Arabica, The Coffee Lover's Choice


There's a whole wide world of beans out there, but almost all commercial coffee comes from the beans of only two varieties of plant - coffea arabica or coffea robusta. You're forgiven if you think robusta to be the more appealing of the two. The mega-roasters spend millions each year to keep the everyday coffee drinker in the dark.

Arabica Coffee Beans
Arabica Coffee Beans

The Industry

Those within the industry would, if asked, never dispute the fact that beans from the Arabica plant make for a better cup of coffee. Simple industry statistics show that 80% of all commercially produced coffees are created from arabica beans alone. That sounds pretty good, but then did you know that only 10% of those beans are good enough for specialty coffees? That means that 90% of arabica beans are not considered good enough for specialty coffee. So, when you buy high quality arabica beans from a specialty coffee roaster, you are getting the best of the best beans.

So where does that leave Robusta?

It's kind of like the hot dog. You know, all beef versus mystery meat. The coffee that you buy at the grocery store is equivalent to mystery meat. You can be sure that you aren't going to get a can of mostly roasted robusta, because no one would continue after the first sip. Robusta, on its own, is known to produce a woody, astringent flavored coffee. But the commercial coffee roasters are going to put as many robusta beans into their coffee blends as they can get away with, and its hard to blame them.

You see robusta beans are a farmer's dream. Bean growers (and bean counters) know that you get more beans per acre with robusta. Robusta beans also grow at low altitudes and are far more disease resistant than Arabica plants. The arabica plant grows best above 3000 feet, on steep hills, in remote locations. Since Robusta beans are much less expensive to grow and produce than arabicas, the cost of many canned coffees found in supermarkets is low. If you're running a pancake house or trying to keep the troops alert, a cheap, caffeine-rich bean is a nice thing. It doesn't make the best coffee, but sometimes that's not the most important thing.

The Better Bean

I am here to tell you that arabica is the human's bean. Arabica beans are what makes coffee taste great. The best gourmet roasts feature a variety of specially selected, high grade Arabica beans blended and roasted in a variety of ways. Plus, arabica beans have about half the caffeine as robustas. So, go ahead and actually enjoy that second cup of gourmet roasted coffee. You won't regret it at bedtime.

About the Author

BetterBeans.Com: Our Reason for Be'an Small coffee roasters are perking up all over the country, recreating styles and blends which were nearly impossible to find just a few years ago. The quality of these blends remains unparalleled by those of the giant coffee companies. However, it is difficult to experience these wonderfully fresh roasted coffees because the roasters are scattered all over the country. That is until now! BetterBeans.Com is committed to finding the best coffee roasters in the nation and delivering their coffees fresh to your door each month. Visit our site at BetterBeans.Com to learn more about our coffee adventure. Support your local roaster!

Copyright 2001

Published: February 2001, Last Modified: June 2011