Vs Robusta Coffee Beans

Arabica coffee beans and Robusta coffee beans are the major two primary types of coffee beans grown and marketed around the world.

Arabica coffee is of better quality, is harder to grow and generally more expensive. Robuta beans are also used in specialty coffee drinks to add body to the coffee blend.

Arabica Coffee-Beans

The Arabica coffee bean - commonly referred to as Coffee Beans Arabica, Coffee Arabica or C. Arabica (and sometimes, erroneously, it appears: Arabic coffee beans) - is the superior of the two.

The Arabica coffee beans are of higher quality and have more flavor and less bitterness than the Robusta beans.

The Arabica beans are also harder to grow. They are more sensitive and vulnerable to plant disease, climate conditions and predators. The Arabica coffee is generally the more expensive one of the two.

Arabica coffee is usually regarded as high quality specialty coffee beans, but this is not always the case. Beans grown in different places, and even different plants in the same region, may differ greatly in their qualities.

Arabica coffee-beans take 7 months to mature. They contain significantly less caffeine levels (almost half the quantity) than the Robusta beans.

Arabica coffee grows in many countries around the world, including countries in South America, Africa and in Kona, Hawaii. Brazil is known as the world's largest Arabica coffee bean producer, and Colombia as the second-largest exporter of Arabica beans.

Coffee plants in Colombia have been much affected by weather conditions and production of Colombia coffee beans has sharply declined recently due to higher temperatures and heavy rains causing the beans to ripen too quickly and bringing about pests that caused damage to the crop.

The reduced output of Colombia coffee (the 2011 crop reported as the smallest production in two years with about 8.5 million 60-kg coffee bags) led to a shortage in high-quality Colombian coffee beans and drastically increased coffee prices.

The Arabica beans are much more vulnerable to the climate changes than the Robusta beans.

Robusta Coffee Beans

The Robusta coffee beans, on the other hand, are considered inferior quality compared to Arabicacoffee. They are easier to grow and more resistant to diseases and climate conditions.

Robusta coffee beans are said to have about 40-50% more caffeine than the Arabica beans.

Although the Robusta coffeebeans are not as rich in flavor as the Arabica beans, they do have a deeper and fuller "body" - which is one of the important characteristics of coffee beans - and are used to balance and add body to coffee blends produced primarily of Arabica beans. Higher quality Robusta coffee is also used in espresso blends, to add body and "crema" (or "foam") to the coffee.

Robusta beans are mostly grown in southeastern Asia and in Western and Central Africa.

Ethiopia is Africa's leading Robusta coffee beans producer, followed by Uganda.

Uganda has seen a reported increase of 6 percent in coffee production in October 2011 compared to the same month in 2010. See: Uganda predicts shipment of 200,000 coffee bags.

The Ivory Coast, Africa's third-largest coffee producer and exporter, following Ethiopia and Uganda, had a 49 percent reduction of Robusta coffee beans export in the season of 2010-11 due to post-election crisis and violence in the coffee growing areas and smuggling of the coffee crop. See: Ivory Coast Robusta beans down by 49 percent.

Vietnam is one of the large coffee producers and coffee production in major coffee farms in the country was reportedly expected to grow by 10% thanks to better treatment and improvement in quality of its Robusta beans.

According to estimates reported in October 2011, worldwide Robusta production is expected to reach a total of 3.29 million tons, which is an increase of 5.4%. See: Expected quality gains of Vietnam coffee beans.

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