Coffee is part of a flowering plant named Rubiaceae, which has about six thousand species. The coffee we love and drink is just one of the seeds of this plant, and it is mainly one of the two species of Arabica or Robusta. In fact, different types of coffee drinks are made based on one of these two main types of coffee beans. Besides belonging to different species of the same plant family, the difference between these two comes from the taste and characteristics of their seeds. Although each bean came from the same species, the quality and taste of the coffee in your cup could be different due to unpredictable growing conditions and processing methods. This is also true about Arabica and Robusta seeds. There is no surprise that each of them has its own unique characteristics, even though they are from the same family. You can choose your favorite flavor of coffee and prepare your drinks based on examining the differences between these two types.
Although Arabica beans have less caffeine than Robusta, they are often considered superior because they have a smoother, sweeter flavor ranging between chocolate and sugar and often hints of fruit and berries that sometimes taste sour. According to a report published by the International Coffee Organization, 60% of coffee production worldwide is based on Arabica beans. The story of this seed which has two main types, Topeca and Bourbon, began in the highlands of Ethiopia and is continuing yet. This seed grows best at high altitudes. Topeca was the first species discovered, so it is considered the original coffee in the world. Of course, Bourbon Arabica seeds are popular among coffee lovers because of their complex and balanced aroma. According to the region’s climate, environment, and altitude, many mutations and types of Bourbon and Topeca have been reproduced, some of which are highly valued.
Robusta seeds grow better at low altitudes, have a stronger, sharper, and bitter taste; and contain a higher amount of caffeine compared to Arabica. Coffea Canephora is the most common type of Robusta, which can be considered the younger brother of Arabica. Robusta is widely used in espresso mix because it produces a better cream (the creamy layer on top of an espresso shot) than Arabica. Robusta’s enhanced caffeine content and its chlorogenic acids (natural antioxidants) are thought to be the result of the plant’s defense mechanism against pests and diseases, which is why Robusta often exhibits greater disease immunity and increases production capacity than Arabica. Low levels of chlorogenic acids affect the flavor of the coffee. As a result, you will taste a more palatable drink. Still, most of the time, Robusta contains higher levels of chlorogenic acids, and their oxidation products sometimes create unwanted tastes that potentially compromise the quality of the drinks.
Generally, the coffees available in the market are usually a mix of both beans, called a blend. Still, they can have a different proportion of Arabica and Robusta, depending on your taste. If you want a high-caffeine mix, you should use a 100% Robusta mix, which has a very bitter taste, and for those looking for a low-caffeine blend, a 100% Arabica mix is recommended which usually has a sour taste. Also, in terms of price, Arabica seeds are more expensive than Robusta seeds.
Bockstein uses grade-one and high-quality Arabica beans in preparing its coffee mixes, which offers a wide range of coffees with different flavors selected throughout a strict process based on the needs of consumers and taking peoples’ different tastes in drinking coffee into account.