Arabica vs Robusta | What is the difference and the facts? (2023)

Arabica vs Robusta | What is the difference and the facts? (1) by the Allann Bros coffee team.| Last update:November 19, 2020

When it comes to Arabica vs. Robust, there are actually a few things to consider. Although Arabica and Robusta coffee beans are the two most popular coffee categories today, their differences are so clear that discerning buyers want to fully understand the difference and choose which one to coffee beans.

In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about Arabica x Robusta coffee.

Arabica vs Robusta | What is the difference and the facts? (2)

12 Differences Between Arabica and Robusta Coffee Beans

Believe it or not, you can actually tell the difference between Arabica and Robusta beans just by visual inspection.

In this section of our Arabica and Robusta coffee guide, we'll take a look at twelve ways to tell the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee. Keep reading!

Arabica vs Robusta | What is the difference and the facts? (3)

1. Visual differences - (shape, size and color of grains):

Of course, there are roasted and unroasted coffee beans. In fact, there are visual differences that appear in both strains, which we will now examine.

Unroasted form:

In its unroasted form, Arabica is clearly green in color and oval in shape. There is also a well-defined ridge that divides the bean in half. Robusta, on the other hand, looks a little different. The grain is more circular in shape, and while green is still the color, it is somewhat offset by brown notes. The dividing line, though also in the middle, is not so clearly defined.

roasted shape:

In roasted form, the optical differences are apparently the same. Obviously, just roasting does not significantly change the shape and other physical properties. However, you will notice that the coloring is slightly different.

Roasted Arabica beans acquire a beautiful black appearance, while Obusta beans have a distinctive roasted brown.

(Video) Differences between Arabica Vs Robusta Coffee

2. Cost of Beans:

It is known that Arabica beans tend to be more expensive than the Robusta alternative. There could be several reasons for this. For one thing, Robusta beans, as the name suggests, are quite robust. That is, large portions of the crop tend to survive until harvest, making it more profitable.

Most people also find arabica beans to be more desirable, which likely further contributes to their cost.

3. Flavor and flavor profile:

Arabica coffee is famous for its dessert notes. For example, you can identify honey, caramel, chocolate, sugar, etc. on the flavor profile of your Arabica coffee. Of course, these are very popular flavors among consumers.

Robusta, on the other hand, is not so romantically described. Rather, it is more likely to be associated with much more bitter content. It tends to have an almost burnt flavor and can be a little off-putting to the more arabica consumer.

4. Caffeine content:

Robusta coffee tends to have a much higher caffeine content. Of course, both are full of things that make you nervous, but if you're looking for something more powerful, Robusta is undoubtedly the better choice.

5. Lipid and sugar content:

The lipid and sugar content of these two categories of coffee is actually quite similar, although there are differences to be aware of. Robusta coffee tends to be average10% FettContent, while Arabica is around 15%.

Of course, these are just average values. You will find that the actual contents of your beans can vary quite a bit.

6. Antioxidant Content:

On average, Robusta coffee even wins in the antioxidant department. Here you understandten per centChlorogenic acid.

(Video) The Difference Between ARABICA and ROBUSTA - The Two Best Friends that Hate Each Other

Arabica, on the other hand, is around 8%. The difference isn't huge, of course, but it's worth mentioning for anyone looking to maximize the coffee's health factor.

7. Chromosome content (n=11):

Arabica is way ahead in the chromosome department with 44, double the 22 chromosomes you might expect from the average Robusta. While the average coffee drinker might not think much of it when tasting it, it's an interesting fact.

8. Country of origin:

Typically grown primarily in Africa, Robusta coffee can survive in almost any conditions, making it suitable for the harsher climate there.

Arabica, on the other hand, tends to play a bigger role in Latin America.

9. Coffee Plants:

Despite the many differences in flavor and uniform appearance, both beans come from different types of coffee plants. While there are differences in visual and flavor characteristics, the actual nature of the plant remains the same.

10. Harvest:

When it comes to cultivation, there really isn't any significant difference in the process. In both cases, the coffee beans are grown on coffee plantations, harvested when ripe (coffee looks more like a fruit than a bean and comes from the seed of the plant) and then roasted at a moderate temperature to obtain the desired product. . In the store.

Ultimately, growing methods depend more on company practices than plant specifications.

