On a Different Note: Robusta v. Arabica Coffee

There are two major types of commercial coffee beans — arabica and robusta.

Robusta (Coffea canephora) is the bean that’s found in the majority of grocery store coffee blends. It’s generally grown at low altitudes on massive coffee plantations, mainly in Vietnam, Brazil, and Indonesia. As it’s grown in such large quantities, and the plant matures to harvesting age more quickly than arabica, robusta beans are much cheaper. They’ve got twice the caffeine of arabica, but produce a less flavorful brew.

Arabica (Coffea Arabica) tends be shade grown on mountainsides, and hand-harvested by families of farmers. These beans have been cultivated in Ethiopia for over a thousand years, and now thrive in Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, and other nations around the globe. Coffee connoisseurs tend to favor the less bitter flavor of these beans.

The “beans” of both arabica and robusta are actually the seeds of the coffee fruit, or “cherry”. Once they’re harvested from the bush, the cherries are either air processed in the sun, or pulped with a water technique to separate the green beans from the outer fruit. Once they’re dried, they’re ready to be shipped and roasted.

Recommendations: Indonesia Sumatra, Mexican Altura, Kenya AA, Costa Rica Organiz


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