Having got to know Coffea Arabica better and learned more about the characteristics of Robusta coffee, this time, we’re focusing on the real differences between the two varieties, the only ones present in the coffee blends used to prepare our beloved espresso.
But first, let’s debunk a myth: Arabica is not always a finer coffee than Robusta. On the contrary, sometimes the exact opposite is true, considering that certain qualities of Robusta are definitely superior to some types of Arabica. The characteristics that clearly distinguish the two varieties are quite different and these differences can often mean that they complement one another in the same well-balanced blend, starting from the taste.
Arabica versus Robusta: taste
Coffee made with Arabica beans is generally sweeter and more delicate, with a characteristic slightly acidic yet aromatic note, thanks to the high presence of oils. Visually speaking, it has a compact foam.
Coffee made with Robusta beans is stronger and more bitter, with a fuller body. It is less aromatic but makes a creamier espresso because its foam is thicker and denser.
Arabica versus Robusta: caffeine
The differences in taste between the two varieties are also related to the different quantities of caffeine they contain. Robusta is rich in caffeine, containing approximately double the quantity found in Arabica. This is why its taste is certainly bitterer.
Arabica versus Robusta: beans
Another difference between Arabica and Robusta is the shape of their beans: the former are oval and elongated, the latter rounder and shorter, with a straighter ridge in the centre.
Arabica versus Robusta: origin
The optimum growing conditions for Arabica coffee are high altitudes (between 600 and 2,000 metres), frequent rains and terrain with a high mineral content, of volcanic origin if possible. The areas of the world most often used to grow coffee of this type are South America, Central America and East Africa.
The other variety is much harder and adapts more easily. The majority of countries that produce Robusta are located in West Africa and Asia, in particular Vietnam and Indonesia.
Arabica versus Robusta: price
The organoleptic characteristics of Arabica and the fact that it is more difficult to grow, linked to the particular climatic conditions required and its slower growth rate, all contribute to determining the price of this quality, which is generally superior to that of Robusta.
In each individual cup of espresso, the real difference is made by the master roaster, who blends coffee sourced from different origins to bring out the desired aromas and flavours. This is why we have the Secret Recipe of Gaetano Aiello to thank if our blends offer an exciting multisensory experience: if you refuse to give up the energy and caffeine of Robusta, we recommend the bold taste of Super Miscela ground coffee and the Intenso compatible capsules. Instead, if you prefer the delicacy of Arabica, you can tantalise your taste buds with the blends that recently won two gold medals in the competition reserved for the finest coffees in the world: 100% Arabica for moka and the 100% Organic Arabica capsules.