Robusta Is Growing Up
With about 30% contribution to the world production of coffee, the Robusta variety, growing on the coffea canephora plant, is the most significant coffee variety after Arabica. The Robusta beans demarcate themselves from Arabica coffees with their very own set of often underestimated features. Especially during the past couple of years a lot of small and modernly minded roasting companies have discovered these features for their coffee blends and try to refurbish the reputation of Robusta coffee.
What Do Robusta Beans Look like?
Nowadays the slightly less demanding coffea canephora is found in the tropical belt all around the world, mainly being known as the predecessor of the popular Arabica variety. But compared to the Arabica plants, the Robusta plants have a significantly higher tolerance for large amounts of downfall and high temperatures and can become twice as tall (up to 10 meters) when left untouched. Paired with the capability of withstanding most parasites and diseases and relatively short ripening periods the Robusta plants are easy and cost efficient t to cultivate in a lot of areas. Especially for flat and lower areas, this is a major advantage compared to Arabica plants. On top of that, harvesting and transport becomes cheaper in easily accessible areas like lowlands.
Within six months, the canephora plants grow small, round, red coffee cherries surrounding roundish beans with a straight incision.
What Do Robusta Coffees Taste Like?
Of course, it's hard to generalize the taste and aromas of a coffee variety growing in so many shapes in just many countries all around the globe. Roughly summed up, key features of the Robusta beans are a full body and a unique, well-seasoned aroma sometimes ranging from wood and earth. Robusta coffees can surprise with a fascinating span of aromas like whiskey or tobacco. With a slightly higher acidity and a bitterer note, Robusta isn’t normally considered the easiest coffee to digest. Containing up to 5% of caffeine, it's a real wake-up coffee though. Because of the longer-lasting cream, Robusta is sometimes added to Arabica coffee in smaller amounts to make the espresso shot look perfect. Today, Robusta gives a fine finish to a lot of high-quality coffee blends.
Should I Try Robusta Beans?
As usual, the proof is in the eating. If you start to get into the world of coffee you will sooner or later come across a lot of high-quality blends containing Robusta beans. For curious and eager coffee lovers, a 100% Robusta blend can be interesting for a change. If you ever tasted a pure Robusta coffee, you will be able to distinguish the addition of Robusta in any blend. Many a coffee-lover will be surprised by excellent Arabica-Robusta blends with a thick cream that can even carry sugar. Aromas like whiskey, caramel, and wood are a real recommendation for a cappuccino!