There are two main types of beans used to make coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Many coffee shops use their beans as a selling point, so it is important to know the difference between beans so you can choose what is best for both your taste buds and your pocketbook. Even though both beans make coffee, they are very different in how they are planted and how they taste. Here are your coffee bean basics.
Arabica beans are grown in cool, subtropical climates and must be heavily watched. They are easily susceptible to pests, hostile environment, and poor handling. In fact, Arabica beans simply will not grow if they do not have the right soil, sun, and moisture. The hard work to grow them is worth it because Arabica beans are incredibly tasty. There are a wide variety of beans that provide a wide variety of flavor. However, all Arabica beans tend to be sweeter and have a higher acidity level.
Robusta beans are what their name implies: robust. These beans can be grown just about anywhere. They are hearty and are not susceptible to pests due to their high caffeine content. Robusta plants can produce more beans than Arabica plants and are cheaper to harvest. Robusta beans can have a harsher taste than Arabica beans and have a peanut-y after taste. Robusta bean flavor is often referred to as oatmeal or grain-like.
Arabica is generally regarded as the higher quality coffee bean. However, it has much less caffeine than Robusta. Robusta is also cheaper and can be used in instant and homemade coffees. If you prefer to slow roast your coffee and want a richer, fruiter flavor, then Arabica beans are your best bet. So how do you choose? We recommend trying both beans so you can find the one that tastes the best and fits into your budget. Happy tasting!