We all know: coffee is an irreplaceable element in the home of every italian. Over time we have learned to appreciate it in every variant and blend (Arabica and Robusta coffee, Liberica coffee and excelsa, etc …), to choose the one that most identifies us.
But what do we mean by mixture?
In reality it is the combination of different species of coffee; and on the basis of a higher or lower percentage of one type instead of another, different coffees are obtained in taste, aroma and body.
There are about 60 different coffee plants. Only 4 of them, however, are the most widespread from the commercial point of view (due to costs, fruits, cultivation): Arabica Coffee, Robusta Coffee, Liberica Coffee and Excelsa Coffee.
Arabica Coffee and Robusta Coffee: what to know!
Of the four species listed above, almost all of the spread and production is to be divided between the Arabica Coffee and the Robusta Coffee; let’s go, then, to discover something more about what are almost certainly the two types of coffee you’re drinking in your mixture.
The Arabica Coffee is the species cultivated for a long time, in fact it has been used for centuries. This has also led to being the most widespread species in terms of production: about 70% of the coffee produced in the world , in fact, is Arabica Coffee.
The Robusta Coffee , despite being more “young” aged, has managed to make its way through other species, until reaching almost the remaining 30% of the coffee produced in the world .
Precisely because, by themselves, they cover almost all the coffee in circulation, let’s understand what are the fundamental differences of the two species.
Genetic differences between Arabica Coffee and Robusta Coffee
From a genetic point of view, we have Arabica Coffee with 44 chromosomes , while Robusta Coffee has the exact half: 22 chromosomes .
On the other hand, instead, the Caffè Robusta has almost twice the amount of caffeine compared to the Caffè Arabica ; in fact in the first the percentage of caffeine varies from 1.7% to 4%, while for the second the percentage is lowered to be between 0.9% and 1.9%. A nice difference, right? Well, keep this in mind if you need an “extra boost” or if you can not close your eyes!
From the visual point of view, the two species differ because the Arabica Coffee has a more large, oval grain and with an almost “S” groove, while the Caffè Robusta looks more rounded , more small and with a more “straight” groove.
Furthermore, the Arabica Coffee is a more vulnerable plant than the Robusta species and therefore requires greater attention. This factor contributes to the major cost of the Arabica compared to the Robusta.
Differences in cultivations between Arabica Coffee and Robusta Coffee
The strong difference between the two species is also found in the areas of cultivation preferred for one or the other, in fact:
The Arabica Coffee prefers very high altitudes, between 600 and 2000 meters, needs soil rich in minerals and rains. It is grown almost exclusively in Central and South America, in Africa (mainly in Kenya and Ethiopia).
The Robusta Coffee instead, grows more easily at sea level and in conditions of high humidity. It is mainly cultivated in Indonesia, Vietnam and in the African countries of Cameroon and the Ivory Coast
Difference in taste between Arabica and Robusta
Starting from the fact that the caffeine present in the Arabica Coffee is about half of the Caffè Robusta, one can understand how the two species have totally different taste characteristics.
The Arabica species, in fact, produces a coffee with a more delicate taste, where there is a more marked acidity. Moreover, thanks to the high presence of oils, it is more aromatic and less bitter. In the cup it has a hazel red-brown color, with a compact and sometimes striated cream.
The Robusta species, on the other hand, produces a decidedly more full-bodied coffee , with a less pronounced acidity. Due to the less evident presence of oils, it is less aromatic and more bitter . In the cup it is present with a more intense black, with a darker and thicker cream.
The need to give a coffee both the body and the aroma, leads to mixing the two species in different percentages, thus obtaining an infinite variety of choices. For every coffee lover, his coffee!
We put our own, thinking of different blends, starting from L’armonioso with 60% arabica and 40% robust, up to the VIGOROSO with the robust to be the protagonist.