11. Culture conditions:

Robusta is so called because the plant is robust in constitution. It is a very long-lived plant, capable of thriving even in the extreme conditions of the African climate in which it is normally harvested.

(Video) Quick Tip: Arabica vs. Robusta Coffee Beans

Arabica coffee plants are a little more particular about their environment. They prefer a slightly milder situation with temperatures in the range of 24 to 70 degrees, which obviously means that the plant only thrives under certain conditions.

12. Trade (uses):

As mentioned, although bothtypes of coffee beansare widespread, Robusta is ultimately much more common than Arabica. Enter any string,coffee shopor restaurant, and you are sure to find that Arabica coffee is served there.

Robusta is still widely cultivated, but it doesn't play as big a role in the export world. Most Robusta coffee will be found in Africa, Indonesia, etc. You can certainly find it in the United States, but it might take a little effort on your part.

#Arabica vs Robusta#
Some facts really drive you crazy to know

What's the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans when it comes to health benefits?

When it comes to health, they will end up being pretty much the same. After all, coffee is a product of the same plant everywhere, so this question is a bit like asking which is better a gala or a crispy apple with honey.

While there is an objectively accurate answer to the question, that doesn't mean that any bean is necessarily bad for you (unless, of course, there's a reason you stay away from caffeine).

Despite this, Robusta is actually a healthier option in this case. This is mainly because it has a higher antioxidant count, which means your body gets a little more. It is also lower in lipids and sugars.

Does this mean you should stay away from Arabica? You're welcome. It just means there's more to Robusta than meets the eye.

Is the coffee on supermarket shelves in the United States usually Robusta coffee beans or Arabica coffee beans?

The coffee on supermarket shelves is almost always Arabica. The reason for this is simply that Arabica coffee is considered more desirable to the American palate. Coffees in the US tend to be a little sweeter than in other parts of the world.

(Video) Arabica or Robusta Coffee: Which is Better? | Coffee Buzz Club |

While you can find coffees in Africa and the Middle East that tend to be more bitter and smoky, coffee in the US tends to be a little milder.

Why do Robusta coffee beans have such a bad reputation? Are there cases where it is better than Arabica?

As mentioned above, there is absolutely no reason to think that Arabica is the best coffee. From a health standpoint, he placed second in a two-bean race. While the flavor profile may not be what the average American consumer expects from their coffee, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the bean.

Depending on your palette, you may prefer Robusta. Either way, quality beans will always give the drinker an experience they are sure to enjoy. In other words, Robusta beans can absolutely be better than Arabicas.

The end result:

I hope this guide, Robusta vs. Arabica, showed that both beans are very good at what they do. Arabica beans certainly have popularity in their favor, but that doesn't mean they're superior.

If you are an American reader, you probably prefer the sweeter notes of chocolate and caramel present in your regular Arabica coffee. However, if you are interested in expanding your palette a bit, you will definitely appreciate the strong smoky flavor of a good Robusta coffee.

In other words, this is a no-win fight.

common questions
— Robusta versus Arabica —

Q1 Is the original espresso a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans?

Indeed it is! Actual composition can vary significantly and no standard bean produces a true espresso. ThereExpresstechnically it refers more to a method of preparation than to a product itself, you can prepare it with the coffee bean that suits you best.

However, the classic Italian espresso you might find in a Sicilian coffee shop is probably made this espresso beanswith a share of 80% Arabica and 20% Robusta. Robusta helps deliver the rich smoky flavor that a good espresso tends to have.

(Video) Coffee University - Arabica vs Robusta

Q2. Does Nestlé use Arabica or Robusta beans for its Nespresso coffee?

Nestlé, and indeed most chains that serve coffee, primarily use Arabica coffee beans. In this case, however, it's usually a bit of Robusta that finds its way into the mix. It's not a lot, maybe five percent, but that added robustness gives the flavor profile a unique enhancement that you might not experience with other producers.

In that sense, Nestlé coffee could be a good opportunity for those interested in taking a dip in the robust waters.


What is the differences between Arabica and Robusta? ›

Arabica tends to have a smoother, sweeter taste, with flavour notes of chocolate and sugar. They often also have hints of fruits or berries. Robusta, on the other hand, has a stronger, harsher and more bitter taste, with grainy or rubbery overtones.

