Arabica vs. Robusta

Arabica vs. Robusta

Thinking through the difference between coffees can be difficult. Packages can be confusing, and one company might advertise an aspect of their product that another company doesn’t even mention.

But there’s one difference that almost everyone has heard of, and which is usually right there on the label: Arabica or Robusta?

There are 124 different coffee trees which have been identified around the world, yet the coffee we drink usually comes from only two of these trees. Their names are coffea arabica and coffea canephora.

Coffea arabica trees originate in Ethiopia and South Sudan, and produce the coffee beans we call Arabica. These trees generally produce a higher quality, less bitter beverage, but are more difficult to grow and require higher altitudes to thrive.

The other type of coffee known around the world is Robusta, from the coffea canephora tree. This tree was found in Congo, and became popular with farmers searching for an alternative to coffea arabica during a period when a disease called leaf rust was afflicting their farms.

The coffea canephora tree is heartier, and more tolerant of higher temperatures and humidity, can be grown at lower altitudes, and is more resistant to disease. But, the quality of coffee it produces is usually much lower than Arabica. “A common Robusta tasting note description is burnt rubber (Morris 16). It also has more caffeine that Arabica (up to two times as much!), which gives it a very bitter taste.

Robusta accounts for only about a third of the green coffee grown worldwide, and is most often used in blends alongside it’s better tasting (and pricier) cousin. Yet Algeria is an exception, and is unique in using Robusta as its primary source for coffee.

We want to clarify these distinctions in Algeria, to introduce 100% Arabica coffees and showcase the variety of flavors which are possible in the world of coffee. Whether you prefer Arabica or Robusta, we believe higher quality, specialty coffees will improve your daily coffee experience, and we invite you to try something new with us.

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