Posts Tagged ‘robusta coffee’

16th January 2010, by gabriele
Should one follow the usual commercials or is it important to have a knowledge about coffee to be able to sell it? Vices, virtues and legends of the 100% Arabica coffee.

In the past years, commercials have “bombed” us with the 100% Arabica story, which everyone now considers synonym of quality. In fact, it is not so unusual that someone asks me, when talking about Jamaica Blue Mountain, “is it 100% Arabica”?
Therefore we have to make some clarifying.
If it’s not 100% Arabica, what is it then? What is the other percentage, which commercial always depicts as the “bad part” made of? Those who have the slightest knowledge of this field know that a large number of blends have a percentage of Robusta coffee (the other big coffee type) in them.
Are the Arabica coffees always the best ones? We can say that some of the best coffees in the world, starting from the Jamaica, are Arabicas but not all are of good quality. Some can be found for 2€/Kg. This is because coffee, like many foods, depend on the year (like for wine) and not all years are the same. Year outcomes can also be different from country to country or from plantation to plantation. My favourites? The Ethiopians: Sidamo and Limu!


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Bizarre and current news about a forgotten coffee

The omnipresent coffee which illuminates this whole sector is the Arabica coffee.

This coffee is a species of the coffea genre, native from Ethiopia, and has colonised the world of coffee so much as to cover 70% of the world production. And what is the remaining 30%?

There are other smaller species such as Liberica and Excelsa together with a bigger species which is the Robusta. It is very different from the Arabica, even genetically, since it has 22 chromosomes, whereas the Arabica has 44 chromosomes. There is a big difference in the taste as well.

When tasting Arabica coffee, it has a perfume together with a bit of bitterness and a good aftertaste (most of the times). The Robusta coffee, on the other hand, doesn’t have a very rich perfume and it usually gives an intense bitter taste at the center of the tongue. Together with this bitter sensation, the Robusta has the important characteristic of giving a touch of creaminess and full-body to the espresso and this is also why it is often mixed with the Arabica when creating coffee blends. The coffee tasting of pure Robustas is very interesting and we give the opportunity to do this during our Espresso Academy courses.

Furthermore, the importance of Robusta coffee is visible in many Fairtrade coffee blends. This type of social cooperation is particularly developed in those areas where mainly Arabica coffee is cultivated (but this problem is fortunately getting solved, as for what we can see through our company) and this is why fairtrade coffees are very good but don’t have an intense body.

There is a group about the defence of the Robusta coffee even on the omnipresent Facebook.


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