What are the key differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans and what is the difference between a dark roast and a light roast of coffee beans? ›

Robusta has a more bitter, rubbery and harsh taste. They do contain more caffeine than Arabica beans, which might sound appealing but in actual fact, caffeine has a very bitter and unpleasant taste. Historically, coffee roasters 'dark' roasted their beans to hide these unsavoury flavours.

Which coffee plant is better Arabica or Robusta? ›

Robusta tends to be a hardier, more disease resistant plant than Arabica. It is less expensive to maintain and yields more coffee annually. While Robusta prospers in lowlands such as rain forest, Arabica grows best at high altitudes, from 2,000 feet to 6,000 feet above sea level.

How does Arabica compare to Robusta in terms of caffeine content? ›

One of the main differences between these two beans is the caffeine content. The caffeine content of the Arabica bean is roughly half that of the Robusta bean. The Robusta bean will have up to 2.5% caffeine whereas the Arabica will generally not have more than 1.7.

Why Robusta is better than Arabica? ›

It is also favoured for espresso due to its high levels of caffeine: robusta can sometimes have as much as double the caffeine content as arabica. Not only does this provide an added energy boost, it produces a good layer of “crema” when brewed.

Is Starbucks Coffee arabica or Robusta? ›

It can be complex. It can have body and acidity that is interesting and can be used and played with and blended into new, interesting tastes,” Robinson said. That's why Starbucks only buys arabica coffee beans. “At the end of the day, our heart is in quality,” Robinson said.

Is Mcdonalds Coffee arabica or Robusta? ›

That's why every freshly-ground McCafé® coffee uses 100% Arabica beans grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.

How the growing conditions for Arabica and Robusta beans differ? ›

Arabica tends to grow at around 1,300 – 1,500m, whereas Robusta grows at 900 – 1,000m. This is an average, and both species can deviate from these figures. In fact, Arabica plants can be grown as low as sea level and as high as well over 2,000m. Equally, Robusta can be grown as low as sea level and up to around 1,500m.

Which is more healthy Arabica or Robusta? ›

Additionally, robusta coffee has higher amounts of chlorogenic acid and antioxidants compared to arabica coffee. Studies conducted on the effects of chlorogenic acid have suggested health benefits such as lower blood pressure and higher metabolism, making it an ostensibly healthier coffee choice overall.

Does Folgers use Arabica beans? ›

Developed especially for coffee lovers seeking dark roasted, complex coffee, Folgers Noir® coffees highlight a range of dark, yet smooth roasts. Each distinctively dark selection of 100% Arabica coffee is expertly roasted to create a coffee that is deliciously dark.

Why Robusta is not popular? ›

Robusta is criticised as having rubbery notes and bitterness that may be related to its high caffeine content. Specialty roasters and brewers have largely dismissed it. It's usually destined for the low end of the market and is often used in blends.

Does Folgers use Arabica or Robusta beans? ›

Folgers coffee beans are a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. The Arabica coffee beans are grown in South America and Central America, while the Robusta coffee beans are grown in Africa and Southeast Asia. During the gold rush of the 1870s, the Flourers Company was founded in San Francisco.

What's the best coffee in the world? ›

The world's best coffee
  • Colombian Andean coffee.
  • Ethiopian acidic coffee.
  • Indonesian civet coffee.
  • Yemeni coffee of Mocha.
  • Mexican café de olla.
  • Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
  • Traditional Brazilian cafezinho.
  • Italian espresso.
Mar 17, 2022

What is so special about Arabica coffee? ›

Caffeine itself has a slightly bitter taste, and this shows up in the blending process when Robusta is used, resulting in a bitter and slightly burnt taste. Arabica, by contrast, contains far less caffeine and therefore results in a smoother and less bitter flavour.

Is Robusta coffee low quality? ›

Robusta beans often have very rubbery, bitter, astringent taste; as the caffeine compound has a bitter taste, the extra caffeine in these beans degrades the flavor. Couple that with up to 60% fewer lipids and sugars than Arabica beans, and the Robusta bean doesn't stack up very well in terms of quality.

Why do people prefer Arabica? ›

While there is no truly better coffee, most people seem to prefer Arabica over Robusta because it tastes better. Arabica is smoother and sweeter while Robusta is infamous for its bitter and traditional "coffee" flavor. That being said, it really depends on your flavor preferences.

