Arabica or Robusta, which is the best coffee bean?

Arabica or Robusta, which is the best coffee bean?

Arabica or Robusta coffee? It’s not always easy to know what’s in our pack of coffee: what is the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee types? Does it taste different? Which is the best coffee bean?
Let’s get to the bottom of it and learn more! Let’s improve our coffee culture :-)

Arabica Coffee

Freshly roasted coffee

First of all, I wanted to stress an important point: Robusta or Arabica? Before making your choice, make sure it is freshly roasted! I advise you to always choose a freshly roasted coffee for a successful tasting because this is how you will discover the true aromas of your coffee! Always choose a coffee that announces its roasting date.

At MaxiCoffee, we make it a point of honour to inform you of this information for all the coffees we roast.

Some key figures on Arabica coffee

cafe-arabica-origineFirst of all, Arabica is the most common coffee tree in the world. To give you an idea, it now accounts for 65% of the world’s coffee production.
It takes its name from the Arabian Peninsula. Arabica coffee was first consumed and enjoyed as a beverage in Yemen.
Since then, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ethiopia and Guatemala are the five largest Arabica producing countries. This species is cultivated at high altitudes in the highlands.

Finally, if you were to remember only a few specific features, here is what you need to know:

  • Rich in flavours
  • A fine taste particularly appreciated by “gourmets”.
  • Offers more sour and less bitter notes
  • Lower caffeine content  (between 0.8 and 1.3%)

So what gives?

In contrast to a Robusta coffee, an Arabica coffee will above all offer you a cup that is much more aromatic and fine.
Personally, I would opt for an Ethiopian Mocha (Yrgacheffe) with fruity and floral notes or a Brazilian Arabica with gourmet notes where vanilla, caramel and pecan aromas mingle.
Moreover, for lovers of slow methods (Chemex or Hario type for example), I recommend an Arabica from Kenya: a favourite of our roasters!

Moreover, at MaxiCoffee, our teams regularly source the best Arabicas. They have just returned from Central America where they went to meet the producers and their superb plantations.

choisir son café

Robusta Coffee

A closer look at Robusta

cafe-robustaFirst of all, Robusta coffee accounts for 35% of world production.
As its name suggests, it is robust!
Secondly, it grows at lower altitudes than Arabica (generally on the plains) and is much more resistant to disease. Its yield per tree is also higher.
As for the flavour of Robusta, it is less delicate than Arabica but more spicy, bitter and full-bodied. In addition, its caffeine content is higher (2% to 2.5%).
Finally, Robusta is mainly grown in West Africa and South-East Asia. However, there are a few plantations in South America.

Robusta is generally used in coffee blends. In particular, in blends for Italian coffees because it favours crema and offers more body and intensity.

There is also a real difference in price between Robusta and Arabica: Robusta is generally much cheaper than its little sister Arabica.
The specific characteristics of Robusta are as follows:

  • Powerfull
  • A pronounced bitterness
  • High caffeine content (between 2 and 2,5%)
  • Brings power and a more beautiful crema to the espresso


Arabica VS Robusta : who wins?

To conclude, it is difficult to answer the question: “which is the best?”…because it all depends on your personal taste:-)
In France, we tend to look for Arabica for its finesse, its subtle aromas and its aromatic richness.
Robusta is often blended with Arabica, but always in smaller proportions.

The finesse of Arabica blends perfectly with the measured strength of Robusta to give you the taste of Italian espresso (as in the Italian Blend from Cafés Lugat).
Our Italian neighbours might not be able to do without Robusta, which they consider to be the variety par excellence! Who has never tasted an Italian espresso? Powerful and intense!
As you can see, it’s all about taste!
The main objective is to enjoy cup after cup :-)


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