by Laura Minet | 10. September 2019

Arabica and Robusta – do you know the difference?

Arabica and Robusta account for almost 95% of the world’s commercial coffee production – but what is the difference between the two and how does that affect the coffee you drink?

The nature of beans

The Arabica plant needs exactly the right balance between sun and shade to thrive. It prefers subtropical climates with plenty of moisture, rich soil and shade. It is therefore found in higher areas where the air is cooler and pests and diseases are less common.

Robusta, on the other hand, is a much tougher plant. Thanks to its resistance, it has a much more uniform and reliable yield than the mountain variety. This allows them to be grown in lower altitudes and requires much less maintenance.

Taste & aroma

The growing conditions have a great influence on taste and aroma – and that is what coffee drinkers are interested in. Since Arabica is naturally milder and more aromatic than Robusta, it has a much wider range of aromas – from a pungent, citrus-like taste to sweet, fruity, floral aromas.

Robusta has about twice the caffeine and only half the sugar. This makes it less sweet than Arabica and gives it more bitter aromas, with the unroasted bean often described as nutty or malty.

The revival of Robusta

There is hardly anything that puts a high-quality Arabica in the shade, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give Robusta a chance. All you need is a little more care and a lot more effort – just like with our N°2 Express. Its strong character and expressive aroma make it the first choice for typical espresso. A sip and within a very short time an Italian romance takes place on your tongue. Among the total of 6 carefully selected Bieder & Maier blends, there is another that is characterised by strong Robusta flavours – our Bieder & Maier Forza. But whether Express or Forza, Robusta or Arabica – every single blend has its very own merits and the best thing to do is to try for yourself which is your favourite creation!

Discover all Bieder & Maier varieties in our online shop now: