500 mm of rainfall per year. The average temperature needed for the growth and development of this plant is in the range of 15-25 ° C.
While Coffea canephora plants can grow well at an altitude of 0-900. The most ideal land height is 400-800 meters above sea level. The average temperature needed for growth and development is around 24-30 ° C with 1,500-3,000 mm of rainfall per year.
4. Robusta Plants Are More Resistant to Pests
Plants certainly do not escape from pests and diseases. Plague that attacks will affect the coffee produced. Arabica coffee plants have weak resistance, while robusta coffee plants have the advantage of being more resistant to pests and diseases.
In addition, Robusta plants are easier in terms of maintenance and harvest. Arabica fruits fall off easily from the stalks when ripe so need careful harvesting before the fruit falls. While Robusta, ripe fruit remains firmly attached to the stem, does not fall off like arabica.
5. Comparison of Coffee Bean Size
One difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans can be seen in terms of size and shape. Arabica coffee beans are bigger than Robusta. The shape of Robusta seeds tends to be rounded, while Arabica seeds are oval-shaped.
6. Richer Aroma and Taste of Arabica
This type of arabica coffee is more desirable because of its unique aroma and flavor. The hallmark of Arabica coffee is its sour taste and steeping color that is not too thick. Because of this uniqueness, this type is more often developed so that several new varieties emerge from it.
New varieties of Arabica cultivation have different tastes in each region. There are many factors that affect the diversity of these flavors. The most determining factor is the condition of the weather, soil, climate, and the results of crossbreeding.
Difference between Arabica Coffee and Robusta Coffee – Coffee in Jars
While Robusta coffee tends to have a nutty, coarse, and more bitter flavor compared to Arabica. This type is less popular to be developed like arabica. Most only the plant endurance is taken by crossing it with arabica to produce hybrid varieties.
Because the taste of the coffee is so strong and bitter, it is suitable to be a drink mixed with milk. In addition, Robusta is also a raw material that is often used for instant coffee production.
7. Caffeine content of Robusta coffee is greater than Arabica
The bitter taste produced by Robusta coffee is a sign of the large amount of caffeine it contains. The caffeine content of Robusta is roughly twice that of Arabica. Therefore, Arabica coffee will not find excessive bitter or bitter taste like Robusta.
8. More suitable beverage offerings
Because of its bitter taste, Robusta coffee is more suitable for mixing with milk. Examples of drinks that are more suitable to use Robusta coffee include latte, cappuccino, mochaccino, Vietnamese drip, and other processed milk coffee.
While Arabica coffee is more often enjoyed as a single origin. Especially in the era of Third Wave Coffee where people began to want more detailed information about their coffee. This is caused by the diversity of Arabica varieties with different taste characters in each region.
9. World Production Level
Two types of commercial coffee are indeed popular in the world. However, when compared, Arabica is still more popular and loved than Robusta.
Approximately, 70% of world coffee production is dominated by arabica species. While Robusta is only around 28%. The rest is the production of other types of coffee such as liberika, excelsa, and others.
Some of the largest coffee-producing countries with the majority of Arabica production are Brazil, Colombia, and Ethiopia. Whereas the biggest and best Robusta producing countries are Vietnam and Indonesia.
10. Robusta Coffee Prices Are Cheaper Than Arabica Coffee
Robusta has a cheaper price than Arabica. This is because the popularity of Robusta is inferior to Arabica which has a wide variety of varieties. In addition, the maintenance and cultivation of Robusta is also easier than Arabica.
Read too: Coffee: History, Types, Coffee Benefits