You may know that there are 2 types of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica counts for 70% of the total market consumption which leaves Robusta with the remaining 30%. Robusta contains less sugar and oils than Arabica and tends to have an earthier, woody flavour. Many producers choose to naturally process Robusta to allow the sugars from the cherries to infuse with the beans. Robusta also has less acidity than Arabica which gives you a heavier mouthfeel.
Higher quality Robustas tend to make up 10%-50% of Italian style espresso blends; they are sometimes used as fillers for mass market coffees and are used for making instant coffee. Robusta plants are grown at lower altitudes than Arabicas and are less susceptible to pests and diseases. They require less attention from the farmer and have a higher yield potential. The physical characteristics of the bean are different too, Robusta beans are much rounder than oval-shaped Arabica beans. When it comes to caffeine concentration, Robusta contains 2.7% concentration in comparison to 1.5% on average in Arabicas. It is rare to see Robusta beans blended with specialty coffees, though there has been an increase in demand for Robusta coffee all around the world.
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