Arabica Beans vs Robusta Beans
There are many types of coffee beans out there, but the most common ones are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans come from the plant species Coffea Arabica and are typically found in higher altitudes.
Robusta beans are one of the most popular types of coffee beans because they're big, oily, and have a stronger flavor. They're known for their caffeine content as well as their potential health benefits which include lowering blood pressure.
Arabica coffee beans, also known as the "coffee of Arabia", is a type of coffee bean with low acidity and a sweet flavor. Arabica is grown at an altitude above 2,000 meters and needs between 600-1,200 millimeters of rain per year. The Arabica bean has larger beans than the Robusta bean and as such, there is less surface area for roasting. Arabica beans have a premium taste and a lower caffeine content than the Robusta bean.
The Arabica coffee tree blooms in spring and can produce up to eight pounds of coffee berries per year, but typically produces between one and three pounds. Arabica trees can grow from 15–20 meters tall. Arabica trees yield the most consistent flavor when planted at a ratio of 1 male to 4 females. In areas with little access to water, it is common that farmers will intercrop tobacco to increase their returns from the land by harvesting both crops at the same time. The preferred method for growing Arabica is shade cultivation, where a tree cover is maintained during all stages of development.
Robusta coffee beans are the less expensive variety that is utilized by largest coffee companies. It lends a heavier flavor that is not as sweet as Arabica beans. These beans are also more bitter and acidic, which is why they need to be ground longer to produce a better-tasting brew.
Robusta has about one-third the amount of caffeine as Arabica, but it does contain 500% more chlorogenic acid-which can lower blood glucose levels. Robusta also contains 10% more vitamin C than Arabica.
Robusta trees grow taller and wider than Arabica, which makes them ideal for growing in lower elevations and in climates that are inhospitable to many other crops. Since Robusta trees thrive in adverse conditions, they can be grown on land that is otherwise unusable for growing most other crops.
Robusta beans are also easier to grow and produce more yield than Arabica. They actually produce more coffee than Arabica on a per tree basis. Because of these reasons, Robusta coffee beans cost less to produce, but they do not offer as much flavor as the Arabica bean.