What is Robusta Coffee? If you are a “connoisseur” in the “coffee world”, then you will probably be no stranger to this coffee variety. Because Vietnam is the world’s largest exporter of Robusta coffee. Not only in terms of output, but Vietnam’s Robusta coffee also has a very specific and indescribable taste that cannot be found anywhere else. So do you know anything about Robusta coffee yet? If you are not thorough, let’s learn from A-Z about Robusta coffee right in the article below!
What is Robusta Coffee?
Coffee Robusta, also known as Voi coffee, is the main source of ingredients in coffee recipes in Vietnam. Currently, Robusta coffee is also one of the key export coffee varieties of our country. In terms of shape, Robusta is a large tree or shrub, the height of an adult tree can be up to 10m, grows well at an altitude of about 0 – 800m above sea level, very suitable for Vietnam topography and climate conditions. Coffee berries are round in shape, and the seeds are smaller than coffee beans (also known as Arabica coffee). Advantages of Robusta coffee trees are very resistant to pests and diseases, high yield, easier to care for than other coffee varieties. However, a disadvantage in Robusta is that it has poor drought and cold tolerance, so the output is sometimes unstable.
What flavor does this coffee have?
Many people still wonder about the taste of Coffee Robusta. In general, it is difficult to describe its taste, but according to many people, Robusta coffee has a very unique and quite special flavor. Robusta has a woody taste, the smell of burnt rubber when conducting a “cupping test” (this is a coffee tasting activity). In addition, this coffee also has a low acidity but very good body & mouthfeel. Moreover, because Coffee Robusta beans are often processed dry, it has a bitter taste. The caffeine content in coffee beans is about 2-4%, higher than that of coffee and tea, and in coffee and tea, it is only about 1-2%.
Origin of Robusta coffee plant characteristics.
Where is Robusta Coffee grown?
Robusta coffee was first discovered in 1800 in the Congo region – Belgium (in Africa). Café Robusta is also a native plant of the rainforests around Lake Victoria in Uganda. Although discovered and introduced into Southeast Asia quite late, around 1900, Robusta coffee was quickly grown in popularity and achieved high output. The popularization of the Coffee Robusta tree started from a tributary of the Congo River in Central Africa, the Lomani River. Through a nursery in Brussels, Robusta coffee from the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) was shipped to Java. From here it has been successfully bred to establish plantations in other countries such as India, Uganda and Ivory Coast – The Craft and Science of Coffee.
Where to grow Robusta coffee today
Since the 1960s, new clones of Robusta coffee have been developed in Uganda, Congo, and later in Ivory Coast. However, not much has changed in character from the original plants. Today, Robusta accounts for 30% to 40% of the total world coffee production, popular in West and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, Central – South America. And mainly developed in Brazil with some new varieties called Conillon.
In Vietnam today, the area of Robusta coffee accounts for nearly 90%, mainly distributed in the Central Highlands, especially famous for its delicious taste is the land of Buon Ma Thuot – Dak Lak, Lam Ha – Lam Dong… In recent years, Vietnam has continuously expanded the area of Robusta coffee growing in the highlands with the desire to turn this coffee line into a key export crop.
Compared to many places in the world, at present, Vietnam’s Robusta is also the most famous coffee line in the international market thanks to the Robusta flavor grown in Vietnamese lands that is very delicious, special and high yield.
Compare Robusta and Arabica coffee
Distinguish the difference between 2 types of Coffee Robusta and Arabica
Many people still have confusion between Arabica and Robusta coffee, but clearly these are 2 different types of coffee. To better understand the difference between these two coffee lines, we can compare on aspects such as: Distribution area, taste, flavor characteristics, color and properties.
- Distribution area of Robusta and Arabica coffee:
Robusta coffee, this type of coffee has smaller beans than Arabica, is grown at an altitude of less than 600m, where the climate is tropical, so it is present in more countries (Vietnam only grows this type), the total amount accounted for. 1/3 of coffee consumed worldwide. In contrast, Arabica coffee is Arabica coffee with slightly long beans, grown at an altitude of over 600m, suitable for cool climates. Currently, Arabica coffee in Brazil accounts for 2/3 of the world’s coffee.
The reason there is a difference between Arabica and Robusta is largely due to the way it is processed. Arabica coffee berries are fermented after harvest (soaked in water to bloom…) then washed and dried. And Robusta coffee is dried directly without fermentation, important for the processing of Robusta coffee is the roasting stage. Roasting temperature must reach 230-240 degrees Celsius to create color and create aromatic substances. For Robusta coffee, the roasting conditions will be much stricter than for Arabica because it does not undergo fermentation.
- Color and properties of Robusta and Arabica coffee:
Robusta and Arabica coffee when roasted together at the same temperature, Robusta always has a darker color than Arabica and a little bigger than the original. Because Robusta blooms more, but because of that, it will be more fragile than Arabica.
- Taste of Robusta and Arabica coffee:
The taste of Robusta coffee ranges from neutral to very harsh. Their taste is often described as resembling oatmeal. There are also people who think that they smell like fresh peanuts when not roasted. And after roasting, there will be a faint smell of burned rubber. As for Arabica, because it is fermented after harvest, then washed and dried, the taste of Arabica is slightly sour. So talking about the aftertaste of coffee is real, but not sour, but turning from sour to bitter. It is often compared that this sour taste is like when eating a lemon, it will be very sour, but soon you will see the bitterness of the peel.
- Characteristic taste of Robusta and Arabica coffee:
If Arabica coffee is likened to a charming girl with bitter characteristics, delicious and sour taste, favored by Westerners. Then, Robusta coffee of Vietnam in particular and the world in general is likened to a strong and elegant man thanks to its bitter and delicious characteristics, which is favored by many Vietnamese people.
In addition, Robusta coffee has nearly 2 times higher caffeine content than Arabica, so many drinkers still prefer Robusta coffee because of its stronger flavor. That’s why many people like to mix Arabica with Robusta to increase the flavor and make it easier to create Crema. In contrast, Arabica coffee has a low amount of caffeine, so the coffee taste is not too harsh, the aftertaste is special, and the aroma is attractive, so Arabica coffee is often loved by women.
Referring to coffee, everyone must immediately think of the vast coffee gardens in the Central Highlands of our country. One of them is Robusta coffee which is loved by many people. As mentioned above, Robusta coffee is considered to be very delicious and bold. When drinking, you will be captivated by its characteristic bitter taste, the aroma and taste will linger in the mouth for a long time. Thus, hopefully the above sharing will help you better understand about Robusta coffee. Wish you have moments to sip the bitter taste, enjoy the deep sweet aroma of your favorite cup of coffee to the fullest.