The difference between robusta coffee beans and arabica beans

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter

Robusta coffee beans and Arabica beans in Vietnam. Vietnam is the second-largest coffee exporter globally, with a wide variety of coffees. Below to introduce you to coffee beans and coffee brands in Vietnam. If you are a coffee lover, do not ignore this helpful information. With Helena cafe, The difference between robusta coffee beans and Arabica beans.

The difference between robusta coffee beans and arabica beans

The first difference is clearly shown by the names of the two types of beans. The term Robusta offers is very robust, i.e., strong contains a lot of caffeine, which helps you stay awake.


On the other hand, Arabica has less caffeine but includes a lot of aromas (aroma). Besides the different names, you can distinguish between Arabica and Robusta through factors such as growing conditions shape. Seeds, caffeine content, perfume, and taste.

Growing conditions 

Robusta coffee, also known as coffee with a distinctive bitter taste, is unmistakable. This type of coffee was first discovered in the 1800s in Congo-Belgium. Then, gradually this coffee variety developed and was introduced into Southeast Asian countries around 1900.

This is a type of coffee originating from the Republic of the Congo. Robusta has become the second most important crop, accounting for about 39% of coffee products used. Robusta is considered to be the highest exported variety in Vietnam. This is a type of coffee with a caffeine content of 3% to 4% in the bean, much higher than Arabica coffee with only 1% to 2%.

Arabica coffee shrubs are usually 2.5 – 4.5 meters tall, requiring temperatures between 15° and 24°C and an annual rainfall of about 1200 – 2200 mm/year. While Robusta grows slightly 4.5 – 6.5 m tall, it requires a higher temperature of 18° – 36°C and slightly more rainfall (2200 – 3000 mm/year) than Arabica. Arabica also typically yields lower yields than Robusta – which means higher costs in production.

Bead Shape


Arabica coffee beans have a long (elliptical) shape, a groove in the middle of the bean or a wavy shape. Robusta beans are smaller and slightly rounded. The middle track usually has a straight line.

Caffeine content

The caffeine content in Arabica coffee beans is only 1.5%, while this content in Robusta beans is very high: 2.5%

In terms of fat and sugar content: Arabica contains more than 60% fat and almost twice as much sugar as Robusta. This factor is the primary factor affecting the difference in the taste of the two types of coffee.

Color of robusta coffee beans vs. arabica beans

The colors of Arabica and Robusta are also very distinguishable when comparing them. At the same roasting temperature, the color of the two types of Arabica and Robusta has a marked difference. Arabica’s color is light brown, the brown color is slightly yellow, and the Robusta coffee is dark brown.

Fragrance and taste

Arabica coffee beans are not wholly sour, but when swallowed, they will have a bitter taste, which is called the aftertaste of coffee. As for Arabica, it has a sour taste. Robusta coffee has a characteristic bitter taste lighter aroma than Arabica. Especially Arabica after preparation has a beautiful scent.

Why is Arabica preferred over Robusta?

This depends on the individual taste of each person. Arabica is considered to have a better taste, less acrid than Robusta. Many people like to drink Robusta instant coffee, but when switching to Arabica, most don’t want to use Robusta anymore.

Robusta can be considered a coffee of inferior quality, but it has the advantage that it is very suitable for the weather. Commonly, this type of coffee will be harvested after 2-3 years, while Arabica coffee needs 4-5 years.

Arabica coffee is also a demanding plant and is quite sensitive to climate. It requires annual average temperature and rainfall to meet new standards for a high harvest. Meanwhile, Robusta coffee plants can adapt to many different environmental conditions.

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