Is there high quality Robusta? ›

The fact that some Robusta can actually be clean, high-quality, and suitable for inclusion in top-flight espresso blends is something that many American roasters struggle to comprehend. High quality Robusta is difficult to source, with India being one of the few origins that can produce Espresso Grade Robusta.

Which country has the best Robusta coffee? ›

However, in terms of robusta production, Vietnam is the leading producer of robusta coffee globally. Over 90% of the coffee grown and produced in Vietnam is of the robusta variety.

What coffee does Mcdonald's use? ›

Everything you need for a delicious cup at home. Good is brewing with the rich aroma and delicious taste of our 100% Arabica coffee, available in K-Cup® pods, bags and cans in a variety of blends.

Is Dunkin coffee Arabica or Robusta? ›

We use 100 percent Arabica coffee beans and have our own coffee specifications, which are recognized by the industry as a superior grade of coffee. Based on Dunkin' Quality (DDQ) specifications, coffee is milled and processed specifically for Dunkin'.

Is Cuban Coffee Arabica or Robusta? ›

Cuba has been growing coffee from Arabica and Robusta coffee bean varieties for over 200 years. It is mostly grown in the favourable coffee growing area of Sierra Maestra, an eastern mountainous region of Cuba.

Is Maxwell House Robusta or Arabica? ›

It's made from only 100% arabica beans, considered the world's, finest coffee beans, for their rich aroma and robust taste. Give it a try and you'll taste the difference that dedication and quality can bring to your Maxwell House coffee Good just got Great!

Does Nestle use robusta coffee? ›

"Nestle is basically sourcing all their robustas for the Mexico operations from Brazil. The price difference is too large (compared to Vietnam coffee)," said a director at a large commodities trader, adding that Brazilian beans are cheaper.

Who makes Costco's coffee? ›

Several varieties of Kirkland Signature coffee are custom-roasted by Starbucks Coffee Company. In particular, they include the 2.5 pound Kirkland Signature Espresso Blend Coffee, Decaf House Blend Coffee, and Regular House Coffee. The price per pound for Kirkland's Signature House Blend Coffee is $6.20.

Is Arabica more expensive to grow than Robusta? ›

Because it's harder to plant and grow, Arabica is more expensive than Robusta.

Are Robusta beans easier to grow? ›

Robustas, however, are easier to grow. They can grow at lower altitutes than arabicas, and they are less vulnerable to pests and weather conditions. They produce fruit much more quickly than the arabicas, which need several years to come to maturity, and they yield more crop per tree.

Why does Vietnam grow Robusta? ›

The Central Highlands is responsible for around 80% of all Vietnamese robusta. Vietnamese coffee production has traditionally had a focus on quantity and mass production, as its climate and elevation make it perfect for the large-scale cultivation of the resilient robusta plant.

What coffee is best for heart health? ›

Prior studies have also found moderate amounts of black coffee — between 3 and 5 cups daily — has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, as well as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and prostate cancer.

What's the healthiest coffee? ›

The healthiest way to take your coffee is hot-brewed and black. One cup has virtually no calories or carbs, no fat, and is low in sodium. Black coffee also has micronutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and niacin.

What is the healthiest coffee in the world? ›

The verdict: In terms of antioxidant content, blonde roasts are healthiest. Blonde Robusta coffee has the most antioxidants, followed closely by blonde and then medium-roast Arabica coffee.

Is Kirkland coffee Arabica? ›

Kirkland Signature Medium Roast Coffee 100% Ground Arabica Coffee Beans (Kosher), 2.5 lbs.

Is Hawaiian coffee Arabica? ›

This coffee is grown exclusively in a place called Kona, Hawaii, making the bean one of the world's rarest. The bean variety is typically Guatemalan Typica, a type of Arabica, but newer coffee farmers are currently introducing new strains.

Is Peet's coffee Arabica beans? ›

Founded in 1966 by Alfred Peet in Berkeley, California, Peet's introduced the United States to its darker roasted Arabica coffee in blends including French roast and grades appropriate for espresso drinks. Peet's offers freshly roasted beans, brewed coffee and espresso beverages, as well as bottled cold brew.

Does Mcdonalds use Robusta? ›

McDonald's coffee is brewed from 100% arabica, medium roasted, beans. McDonald's coffee quality is as high as it is because of that one fact. Arabica coffee is the most popular type of coffee because it is so much milder than Robusta coffee, lacking that acidic aftertaste you will find with Robusta beans.

