What is Arabica Coffee Beans? – Better than Robusta?

what-is-arabica-coffee-beansCoffee is a popular drink all around the world. It has been in existence for over the past two thousand years.

When making your coffee, there are some choices you have to make to ensure you have the best brew results. It is not just the type of coffee machine you use or the brewing method but also the type of coffee beans. There are a variety of coffee beans to choose from which fall under two categories of a plant, Arabica, and Robusta.

You might ask yourself, What is Arabica Coffee Beans or what is Robusta and which to go for. Well, different coffee beans have different results when used to brew.

What do you think that Arabica and Robusta which one is better?

What is Arabica Coffee Beans?

Arabica Coffee is a species of Coffea, which is indigenous to Ethiopia, then transplant to Yemen.

Arabica Coffee Beans is thought to be the first type of coffee to be cultivated and the most grown worldwide. It makes up for about 70% of the coffee produced and Robusta takes the rest 30%.

Growing Conditions

Arabica coffee takes around seven years to mature, and it suited for growth in high altitudes 1900 to 5900 feet (600 to 1800meters). It can still be grown in lower altitudes but not below the sea level. It can handle places with low temperatures but not below 32°F (0°C). It grows best under average temperatures 59 to 77°F (15 to 25°C) and 1500 to 2500 mm of rainfall which is evenly distributed throughout the year.

Growing Regions


Arabica is grown in many different countries; Brazil is the largest producing country and followed by Colombia.

Even though the plant requires specific weather and climate conditions to thrive, you can find it being grown all around the world in the coffee belt (region between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn). The best coffee is that which is produced in Central and South America and Africa.

You can find quality Arabica in countries like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Colombia, Brazil, Indonesian, Hawaii, and India. These places are just a short list of the growing regions and have suitable conditions for the growth of Arabica coffee.

You can learn more from here: Top Coffee Producing Countries

Arabica Coffee Varieties

There are various Arabica coffee varieties. These include Typica, Bourbon, Geisha, Batian, Caturra, Catuai, Pacamara, Elephant Bean, Catisic, SL28, SL34, Ruiru, and Kona just to mention a few.

Typica and Bourbon are the most culturally important Arabic varieties known for their good quality when grown in high altitudes.

Geisha originated at Geisha Mountain, Ethiopia. One of the best variety in the world, it has won several times of coffee cupping competition. The highest price of Geisha in history has been auctioned at $803/lb at “Best of Panama (BOP) in 2018.

Kona although planted at lower altitude, but it is growing on the fertile volcanic lava rock, that makes it has a clean, sour and sweet taste.

All these varieties produce high-quality coffee and are among the most produced worldwide.

You can learn more from here: World Coffee Research


What is the Difference between Arabica and Robusta?

Caffeine Content

When it comes to caffeine content, Arabica is lower than Robusta.

Arabica holds about 0.8 to 1.4% whereas Robusta contains 1.7 to 4%.

You should consider going for Arabica if you are concerned about the health risk associated with consumption of too much caffeine.

Arabica coffee has a less bitter taste as the caffeine is responsible for the bitter flavor.

Sugar Content

Arabica has more sugar of about 6 to 9% compared to Robusta 3 to 7%.

Robusta has almost half the amount found in Arabica. This makes Arabica sweeter as it has more sugar and less bitter.

Lipid Content

Arabica has more lipids of about 15 to 17% compared to Robusta 10 to 12%.

This makes the coffee brew using Arabica sweeter. The fats are responsible for the chocolate, fruit flavor in the coffee. The low lipid content in Robusta is the reason as to why it has a burnt rubber and woody taste.

Chlorogenic Acid(CGA) Content

Arabica has lower Chlorogenic acid(CGA) content than Robusta. Valued in terms of percentage, Robusta has 7 to 10% whereas Arabica has 5.5 to 8% content.

Chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant and insect deterrent.


Arabica’s coffee flavor is better than Robusta’s.

Most people find Arabica to have a chocolate, fruit and berry flavor and Robusta to have a bitter and rubber taste.


When it comes to cost, Arabica is more expensive than Robusta.

This is because it is hard to produce as it is sensitive to its environment. It also has low yields per hectare compared to Robusta. The high demand for it also makes its price to be higher than Robusta.

Growing Conditions

Robusta is more tolerant than Arabica.

This is so because Arabica grows best only in constant climate and temperatures between 59 to 77°F (15 to 25°C). Robusta on the other hand still thrives in higher temperatures 68 to 86°F (20 to 30°C) and advance climate changes.

Shape & Smell

The beans have different shapes. Arabica beans are oval and are larger whereas the Robusta is rounder.
They also differ in terms of smell; Arabica smells like blueberries whereas the Robusta coffee smells like peanuts.

Is Arabica Better than Robusta?

Basing our argument on the quality of coffee, Arabica is better than Robusta coffee. Arabica has lower caffeine, higher sugar content and a better flavor compared to Robusta. Based on cost, Robusta is cheaper as it has more yields per hectare and it more resistant to diseases, so it’s less troublesome to produce.

If you value your coffee, then you should not be more concerned about its price. The sweet flavor, taste and reduced health risk of Arabica coffee makes it worth its price.

If you have any questions or anything about the “What is Arabica Coffee Beans” you want to share with me, please leave a comment below.

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