What is Robusta?Robusta, which is the second most popular coffee after Arabica, is a type of coffee produced from the beans of the Coffea Canephora plant. It originated in central and western portions of sub-Saharan Africa. Almost %40 of the coffee consumed in a day is Coffee Robusta (1), which is a pretty impressive rate considering the fact that there are more than 100 coffee species all around the globe.
How does Robusta grow?The Robusta coffee plant is remarkably tough. It can withstand hot temperatures, sunshine and it is resilient against pests and diseases. All it wants is water, it likes staying hydrated. You know what they say; a hydrated Robusta is a happy life. Contrary to its cousin Arabica, Robusta coffee beans grow at low altitudes, the optimum altitude for it is below 600 meters. Its flowers are white, similar to most of the coffee plants, and the fruits turn deep red as it ripens. It might take six or eight months to do so. Each of the fruits are called cherry, and they will typically make two coffee beans. When growing in the wild, it grows about ten meters tall. However, farmers who are growing Robusta beans tend to keep them approximately half that height to guarantee that the harvest is efficient. Robusta is mostly grown in Vietnam, India, Africa and Brazil. The largest producer is Vietnam, followed by Brazil. (2)
What is Robusta used for?
- You were probably drinking your instant coffee while reading this. If so, you’ll be surprised once you hear that Robusta Coffee is mostly used to make instant coffees. Why you ask? It is because Robusta is cheaper than Arabica. The process of producing instant coffee means a large amount of coffee is lost and there is no way to prevent that. Thus, Robusta is more preferable than Arabica because it won’t hurt losing some Robusta in comparison.
- Typically, Robusta is used in blends. To those of you who don’t know what a coffee blend is, it is a coffee which is made up of coffee beans originating from different places. Robusta’s duty in a blend is adding more caffeine and earth flavors to Arabica for a better taste. It is also used to add a delicious crema to espresso blends
What does Robusta taste like?It is hard to describe the taste of a type of coffee which varies greatly in certain countries, but let’s give it a try. In general, Robusta beans have a stronger and more bitter taste than Arabica. It has a unique, well-seasoned earthly aroma. One might say it has more “brownish” notes such as grain, earth, chocolate. In addition, it has an easily distinguishable peanutty aftertaste. Besides, Robusta, with 2.7%, has roughly the double the caffeine content that Arabica, with 1.5%, has. (3) If you are a night-owl, Robusta might be the one for you.
Why should you choose Robusta coffee?From a customer’s point of view, it has two features that attract people. Firstly, it is cheaper than Arabica on markets, selling at around half of the price. Finally, it has a very distinctive taste which is very different from the other coffees. Personally, what makes Robusta appealing to me is its unique taste. Ultimately, it is a matter of personal taste; it might be the perfect choice for those who love bitter tastes and strong coffees, on the other hand, it might not be suitable for those who prefer low-caffeine coffees. However, I highly recommend at least trying it. In the end, you may find an excellent taste and expand your coffee culture.
Robusta Coffee: 101
A proud coffee aficionado who is determined to share his passion and knowledge about coffee with others. Writing and sci-fi are sine qua non of my life. It is not a good day for me if I haven’t had my coffee in the morning.
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