Robusta Coffee: A Breakdown
While coffee snobs, hipsters and sensitive sausages throughout the land may reject and protest the strength of Robusta coffee, we love it. If you like a harsher, more earthy flavor notes, with a big caffeine kick, you may enjoy Throat Punch single origin Robusta.
What is it?
Given that there are over a hundred species of coffee, Robusta has done well to become the second most popular coffee on the world market. Almost 30% of the coffee produced on the planet being Robusta beans.
Robusta coffee beans contain twice as much caffeine and half the sugar of Arabica beans, and therefore, taste stronger and harsher than more common Arabica. It is commonly described as tasting earthy and is often said to have a bitter, rubbery/grain-like flavor, with a peanutty aftertaste.
Most coffee snobs, hipsters and sensitive sausages wouldn’t be caught dead drinking Robusta, but does that make it shit coffee? We think not. We believe Robusta has had a bad rep in modern coffee culture due to the lack of care many roasters put into buying them.
Why do people think its shit?
Robusta is cheaper to produce because it is easier to farm. It has a higher yield and is less sensitive to insects. The naturally high caffeine content is one of the things that makes the Robusta coffee plant more resistant to pests and disease. The pests don't like the bitter flavor, and the disease doesn't like its antimicrobial properties.
Because it is generally cheaper at wholesale level, it is commonly labelled as inferior, due to the low quality offerings that are sometimes produced. In recent years, Robusta has been cultivated and selected more carefully and is increasingly gaining in popularity.
So why is it good then?
A cup of brewed Robusta contains around twice as much caffeine as a cup of Arabica. But it also has a higher level of natural antioxidants. Chlorogenic acid, a type of anti-inflammation and antibacterial compound, is found in various types of coffee. Arabica only contains 5.5 to 8 percent of it, while Robusta has 7 to 10 percent. All good things for sure, but how does it taste?
We aren’t the only one roasting Robusta coffees. Italians traditionally use high quality Robusta because of the crema and flavor it adds to the espresso. Similarly, lot’s of roasters use a high quality Robusta to add depth of flavor and a more full-bodied tone to an Arabica/Robusta blend, and a nice crema to espresso blends.
Various roasters have discovered a new love for Robusta origin coffee in recent years. While some will still reject and detest its strength, if you like harsher, stronger notes, you may like a little Throat Punch.