#coffeeschool: Arabica VS Robusta

Caffè Camardo has always paid a lot of attention to the choice of raw materials and the provenance of single origins: each territory and microclimate, in fact, gives each variety of coffee organoleptic properties that make the taste and aroma unique. In this way we managed to create a wide range of blends and selections that can satisfy all customer tastes, even the most demanding palates. But do you know what botanical varieties you can find in your coffee and where in the world they come from? Let’s discover something more about the species of coffee grown in the world.

There are four varieties of coffee: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica and Excelsa. The last two are very rare and only cover about 2% of total world production, so let’s focus on Arabica and Robusta, the two main species of coffee, to understand how their features have impact on the aromas that we find in every cup.

Arabica covers 70% of world coffee production and d is a very delicate species that needs a lot of care, which fears drought or too much rain, strong wind and frost. For this reason it grows luxuriantly in tropical areas, at an altitude from 600 to 2000 meters, especially in Central America, Southern America and on the eastern African coasts. Its beans are elongated and with its characteristic “S” groove on the bean and the percentage of caffeine ranges from 0.8% to 1.5%. The organoleptic characteristics of Arabica make it possible to get an aromatic and fragrant coffee, but at the same time delicate, with a floral and slightly acidic taste.

On the contrary, Robusta gives a coffee with a rich and strong taste, much more intense and full-bodied, with persistent and chocolaty aromas, and with an almost triple percentage of caffeine compared to Arabica! In fact, we find from 1.7% to 3.5% caffeine in a Robusta coffee. The bean of this variety is rounder with a fairly straight groove on the bean. 30% of world coffee production is of the Robusta species, that can be found on the market usually blended with Arabica coffee, with percentages that change according to the taste and aromas that the coffee roaster wants to obtain from the coffee blend. The Robusta plant is much more resistant than Arabica, as the name itself suggests, and in fact it adapts easily, grows quickly and tolerates both diseases and temperature changes very well: all this allows to grow this botanical species in areas between 200 and 800 meters. Robusta plantations can be found mainly in Brazil, Africa and Southeastern Asia.