Know Your Bean Type

There are two types of coffee beans:

  • Robusta – Of the two types of beans available, Robusta accounts for about 40% of the world’s coffee bean production. As the name indicates, it is a hardier or more “robust” bean, more resistant to the diseases that can cause problems for the more delicate Arabica variety of bean. Its hardiness makes it easier to grow and therefore more plentiful and less expensive than Arabica. It has a rather strong flavor and contains more caffeine than its counterpart. It was first discovered growing in the Congo, but now, most Robusta beans are grown in West and Central Africa, South East Asia and in parts of South America.
  • Arabica – Accounting for 60% of the world’s coffee production, Arabica beans are grown on large plants and at higher elevation. These delicate plants tend to be susceptible to frost and diseases, making them more difficult to care for than Robusta. Because it’s harder to grow these plants, the prices are higher. Arabica has a much more delicate taste than Robusta and can be fashioned into a pure Arabica drink or combined with Robusta for a coffee with a bit more of a punch. These beans taste distinctive based on where they are grown. Fertile areas for growing Arabica beans include Latin America, Central and East Africa, Asia (India and Indonesia), and parts of Oceania.