Difference Between Arabica and Robusta Coffee
A true coffee lover will be able to tell the difference in the taste of Arabica and Robusta coffee. Even though they look close to the same when ground, there are quite a few differences between the two. For coffee enthusiasts, learning about how growing conditions and the composition of each plant affects the taste is interesting and engaging. Each variety has special qualities that give the coffee that is brewed a unique flavor. They are both coffee beans, but are two different species. Here are the characteristics of each for comparison.
Quality of Taste
People who prefer to drink a stronger and more bitter taste in their coffee are likely to prefer using Robusta beans. There is a slight hint of nuttiness and grainy overtones for an earthy blend. Arabicas are more popular with coffee drinkers who enjoyh a smoother taste with a light touch of floral, sweetness and softness.
Robusta coffee plants are larger than Arabica. They grow taller and produce higher yields of coffee beans. They also require more moisture to thrive. A Robusta shrub can grow between 8 and 21 feet in height while the Arabica which needs less water grows between 8 and 15 feet. The environmantal conditions for Arabica are cooler and because the plants produce fewer beans, they are more expensive to purchase. Robusta plants are much heartier than Arabicas. When the two are compared side by side, Robustas have a sturdier appearance.
Differences in Shape of the Bean
Robusta beans are smaller in size with a round shape while Arabicas are larger and have a longer shape.The differences in the structure of the bean cause them to roast at different rates. When you roast the beans side by side under the same conditions, you’ll notice that they do not roast as quickly or as evenly. When the beans are roasted and then ground, it is more difficult to tell the apart.
Variations in Compounds and Chemistry
Robusta beans have twice as much caffeine and chlorogenic acid (CGA) than Arabicas do. Both of these ingredients help to contribut to the overall taste and quality of the brewed coffees. The sugar and lipids are 60% higher in Arabicas. The sugar levels influence the evolving flavor of the bean as it roasts and is a factor in the development of aroma and the body of the beverage.
Internal Structure and Pollination Variations
There are 44 chromosomes in Arabicas while Robustas only have 22. While Arabica self pollinates, the Robusta does not. The Arabica is therefore less inclined to produce and mutations and will retain its integrity.
There are many different varieties of coffee beans and they are grown in a variety of climates in regions around the world. Arabica and Robusta are the two most popular. It is because each delivers a unique experience with regard to the aroma and the flavor of the finished product. Whether you prefer a strong and nutty taste or a lighter more floral and smooth beverage, knowing what each type has to offer will help you when you’re trying to decide which type of coffee would most closely suit your tastes.
As with any variety of coffee bean, the strength of the brew will affect the flavor on a grand scale. Finer grinds and using more coffee will result in a stronger beverage regardless of the type. If you want a smoother cup, simply use the recommended amount of coffee grounds and grind to acieve the flavorthat you want. You may never look at coffee the same way again. You may have wondered by the and taste of one brand is so different from another. Now you know.