Why do Italians use Robusta? ›

The national obsession with crema and its palate-lingering qualities are one reason the vast majority of Italian coffee blends contain robusta: a lower-altitude-grown, cheaper species of coffee known for its markedly higher caffeine content and its incredible crema-boosting properties.

Do Italians drink Robusta? ›

Robusta is very popular in Italy, and as we know, in 99% of the cases, it is inferior to Arabica.

Is Kirkland coffee Arabica or Robusta? ›

100% Ground Arabica Coffee Beans.

Is Costa Rican coffee Arabica or Robusta? ›

Costa Rica is one of the region's smaller coffee producers, but famed for its high-quality arabica varieties.

Which coffee companies use Robusta beans? ›

Biohazard ground coffee, cannonball coffee, death wish coffee, Bach Vietnamese coffee, Valhalla java, and Anni coffee are among the coffee brands that use Robusta beans.

What is America's #1 coffee? ›

1Dunkin' DonutsJ.M. Smucker
2Green Mountain CoffeeKeurig Green Mountain
3FolgersJ.M. Smucker
4Seattle's BestStarbucks
3 more rows
Mar 18, 2014

What is the No 1 coffee brand in the world? ›

Starbucks. With annual revenues of $23.52 billion, Starbucks tops the list of best coffee brands in the world. The world's largest coffee retailer, headquartered in Seattle, US, was founded in 1971. At present, its operations span across more than 33,800 stores in 80 countries.

Which country is No 1 in coffee? ›

Brazil. We start our list with Brazil. Brazil is, quite simply, the largest coffee producer in the world but there are much better origins to consider. For example, in 2016 it is thought that 2,595,000 metric tons of coffee beans were produced in Brazil alone.

Is Arabica coffee the healthiest? ›

Regular coffee drinking appears to offer protection against some common neurodegenerative diseases, reduce the risks of liver disease and some forms of cancer, and even help people live longer. But there has been research showing that Arabica coffee is better for you than robusta coffee.

Is 100% Arabica the best coffee? ›

“When you see '100 percent Arabica' on a coffee label, it does mean it's of a higher quality than coffees that use Robusta beans, but it does not mean it is the highest quality coffee available,” deMezzo added. “All coffee beans are graded according to color and size uniformity and taste.

Does Starbucks use 100% Arabica? ›

Here's why we choose to use 100% arabica beans. A lot of factors influence the way your coffee tastes. One of the biggest – the type of coffee tree the beans come from. We only use 100% arabica beans, so you can enjoy the delicious, high quality coffee these beans help create.

What is robusta coffee best for? ›

Robusta coffees contain almost twice the caffeine of Arabica coffees, so are good to drink when you need a burst of energy. They are also ideal for creating blends with other origin coffees. ... Uganda Medium Roast CoffeeUganda Medium Roast is a great coffee to start the day with.

What are the benefits of Robusta? ›

This coffee is excellent for maintaining weight loss as with the double amount of caffeine, it is known to boost our muscles. For decades, Robusta coffee has been used as a folk treatment for asthma, low blood pressure, headache, migraine, jaundice, malaria, and flu.

Is Café Bustelo Arabica or Robusta? ›

The beans produce a full-bodied coffee with an earthy flavor and unlike Arabica, it is bitter and richer as it contains twice as much caffeine than Arabica beans, harsh and low in acidity. Cafe Bustelo is an example of Robusta coffee.

Which is healthier Arabica or Robusta? ›

Additionally, robusta coffee has higher amounts of chlorogenic acid and antioxidants compared to arabica coffee. Studies conducted on the effects of chlorogenic acid have suggested health benefits such as lower blood pressure and higher metabolism, making it an ostensibly healthier coffee choice overall.

Is Dunkin Coffee arabica or Robusta? ›

We use 100 percent Arabica coffee beans and have our own coffee specifications, which are recognized by the industry as a superior grade of coffee. Based on Dunkin' Quality (DDQ) specifications, coffee is milled and processed specifically for Dunkin'.

Is Cuban coffee Robusta or Arabica? ›

Where is Cuban coffee made? For more than 200 years, Cuba has grown coffee from both the Arabica and Robusta coffee beans varieties.


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