Robusta Coffee Beans
Coffee Cabephora is the Latin name for Robusta coffee. It was discovered by botanists in the former Belgian Congo. Robusta coffee beans may be smaller than Arabica coffee beans, but they provide twice the caffeine and usually taste more bitter. Robustas have been described as neutral, harsh and grainy.
Robusta coffee grows up to 10 meters as a shrub (love the word shrub or shrubbery) or a small tree. There are two basic types of robusta: the upright and the spreading (spreading is also known as Nganda) varieties. The robusta plant usually grows at lower altitudes than the Arabica, usually at 200 - 800 meters above sea level. Robusta's yield more coffee beans per acre and cost lower to produce.
Robusta beans are usually used in blends, like supermarket coffees. Jars of instant coffee, which are exceedingly popular in the UK, are made almost exclusively of Robusta beans (if going to UK, take your own coffee and a French press!). Only 30 percent of coffee grown in the world is Robusta and it is grown in some of the following coffee producing countries:
- Africa: Ivory Coast, Uganda, Cameroon, Madagasgar, Gabon, Angola, Zaire and others.
- Indonesia: Sumatra, Bali, Sulawesi, Timor, Java
Robusta coffee beans can be great provided they are fresh and have a great coffee roast flavor. However, if I am buying coffee beans I prefer Arabica coffee beans since they are less bitter.