What is the difference between Arabica and Robusta?

Key Difference: The main difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans is taste.

Arabica beans are considered to have a sweeter, more complex flavor, while Robusta beans are said to be earthier and more bitter.

Another difference is caffeine content: Arabica beans tend to have less caffeine than Robusta beans.

And, moreover, Robusta beans are more resistant to disease and pests, making them easier to grow and harvest.

But, because of their stronger flavor, Robusta beans are often used in blends to add more body and bitterness.

Starbucks, for example, make use of the Arabica bean because of its superior flavor. This is why their coffee is typically more expensive than other brands.

However, there are some Starbucks blends that contain a small percentage of Robusta beans in order to achieve a certain flavor profile.

What is Arabica coffee?

Arabica coffee is a type of coffee that is considered to be superior in quality to other types of coffee.

It is grown in the highlands of Latin America and Africa and has a milder flavor than Robusta coffee.

Arabica beans are also used in espresso blends because they produce a rich, smooth cup of coffee.

What is so special about Arabica coffee is that it is the first species of coffee to be cultivated.

It is believed that coffee was first discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia and that Arabica beans were the first to be roasted and brewed.

Today, Arabica coffee accounts for approximately 60% of the world’s coffee production.

Arabica is highly prized for its flavor and aroma, which is why it is often referred to as the “king of coffees.”

It has a mellow sweetness that is balanced by slight acidity, making it one of the most popular types of coffee.

Grown at high elevations, Arabica coffee beans are more difficult to cultivate than Robusta beans.

They require careful cultivation and harvesting, which is why they are typically more expensive than other types of coffee.

However, the superior flavor and aroma of Arabica coffee make it worth the extra expense.

What is Robusta?

Robusta is a type of coffee bean that is known for its strong flavor.

It is often used in blends because it has a higher caffeine content than other types of coffee beans.

Robusta beans are also more resistant to pests and diseases, which makes them easier to grow.

With Robusta, you can do a lot. You can make espressos that are strong and have a great crema on top.

You can also use Robusta in blends with other beans to give them more body and flavor.

It is processed in the same way as other coffee beans, but it is roasted for a longer time to give it a stronger flavor.

However, the cupping quality of Robusta is often lower than other coffee beans.

The price of Robusta beans can vary depending on the region where they are grown.

They are generally cheaper than other types of coffee beans, but the quality can vary.

Arabica vs Robusta

One of the biggest differences between Arabica and Robusta beans is caffeine content. Arabica beans contain significantly less caffeine than Robusta beans.

Additionally, Arabica beans tend to produce a smoother cup of coffee with more flavor complexity than Robusta beans.

The two types also differ in terms of growing conditions.

Arabica beans are typically grown at high altitudes in rich, volcanic soils, while Robusta beans are often grown in lower-lying areas with less fertile soil.

Identifying which bean is which can be difficult, but there are a few ways to tell them apart.

Look for the presence of two beans inside the coffee cherry (Arabica) versus one bean (Robusta).

Additionally, Robusta beans will be smaller and more round than Arabica beans.

So, if you are looking for a high-caffeine, bold-tasting cup of coffee, Robusta beans are the way to go.

However, if you prefer a mellower cup with a more nuanced flavor, Arabica beans are the better choice.

Main Differences

Important differences between Arabica and Robusta include –


One of the key factors affecting the price of coffee is the type of bean used.

Arabica beans tend to be more expensive because they are considered to be of a higher quality than Robusta beans.

This is a major difference between the two types of beans.

The typical price for Arabica beans is about twice that of Robusta beans.

The cost of Arabica per kg is around $4.30 whereas Robusta is priced at about $1.93 per kg.

So, clearly, there is a great price difference between the two types of beans.


Arabica beans are also considered to have a better flavor than Robusta beans.

This is due to their higher acidity and sweetness levels. They are also less bitter than Robusta beans, which can make them more appealing to coffee drinkers.


Robusta beans tend to have a higher yield than Arabica beans. They produce about twice as much coffee per kg as Arabica beans.

This is due to their higher caffeine content and the fact that they are more tolerant of harsh growing conditions.


Arabica beans are more sensitive to pests and diseases than Robusta beans.

They also require more care and attention during the growing process.

This makes them less hardy than Robusta beans and can increase the cost of production.

This difference is another reason why Arabica beans tend to be more expensive than Robusta beans.


Arabica beans can be roasted to a lighter color than Robusta beans.

This results in a coffee that has a milder flavor and is less bitter.

On the other hand, Robusta beans can be roasted to a darker color, which gives them a more intense flavor.


Arabica beans are mainly grown in Latin America, while Robusta beans are mainly grown in Africa and Southeast Asia. Their history is one of the important differences you need to know.

The fact is that Arabica coffee beans are the result of a natural mutation.

Robusta coffee beans, on the other hand, were created through selective breeding in an attempt to create a harsher, more bitter bean.

The history of Arabica dates back to the 7th century, while Robusta coffee beans were first cultivated in the 19th century.