Arabica and Robusta are the two main species of coffee beans consumed globally, and they offer distinct flavor profiles, among other differences. Here is what the experts at the Java Original Coffee Company say:
- Flavor: Generally smoother and sweeter with a wider range of flavors; notes can include fruits, berries, and sugariness, sometimes with a hint of acidity.
- Complexity: Arabica beans typically offer a more complex taste and a higher level of acidity compared to Robusta, which can contribute to the overall flavor experience.
- Aroma: Often more fragrant with a pleasing aroma; may exhibit floral, fruity, or nutty scents.
- Body: Generally lighter, contributing to a more nuanced and delicate mouthfeel.
- Caffeine Content: Lower in caffeine than Robusta, making it less bitter and milder in terms of flavor.
- Flavor: Usually stronger, harsher, and more bitter; often described as earthy and nutty with grain-like or woody notes.
- Complexity: Less complex than Arabica, with a straightforward, robust taste that's often associated with a burnt or rubbery quality, especially in lower-quality Robusta.
- Aroma: Less aromatic than Arabica, with a more pungent and less sweet scent.
- Body: Typically described as full-bodied, which contributes to a heavier mouthfeel that can be perceived as more creamy or thick.
- Caffeine Content: Higher in caffeine, which contributes to its bitterness and makes it more suitable for those looking for a stronger kick or a coffee that holds up well with milk and sugar.
More than flavor
Besides flavor, the two species differ in terms of growing conditions, with Arabica preferring higher altitude environments and cooler climates, while Robusta is more tolerant of heat and can be grown at lower altitudes. These growing conditions also affect the quality and flavor of the beans. Arabica is generally considered to be of higher quality and is thus often more expensive than Robusta, which is hardier and yields more beans, making it cheaper to produce.
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