The Better Bean
Arabica vs Robusta
Robusta Coffee originates from sub-Saharan Africa. It is made from a more hearty plant (Coffea Canephora), it is easily cared for, yields a large crop and has almost double the quantity of caffeine and antioxidants. Therefore, they are less susceptible to disease and pests because caffeine is a natural repellant and anti-microbial agent (it kills harmful microorganisms). It is therefore used by many coffee producers because these specific traits make it easier to grow and harvest and therefore produce a significantly cheaper product. Most instant coffees are made from the Robusta coffee bean. Economic decisions drive many coffee producers to use this bean and it is not necessarily chosen because of quality or flavor.
Robusta coffee is often described as bitter with a burnt wood or earthy flavor. The flavor is strong and almost harsh. The caffeine content considerably adds to the flavor because caffeine naturally carries a bitter taste. High-quality washed Robusta beans are often used in espresso blends or by some roasters to extend their house blends, especially Italian style blends.
Many mainstream coffee roasters are said to over-roast the Robusta coffee bean to mask the undesirable characteristics of the bean. And although, contrary to popular belief, darker roasted beans have less caffeine than lightly roasted beans. A cup of “strong” coffee doesn’t necessarily mean high-caffeine content or quality of bean, it more accurately describes the dark, or bitter, flavor.
Still today, many coffee connoisseurs often conclude that a dark or burned coffee is associated with superior quality – but this is easily disproved through a blind taste test. Even novice coffee drinkers will be able to discern which bean is the more flavorsome and appetizing.
Originally indigenous to the shadowy mountain forests of Ethiopia, Coffea Arabica is said to be the first species of coffee cultivated and represents about 70% of global production today.
Because Arabica coffee is shade grown in the mountains, it is much more difficult to grow and harvest than Robusta and also yields a smaller crop. This greatly contributes to its higher price on the market.
Arabica coffee is well-known for its flavor, it has less than half the caffeine content than the Robusta bean and therefore results in a full-bodied, rich and naturally aromatic brew. Many breweries specialize in lightly infusing their coffees with subtle and varied flavors like vanilla or chocolate.
Lately there has been an increase in the awareness and appreciation for the many taste profiles of good coffee. More and more micro-breweries or boutique roasters are specializing in roasting high-quality Arabica beans with no need to over-roast or burn the beans to mask unwanted characteristics. These breweries use a roast profile suited to the specific bean and bring out the best flavor, aroma and ultimately the most satisfying end result.
Many people are seeing through the widely advertised, popular coffee chains that market a high-quality coffee yet use over-roasted Robusta beans for economic reasons and depend mainly on the presentation of the drink and not the flavor.
Boutique roasters are more frequently being turned to since the demand for a high quality cup is exceedingly favored.
Excellent quality Arabica coffee is more readily available and makes it increasingly convenient to have a cup (or two) of indulgent brew right in the comfort of your own home.
Now you have it, the reason why we sell only 100% pure Arabica coffee.