There are a wide variety of coffee types out there, but the most widely used are arabica and robusta. Keep reading to find out what makes these beans so popular.
Arabica Coffee Beans
Arabica coffee beans makes up about 60 percent of the coffee production in the world. This type of coffee is made from the Coffea arabica plant found in Ethiopia. It grows well in warm tropical climates, usually near the equator. Arabica is commonly grown in the countries of Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil, and Ethiopia.
What Makes Arabica Coffee Beans Unique
Arabica coffee tastes mildly acidic with a hint of chocolate, caramel, and nuts. The roast or brand that you buy can also affect the flavor of the brewed coffee. Most of the coffee that you purchase at the local coffee shop or grocery store is made using arabica coffee beans. Compared to robusta, arabica has slightly less caffeine, only 1.5 percent. Arabica is also a sweeter coffee, and it has twice as much sugar, part of the reason why its taste is so well liked.
Arabica coffee usually costs more than robusta, because it is harder to grow. It grows well in humid climates and at higher elevations, such as the tropical regions mentioned earlier. Arabica plants take longer to grow and harvest as well. The beans are large, oval in shape, and smell like blueberries when roasted.
What We Love About Arabica
There are many benefits to drinking arabica coffee. It keeps you alert and awake. This coffee is low in calories, contains antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. It goes well with most meals, and it provides a delicious beverage for a coffee break.
Robusta Coffee Beans
Robusta coffee is made from coffee beans from the coffea canephora plant. It originated in Central and Western Africa, and is now often grown in Africa, Indonesia, Brazil, India, Thailand, and Vietnam. Robusta has a dark, rich, sometimes slightly bitter taste and is often used for making espresso and instant coffee.
What Makes Robusta Coffee Beans Robust
The robusta plant has to be cross pollinated when it grows (it has to be pollinated with pollen from another plant). It grows well in full sun, and it withstands high temperatures when growing, making it a little heartier. It also grows more quickly than arabica, only taking two years for plants to mature. When fully grown, the robusta plant produces more beans than other types of coffee plants. The high caffeine level helps the plants fight off pests and disease.
The price of robusta coffee is usually less than arabica. The beans are also smaller, thicker, and darker in color. There are many benefits that come with drinking coffee made with robusta. It helps increase alertness and concentration. It can also be a great beverage to have for those working towards weight loss because it is low in calories and goes with many different flavors.
Why We Love Robusta
A good quality robusta coffee adds character and taste to espresso. It has a stronger, more earthy flavor than arabica normally does. The bean has twice as much caffeine as arabica coffee, making it a great choice to use in espresso which is usually drank in smaller quantities.
How to Pick a Good Bag of Coffee or Beans
If you’re looking for excellent coffee or coffee beans, purchase your coffee from a respected roaster or coffee shop. These venues carry quality coffee and they are selective about what they purchase. Check the roast date when purchasing coffee so that you know you are buying fresh beans. You can also check to see if there are any cupping notes or information about the region the coffee is grown on the packaging, or ask your retailer.
Looking for a taste of fresh, flavorful coffee? Drop by Mochas & Javas, a coffee shop in San Marcos, TX, and we’ll be happy to serve you a cup of your favorite!