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Articles - Gourmet Pleasures:

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Coffee beans are obtained from the drupes of various species of plant belonging to the Rubiaceae family. The two best known kinds of coffee plant are arabica (Coffea arabica), of which there are around 10 billion plants, and robusta (Coffea canephora), with around four billion plants (as of 2005). Together, these two types provide around 98% of the green coffee grown around the world.


Robusta coffee is mostly cultivated in West Africa, Uganda, Indonesia and Vietnam, but also in Brazil and India. Arabica coffee, on the other hand, primarily comes from Latin America, East Africa, India and Papua New Guinea.


Differences between arabica and robusta

Arabica
  • Predominant growing altitude 600 – 1500 m (high-altitude coffee)
  • More sensitive, lower yields
  • Distinctive aroma
  • Caffeine content 0.6 – 1.5%
  • Popular in Central and Northern Europe
Robusta
  • Predominant growing altitude 300 – 800 m (low-altitude coffee)
  • High yields, resistant to pests
  • Stronger, more bitter taste
  • Caffeine content 2 – 3%
  • Preferred in America and the Mediterranean
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