In the coffee world, only two varieties of coffee decorate your cups: the Arabica and Robusta. Historically, the Arabica pulls its origins from Ethiopia and the Robusta from Zaïre, in the basin of Congo at the beginning of the 19th century.
Photo credit : www.worldcoffeepress.com
The Arabica counts over 200 varieties, grows in altitudes of 600 to 2000 meters in soil richer in acid, which is an essential element in developing its future aromas. It corresponds with over 70% of the global coffee market. The biggest production countries of Arabica coffee are Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ethiopia and Guatemala. The Arabica grows in higher altitudes and its grains do not mature until 60-120 days (instead of 30-60 days for the Robusta). The coffee therefore has a stronger aroma, a more round flavour and a better acidity when we drink it.
On the other side, the Robusta found its name through the word robustesse and because of the solidity of the tree. Thanks to its rapid growth, this kind of coffee is easier to cultivate than the Arabica. The main producers of the Robusta coffee are Indonesia, Uganda, Ivory Coast, India and Vietnam. The Robusta coffee is often included within a mix in order to improve the global quality of the product, giving a “kick” to your coffee. Indeed, the Robusta produces grains that contain two times more caffeine than the Arabica. It separates itself amongst others thanks to its less elaborated aromas and bitter taste. We owe the espresso crema to the Robusta as it consists a major party in the beautiful foam.
The Arabica has superior qualities than the Robusta, even though espresso experts will prefer the Robusta. The mix between the two remains a privilege for more complexity.