Arabica coffee vs Robusta coffee

Arabica coffee vs Robusta coffee

Arabica coffee vs Robusta coffee

As great lovers of specialty coffee, you have surely noticed that many specialty coffees claim to be 100% Arabica. But did you know that there are many species of coffee?

Furthermore, there are two that are generally used for consumption: Arabica and Canephora, better known as Robusta.

The coffee plant belongs to the Rubiaceae family. It should be noted that, Arabica and Robusta are two significant species for the economic genus and based on these species the varietals that we know are derived such as Bourbon, Typica, Tabi, Geisha: among others.

Arabica Coffee

The Arabica specie is native to central Ethiopia. The name Arabica was given to this species of coffee by botanist Carolus Linnaeus, who incorrectly believed that it originated on the Arabian Peninsula in modern Yemen.

Many experts consider that Arabica coffee was the first species of coffee that was cultivated and for it represents between 70 and 80% of world production.

Café Arábica

Arabica coffee vs Robusta coffee

Arabica coffee production

Arabica coffee

Arabica coffee is the most widely produced coffee spice around the world and is found in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, China, and a variety of islands in the Caribbean and Pacific.

Gourmet coffees are almost exclusively mild varieties of high-quality Arabica coffee, and among the best-known Arabica coffee beans in the world, Colombian specialty coffee beans stand out.

Arabica coffee vs Robusta coffee

Robusta Coffee

This species is much more resistant to diseases and pests. This resistance can be partly explained by its higher caffeine content, and it generally produces a larger crop than Arabica.

Green Robusta beans are typically 40-50% cheaper than Arabica beans. The quality of Robusta coffees ranges from the lowest grades suitable only for inexpensive instant coffee to higher growing washed Robusta, considered suitable by some roasters to extend their blends.

Robusta coffee is grown in Central and West Africa, throughout Southeast Asia, and a little in Brazil. Good horticultural practices could produce better quality Robusta, but one would not expect to find any Robusta that compares favorably with good Arabica.

Café Robusta

Arabica coffee vs Robusta coffee

Arabica vs Robusta


An important reason for the differentiation of flavors is that Robusta coffee has more caffeine than Arabica. Which may sound positive, but caffeine tastes bitter.

Bean Traits:

Arabica coffee beans are slightly larger and have an elliptical shape compared to smaller, rounder Robusta beans. There are also structural differences between the beans, which may explain why both beans are roasted differently under identical conditions.

Plant height:

Arabica coffee plant generally grows between 2.5 and 5 meters compared to Robusta’s height of 4.5 to 6 meters.


Robusta coffee has a higher caffeine content. So it is used quite frequently in instant coffee. In fact, the Robusta bean has a caffeine content of 2.7%, almost double the 1.5% of Arabica.

Lipid and sugar content:

Arabica coffee contains almost 60% more lipids and almost twice the concentration of sugar than Robusta. This factor also probably has a big impact on why we prefer the Arabica flavor.

Chlorogenic Acid Content (CGA):

CGA is a significant antioxidant and insect deterrent. Robusta has CGA content 7-10% and Arabica has CGA content 5.5-8%.


Approximately 75% of world coffee production is Arabica, while 25% is Robusta. Latin America is the largest Arabica producer in the world, while Vietnam produces the largest amount of Robusta coffee. In addition, the Arabica spice has a flowering time of 7 to 9 months, while the Robusta coffee has a flowering time of 9 to 11 months.

Arábica vs Robusta

In conclusion, is Robusta coffee bad? The answer is no.

It is a fact that all the best tasting specialty coffee is made from Arabica beans that are naturally smooth and aromatic, with a rich round palette with subtle and delicate flavors that lean towards the fruity side. While Robusta beans produce a harder and bitter tasting cup with much more caffeine.

But as we have always said, the flavor will depend a lot on the palate of the person and what flavor you want to get in your roast, personally we prefer a cup, more delicate, sweet and with fruity notes that is why we are fans of the Arabica species. But what flavor do you feel identified with?

If you enjoyed this article, we recommend you to read Where coffee originated

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