What Are Robusta Beans?
Originating in central and western Africa, the robusta bean is the second most popular coffee type around the world and makes up around 40% of all coffee production. Robusta beans come from the coffea canephora plant that produces white jasmine-like flowers and also the dark red coffee fruit inside of it.
HOW AND WHERE IS IT GROWN
The robusta bean plant is grown exclusively in the Eastern hemisphere, mainly in Africa and Indonesia. The coffea canephora plant is grown in lowlands at around 3,000 ft elevations and in warmer climates of 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike the arabica bean plant, robusta is a lot easier to grow. This is because it is not as vulnerable or sensitive to pests and changing weather conditions. This is also part of the reason why robusta beans are usually cheaper than arabica beans. Another reason is that the robusta plant, coffea canephora, produces fruit more quickly and yields more crop per tree.
HOW IT TASTES
The coffee produced by the robusta bean tends to have a stronger and harsher taste. It is lower in acidity and contains more bitterness. Though it can have a few varieties, flavors tend to be similar to peanuts and also buttery. Many times the robusta bean is included into blends in order to add more body and richness to the overall taste.
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE IS IN ROBUSTA BEANS
Compared to the arabica bean, the robusta bean contains more caffeine. This increase in caffeine is the reason why it is more bitter in taste. Specifically, the robusta bean contains about 2.2-2.7% of caffeine, which is twice as much as the arabica bean. This is the reason why some coffee blends include robusta beans mainly for the caffeine kick.