Robusta Espresso Beans: Info, Flavors & Footage

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Espresso is a world favourite for beginning the time without work proper. With the continual additions of coffee-flavored drinks, retailers, and brewing concepts, there’s no denying espresso’s energy over us all. Nonetheless, not many people take the time to study concerning the beans that grew to make our beloved cup of joe. As an alternative, we merely purchase the beans we choose, or grounds in some instances, put together them, and benefit from the fruits of different’s labor.

The espresso we take pleasure in all through our days is available in two important varieties, Arabica and Robusta. The variations are simple to identify. Arabica is harder to develop. It additionally has a smoother style, which makes it the preferred. Coffea canephora, or Robusta, nonetheless, is the hardier of the espresso beans, which suggests it’s simpler to develop and might stand as much as harsher components than its counterpart, therefore the title.

Sadly, the stronger style and acidity stage in Robusta espresso typically give it a foul rap. Nonetheless, it’s the excellent bean for espresso, particularly the Italian selection, which is a base in most of the espresso drinks we’ve come to like through the years. Let’s study a bit extra about Robusta espresso beans, the details behind them, the flavors, and even just a few the explanation why it’s a bean that deserves a bit extra respect.

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The Historical past of Robusta Espresso Beans

Robusta espresso was first found within the Congo in the course of the 1800s. Coffea canephora will also be discovered rising natively within the tropical forests of Lake Victoria in Uganda. It was the invention of Robusta espresso within the Congo that actually opened espresso cultivation to a brand new world. Robusta may develop in lowland areas, in contrast to Arabica which wants increased altitudes to thrive.

After the espresso rust illness wreaked havoc on Ceylon in 1869 after which worn out the vast majority of low-altitude plantations in Java in 1876, Robusta was launched to Southeast Asia. This hardier plant, which grows as much as 10 meters excessive, is extra proof against illnesses and was integral within the rebirth of espresso progress in these areas.

By the 20th century, Robusta espresso beans had been really on their manner. Nonetheless, the Second World Struggle and the struggle for independence in Africa did gradual issues down. Assist from the brand new African governments, after the wave of independence, helped the Robusta commerce discover its footing once more and proceed rising.

With the unfold of Robusta to different elements of the world, together with Asia and Northern Brazil, different international locations started to see huge progress spurts. Vietnam rose to the highest as the principle rising area for Robusta espresso beans. As we speak, Vietnam is taken into account the twond largest espresso producer on the planet, due to this emergence and the hardiness of the Robusta espresso plant.

Robusta coffee plant
Picture Credit score: mateusbonato2014, Pixabay

What Are the Completely different Forms of Robusta Espresso Beans?

Robusta espresso has two important varieties, Nganda and Erecta. Nganda means wide-spreading shrub whereas Erecta describes a tall-standing espresso shrub. What’s most attention-grabbing about Robusta espresso crops is that they’ve cross-bred within the wild, creating a number of hybrids. Many of those hybrids, Catimor and Sarchimor for instance, are labeled as Arabica when they’re cultivated and bought. Nonetheless, the presence of Robusta within the genetic make-up permits these hybrids to be extra tolerant to illnesses, particularly espresso rust. It additionally permits extra safety towards the weather and simpler rising necessities to assist the continued progress of espresso.

Oddly sufficient, Robusta espresso has lengthy been checked out because the unhealthy man of the espresso world. For years, it was thought of the less-loved cousin of Arabica espresso. Nonetheless, latest discoveries have introduced a shocking twist to mild. Robusta espresso isn’t Arabica’s cousin in any respect. The truth is, it spawned Arabica espresso. You’ll even discover that Robusta and Arabica spontaneously cross-breed within the wild. Within the early half of the 20th century, the Timor hybrid emerged to show this mixture.

The Flavors of Robusta Espresso Beans

When discussing the flavors of espresso, it’s tough on account of every area providing its personal distinctive profiles. The care and a focus provided to the crops throughout their progress additionally contribute fairly a bit to the style. That is very true in relation to Robusta. With it being the hardier of the espresso crops, Robusta beans aren’t typically given the particular drying procedures or selecting processes as Arabica. When that is the case, you’ll be able to give you Robusta beans which might be fairly harsh or bitter tasting. Some individuals even examine it to having a burnt style when brewed.

Total, Robusta is a flavorful espresso with a deep mouthfeel. Among the most typical taste notes are darkish chocolate, nuts (particularly almonds), and even whisky. Robusta is extra acidic than Arabica espresso which explains the daring, or sturdy style. You can see that when grown as a single-origin plant, it is going to have earthy tones that come from the soil it grows in. That is what determines the principle taste profile. You received’t lose the chocolatey flavors or the boldness that’s inherent in these crops, nonetheless.

Robusta coffee bean with female hand
Picture Credit score: SAYASOUK, Shutterstock

Benefits of Robusta Espresso Beans

When speaking about the benefits of Robusta espresso beans, there’s a lot to be stated. We’ll check out every important level that will help you higher perceive these beans and why they’re nonetheless so interesting.


Sure, we’ve already talked about that Robusta espresso crops can stand up to harsher low-altitude rising circumstances and get up higher to illnesses that usually plague Arabica crops, however the level ought to nonetheless be talked about. The hardiness of the Robusta espresso crops not solely ensures it stays standard and that we’ve choices for our cups, however it retains farmers in enterprise.

Simpler to Course of

With Arabica espresso being thought of the premium bean, it’s comprehensible that the cultivating course of is gradual and tedious. Robusta takes benefit of this space. It doesn’t should be wet-processed, which takes time and many consideration. As an alternative, it may be dry-processed, serving to farmers domesticate extra merchandise.

natural coffee process of robusta cherries dried in the sun
Picture Credit score: Sodamika Picture, Shutterstock


We’ve got but to say the caffeine in Robusta espresso beans. That is the place Robusta steps in because the clear champion for some espresso lovers. Robusta beans naturally have twice the caffeine as their Arabica counterparts. The caffeine content material is why some individuals will drink nothing however Robusta. This additionally makes Robusta a terrific alternative when making espresso, particularly for Italian espresso which is characteristically a lot stronger.

You’ll additionally discover many espresso manufacturers on the market that target caffeine, advertising and marketing massive daring tastes and sufficient caffeine to maintain you going all through the day. The beans of alternative for many of those espresso manufacturers are Robusta as they are often cultivated with care which provides them a terrific taste and all that additional caffeine.


When you go to your native retailer to purchase espresso, these made with Arabica beans typically price greater than Robusta varieties. It is sensible why that is the case. As we’ve beforehand talked about, the processes wanted to efficiently develop, look after, and harvest Arabica is harder than what’s required for Robusta beans. When that’s the case, costs are usually fairly a bit increased once they hit the market.

Disadvantages of Robusta Espresso Beans

The primary disadvantages of Robusta espresso beans are the unhealthy status they’ve obtained because of the harshness and acidity inside and the quantity of rain required to maintain the crops thriving. Whereas the crops are typically fairly hardy, moisture is one thing they’ll’t do with out. That is why most Robusta farms flourish in tropical rainforest areas. That is additionally the place you’ll discover them rising wild.

arabica vs robusta coffee beans
Picture Credit score: Left – Arabica espresso (willyvh, Pixabay) | Proper – Robusta espresso (Vietnamese_coffee, Pixabay)

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Steadily Requested Questions (FAQs)

Aside from caffeine, why are Robusta beans most popular in espresso?

The caffeine within the Robusta espresso beans, twice that of Arabica, is understood to assist create a greater crema for espressos. Crema is the frothy, creamy layer on high of an espresso that folks like to take pleasure in.

What international locations produce loads of Robusta espresso beans?

Vietnam is after all the winner on this division. Robusta can be produced in Indonesia, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and India.

Is Robusta more healthy than Arabica espresso?

You can see that Robusta espresso beans include extra antioxidants and chlorogenic acids than their Arabica counterparts. This may also help increase metabolism and even decrease blood strain.

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Whereas Robusta espresso beans could have a foul status within the espresso world, understanding this espresso and its significance can open your eyes to a brand new world of espresso ingesting. When you’re searching for a bolder espresso with increased caffeine content material, one made with Robusta espresso beans is your reply. For true espresso lovers, be keen to strive the kinds of Robusta to see if it’s for you. We do recommend, nonetheless, selecting beans which might be grown and processed with care. This may make all of the distinction in any espresso you take pleasure in.

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Featured Picture Credit score: Andre_K, Shutterstock

Desk of Contents

  • The Historical past of Robusta Espresso Beans
  • What Are the Completely different Forms of Robusta Espresso Beans?
  • The Flavors of Robusta Espresso Beans
  • Benefits of Robusta Espresso Beans

    • Hardiness
    • Simpler to Course of
    • Caffeine
    • Price
  • Disadvantages of Robusta Espresso Beans
  • Steadily Requested Questions (FAQs)

    • Aside from caffeine, why are Robusta beans most popular in espresso?
    • What international locations produce loads of Robusta espresso beans?
    • Is Robusta more healthy than Arabica espresso?
  • Conclusion

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