Robusta Coffee Beans & What to Know

Whether it’s the unique taste or a bold roast that has caught your attention, or perhaps just curiosity to learn a bit more on buying coffee, this article dives into everything you need to know about Robusta coffee beans. From understanding origin and flavor profile to discovering how they compare with other types of coffee beans, we will cover it all. 

About Robusta Coffee

Robusta Coffee Beans in box

Robusta coffee beans contain almost twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans and have a strong, earthy flavor. Due to their higher caffeine content, many coffee consumers prefer to mix them with other coffee beans for an enhanced taste and stronger jolt of energy. They also have double the amount of polyphenols, enzymes, and antioxidants compared to other bean types. Besides being a source of antioxidants, robusta coffee contains more caffeine than other types of coffee. 

Robusta coffee beans are also the cheaper alternative when compared to other types like Arabica (or Maragogype); making them ideal for budget-minded coffee drinkers.

These beans can be found throughout countries in South East Asia and Africa, but historically it is difficult to source reliably due to unreliable infrastructure. 

Brewing Robusta Coffee

Man Brewing robusta coffee

Making a great cup of robusta coffee requires knowledge of the bean and its brewing process. Robusta beans should always be ground fresh and fine, so they are better suited to espresso makers or brewing methods that require finer ground size (see our page on brewing methods here) like the AreoPress. Ground robusta also needs more heat during extraction than Arabica beans in order to bring out its sweet, smoky notes without the bitter taste often associated with robusta. When brewed correctly, you’ll enjoy an intense flavor with notes of cedar and spice that will linger in your mouth. The acidity is low compared to Arabica coffee, making it a smooth cup characterized by higher caffeine content and less complexity overall. Whether enjoyed as an espresso or filtered brew from your favorite drip coffee maker, robusta coffee provides a unique yet well-rounded experience.

 Robusta Coffee Compared

Robusta coffee Bean Comparing other coffee beans

Robusta coffee is an often misunderstood variety of coffee bean that has a unique flavor profile compared to other types of beans. Its distinctive savory and earthy taste comes from its two-fold higher caffeine content and contains more proteins, polyphenols and lipid content than Arabica, another common type of coffee bean. Its bitter taste can be off-putting to some but when properly roasted, the natural characteristics of subtle nuttiness and cocoa-like undertones will come through. Depending on what you are looking for in your cup of joe, robusta may be the way to go for its bold and smoky qualities.

Robusta VS Arabic

Many coffee drinkers are familiar with the most popular type of coffee bean, Arabica, but there is much more to know about coffee production. Robusta beans are becoming increasingly popular, boasting a strong flavor and packed with twice the caffeine content of Arabica beans. While robusta has increased in popularity over recent years, it’s important to note that qualitative differences between these two types of beans exist and differentiate one coffee from the other. Robusta beans are generally darker in color, denser in texture and floury to the taste while Arabic beans feature mellow tasting notes with a nutty flavor profile.

Robusta VS Excelsa

From its origin in the distant Congo Basin to its current worldwide consumption, Robusta and Excelsa coffee beans serve as a delicious part of many people’s morning routines. These two delightful types of coffee differ in both taste and origins. Robusta beans come from light or dark roasted plants and are characterized by an intensely bold flavor, full body, earthy aroma, higher caffeine content, and lower acidity than their Excelsa counterparts. While used less frequently in mainstream commercial blends, Excelsa beans complement other Arabica varieties due to their sweet, light flavor profile with hints of blackberry and cocoa. Uniquely cultivated primarily in western Africa, these vibrant green-toned beans offer a high price tag for those looking for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Robusta VS Liberica

Robusta is a full-bodied, bold cup with an intense flavor, higher caffeine content, and lower acidity levels than liberica. On the other hand, liberica offers a more offbeat flavor than many are used to in their coffee beverages. Its aroma is far earthier than that of robusta and many other varieties such as arabica and it also contains significantly more caffeine than both arabica and robusta.

Robusta coffee beans are unique for their strong flavor, heavy body and plethora of health benefits. While it may take some practice to get used to the intense aroma and taste of robusta coffee beans when served up fresh, it’s definitely worth the effort! Robusta coffee has a sharp flavor intensity that is unforgettable, that is often described as being earthy, woody and nutty notes in comparison to the bold and more acidic flavors present in Arabic or Liberica coffees. If you want an exceptional type of coffee with a richer and more diverse taste, then robusta coffee is likely your choice. The complexity and balance of its flavors will please even the most experienced and discerning palate.


What is robusta coffee?

Robusta coffee beans are a variety of coffee bean that has a strong flavor profile with earthy, woody and nutty notes. It contains more proteins, polyphenols and lipid content than Arabica, another common type of coffee bean.

What are the differences between robusta and Arabica beans?

Robusta beans generally have a darker color, denser texture and floury taste while Arabic beans feature mellow tasting notes with a nutty flavor profile. Additionally, robusta has twice the caffeine content of Arabica beans.

Are robusta or Excelsa coffees better?

It depends on what you’re looking for in your cup o joe! Robusta offers an intense flavor and higher caffeine content whereas Excelsa boasts sweet light flavors with hints of blackberry and cocoa.

How does robusta compare to Liberica coffee?

Compared to Liberica, which offers an offbeat flavor with earthier aroma and significantly more caffeine than both arabica and robusta, Robusta has bolder flavors with full body experience but lower acidity levels than Liberica.

What are the health benefits?

Robusta coffee beans contain more proteins, polyphenols and lipid content than Arabica beans. Studies have shown that drinking two to three cups a day can help reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity, as well as other diseases.

How should I be brewing Robusta coffee?

Brewing robusta beans require different techniques than those used for other types of coffees. Due to their strong flavor profile, it is recommended to use a coarser grind setting when brewing your espresso or French press in order to better control extraction time and prevent over-extraction. Additionally, you may also want to adjust temperature settings based on your desired taste intensity in order to get the best result out of your cup.

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