Arabica is considered a premium coffee and is loved around the world, in which Robusta also has a certain foothold in the market. Because it is more popular and difficult to cultivate, Arabica coffee has a higher price than Robusta, which is also the reason why a coffee fanatic or a trader needs to distinguish these two types of coffee. Moreover, distinguishing between Arabica and Robusta coffee is also a necessary foundation to make bold and passionate cups of coffee, as well as serve the needs of customers.
How to distinguish Arabica and Robusta coffee?
1. Cultivation conditions
Arabica and Robusta coffee have a quite different starting point when Arabica grows and develops extremely well on lands with an altitude of more than 900m above sea level, rainfall from 1200 to 2200mm, suitable temperature from 15 – 24 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, Robusta – Vietnam’s strategic coffee variety is suitable for altitudes below 900m, needs heavy rainfall up to 2200 – 3000mm and temperature ranges from 18 – 36 degrees Celsius.
2. Bead Shape
For coffee experts, they just need to look at it to distinguish between Arabica and Robusta coffee. Arabica beans have an oval shape, long, the middle slot is wavy like the letter S. Robusta has a rounder shape, the seeds are shorter and smaller than Arabica, the middle slot is relatively straight, not wavy.
3. Caffeine content
The caffeine content is not only a way to distinguish Arabica and Robusta coffee, but also affects the taste and needs of users. In particular, Robusta has a higher amount of caffeine, accounting for 2 – 4% / weight of beans, Arabica coffee has only 1 – 2% caffeine.
Aroma and taste are considered the most distinctive of Arabica and Robusta coffee. With Arabica, you will feel the clear sour taste, the aftertaste is a bit bitter, not too harsh. Moreover, the aroma of Arabica is really passionate and seductive. Robusta coffee again shows that this is a drink dedicated to strength. Although not as fragrant as Arabica, Robusta still shows a difference with a characteristic bitter taste, somewhat grumpy but not lacking in sophistication.
5. Seed color after roasting
Usually, coffees with less caffeine tend to have a darker color when roasted at the same time and temperature, this is also an effective way to distinguish Arabica and Robusta coffee. With a fairly high caffeine content, Robusta usually has a lighter color, while Arabica produces a bold color that is quite eye-catching.
On the market today, the price of Arabica coffee is nearly twice as high as that of Robusta. Depending on the somewhat more difficult farming conditions, the domestic price of Arabica is quite high, and the imported premium Arabica prices are much higher. This price difference is one of the factors that makes Robusta’s sales volume able to surpass Arabica’s and this is clearly a development opportunity for coffee in the world market.
7. Crop yield
Robusta coffee can adapt well to many natural conditions, so they often have a higher yield than Arabica. Arabica is considered a difficult coffee to cultivate and brings unexpected yields due to its relatively low tolerance, requiring growers to take good care measures to improve crop yields.
8. Tree shape
The height of the Robusta coffee tree variety can grow to 4-6m if cared for scientifically, the leaves are not too many but many branches and many fruits. Arabica coffee trees have a lower shape, dense branches. This is a factor that helps Robusta achieve higher yields when it can catch the sun, get water, and create opportunities for easy growth.
9. Cultivation area
Robusta coffee is grown a lot in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, especially Vietnam – the country with the world’s leading Robusta production.
Meanwhile, Arabica is grown mainly in South American countries, the production here accounts for 60% of the world’s Arabica, Brazil and Colombia are the two countries with the highest production. In addition, India, Peru, and Ethiopia are also countries with soil and climate suitable for Arabica.
In addition to the ways to distinguish Arabica and Robusta coffee above, these two famous coffees also have 2 other ways to distinguish, but these two ways are quite difficult for users. First, the amount of lipids and sugars in each is different. Fat in Arabica accounts for 60%, while Robusta only reaches half. Second, Chlorogenic Acid (CGA) – an antioxidant that helps coffee plants protect themselves from insect attack, there is a difference between these two types of coffee. Robusta contains 7 – 10%, while Arabica contains only 5 – 8%. This is also the reason why Arabica is difficult to grow and requires more care.
Above are the ways to distinguish Arabica and Robusta coffee that have been synthesized and selected by Classic. With a reputable brand, providing knowledge, helping customers choose the desired coffee is the goal that Classic aims to. Come to us for advice and use the best quality coffee powder, pure coffee beans, clean coffee.