Arabica vs. Robusta: What’s The Difference?

If you’re new to the world of java, you may only have a superficial level of knowledge about the all-powerful coffee bean. You probably know that there are different roast levels with their own unique flavor profiles, but did you also know that beans tend to come in two specific species? That’s right. The question of Arabica vs. Robusta is a significant consideration for coffee connoisseurs of all levels.

The age-old debate rages on – which is better, Arabica or Robusta coffee? Let’s take a look at these two styles of coffees to spot some key differences.

What Is Arabica Coffee?

The Arabica coffee bean gets its name from the type of tree it grows on, the Coffea Arabica plant. Originating from Ethiopia and other key areas of Africa and the Middle East, it’s easily the most popular of the two options, making up about three-fifths of the world’s coffee supply.

Within this species of bean, it’s broken down further into two main varieties, Typica and Bourbon. In general, Arabica Bourbon is the most abundant coffee in the world, because it yields up to 30 percent more crop than typica. These beans are known for their rich, chocolatey flavors mixed with more subdued sweet fruitiness. Typica, on the other hand, tends to have a more sour, citrusy and floral finish.

Another big difference between Arabica and Robusta is the conditions in which they’re grown. Arabica usually thrives at an elevation of 2,000 feet or high, and in tropical environments. This leads to a slower-growing, more unique-tasting bean by the time it’s harvested. The unique thing about the Arabica plant is that every bean provides its own unique flavor qualities and growing conditions heavily contribute to that. 

A strong example of this would be coffee grown in the Caribbean paradise of the Dominican Republic, where the Arabica type output dominates over 95 percent of the coffee production output. Grown among the vast mountain ranges located throughout the small island nation, their beans have developed a reputation as some of the highest-quality in the world.   

Why you should drink Arabica coffee

Switching to Arabica coffee has many benefits. First, you’ll notice that Arabica coffee is easier to drink. You may even find yourself breezing through a pot or two a day. That’s because the beans contain almost double the amount of lipids and twice the amount of sugar compared to Robusta. This leads to an increase in sweetness, lower bitterness and less texture felt on the tongue. 

Where is Arabica grown?

Arabica coffee, making up such a large production share of the two, can be found almost anywhere coffee is grown. It was first identified in Ethiopia and Yemen, two places that can claim to have invented coffee. Today, it’s been planted in coffee-growing regions around the world, from Africa to Indonesia to Brazil to Latin America.


Now that we’ve covered the background on Arabica, let’s take a look at the other popular type of coffee plant, Robusta and see how it differs from it’s easier-drinking counterpart.

What Is Robusta Coffee?

The term Robusta actually refers to a variety of plant in the Canephora category. This type of coffee plant grows a bean that’s known to be less refined, fuller bodied and much more intensely flavored than the Arabica species. 


Robusta varieties tend to grow at elevations of 2,000 feet or less, and since they are much more resistant to diseases and pest damage, they produce a much larger yield than Arabica. This is one reason that Robusta tends to be lower quality, because it’s easier to grow and can be grown in higher quantities.

Why you should drink Robusta coffee

Arabica may be considered the more refined, enjoyable type of bean, but Robusta undoubtedly supplies more caffeine. That’s one reason why people like a large mug of Robusta in the morning. 


It’s also not without its own unique flavor characteristics, which are surprisingly enjoyable. You can expect notes of oatmeal, peanuts and a noticeably grainy texture. If you’re not used to trying new coffee concoctions, then you might find that the Robusta profile is an acquired taste.


However, you can make it go down easier by brewing it up the proper way. Robusta is often used in espresso recipes because it’s known to produce a better layer of crema on top of the finished shot. Plus, the extra caffeine provides that great pick-me-up that espresso is known to provide.

Where is Robusta grown?

You’ll likely find Robusta plants in Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Southeast Asia, India and Indonesia. Additionally, Brazil grows a famous type of Robusta, known as conilon.

Which Is Better: Arabica vs. Robusta Coffee

The verdict is in, Arabica coffee is undoubtedly the more popular option. Because of the unique conditions it’s grown in, its lighter flavor profile and smoother finish offers an easier-drinking cup of coffee. 


However, Robusta-style coffee does have its own set of benefits, and is still a favorite of millions around the world because of its high level of caffeine, unbeatable strong finish and textured mouthfeel. However, if you’re new to the world of coffee, a cup of Robusta may be an acquired taste.


If you want to become a café connoisseur, you shouldn’t be afraid to try both! Each provides a one-of-a-kind sipping experience that’s sure to light up your senses.

Ready for a new roast? Give Inflight Fuel a try today.

Are you searching for a new type of coffee that is flavorful, bold and offers the perfect caffeine level? Then a bag of Inflight Fuel is the solution. With light, medium and dark roast beans, sourced from local farms in the Dominican Republic, this is a coffee that tastes great and works hard. No matter what type of roast level you love, you’ll find a tasty option with these high-quality beans. So, wherever life takes you, make sure you’re prepared by picking up a bag of Inflight Coffee.