Robusta Coffee – Vietnamese Robusta Coffee
The coffee tree or Robusta coffee tree has the form of trees and shrubs; they often have a height of up to 10m when mature. Robusta coffee berries, when ripe, are round, and their seeds are smaller than those of tea or Arabica coffee. Coffee trees with an age of 3-4 years can be harvested. The tree will give sources in 20-30 years.
About the best place to grow and develop, Robusta coffee prefers to live in the tropics, and the suitable altitude for growing Robusta is under 1000m. Robusta easily adapts to environments with temperatures in the range of 24-29°C. The coffee tree also needs more sunlight than the coffee tree.
You could be forgiven for not knowing that Vietnam is the world’s second-largest coffee producer.
While Brazilian, Ethiopian, and Costa Rican beans have long been popular in Western coffee shops, Vietnamese coffee has yet to make a name for itself outside of Vietnam.
This is primarily due to the type of coffee grown in Vietnam. While the other countries mentioned above primarily produce Arabica beans, Robusta is the most popular coffee variety in Vietnam.
Arabica is regarded as a high-quality bean suitable for espresso drinks, whereas Robusta has been used for less glamorous purposes, such as the production of instant coffee.
However, with producers such as Belvico bringing high-quality Robusta beans to the world, this stereotype of Robusta beans is changing.
But what exactly is Robusta coffee, and why is it so distinct from Arabica beans from other major producers? Let’s take a closer look at this intriguing coffee blend.
Arabica coffee – Vietnamese Arabica Coffee
Arabica coffee is also known as coffee and tea in Vietnam. This plant has tiny leaves; the tree’s height is not very large, it looks like a tea tree in Vietnam, so they are called a coffee tree.
Arabica is a plant with a high economic value among coffees. They account for 75% of the world’s coffee production. However, in Vietnam, Robusta is the most popular type of coffee. Arabica coffee trees usually have a modest height of about 2 – 6m, not as tall as Robusta coffee trees. Arabica coffee has oval-shaped berries.
Arabica coffee is by far the preferred option for specialty coffee, which focuses on espresso and pour-over drinks made from ground whole beans.
When well roasted, Arabica beans have light, fruity tones and a significantly lower caffeine content than the other major variety, Robusta.
Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of Robusta coffee, and its own distinct method of brewing has long been associated with this underappreciated variety.
However, in order to raise the profile of Vietnamese coffee, a number of growers are experimenting with Arabica bean production or improving the quality of existing Arabica farms.
Compare Robusta and Arabica coffee
The first thing to mention is the feel. All foods and drinks taste different, so let’s see how Robusta and Arabica are different!
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Robusta is a famous coffee in Vietnam; they have a robust taste and are quite suitable for the taste of Vietnamese people. Robusta has a characteristic bitter taste, which is also Robusta’s strong point.
It has a unique bitter taste, but Robusta does not carry a robust and passionate scent like Arabica. If you compare Robusta as a quiet and mighty man, Arabica is like a lady who is cocky and seductive by the smell that makes all minds flutter.
Arabica has a powerful scent and mildly bitter taste, not as bold as Robusta. If Robusta has a strong bitter taste, Arabica only has a mildly bitter taste and a little sour taste.
The taste is probably the most noticeable distinction between Arabica and Robusta coffees. Arabica and Robusta coffees are grown very differently, resulting in very different flavor profiles (more on this later). Robusta is known for its “earthy” or “rubbery” flavor.
The caffeine content in Arabica is also relatively low, only about 1.5%, while this figure for Robusta is 2.7%. The high caffeine content is also one of the reasons why Robusta has such a strong bitter taste. There are many things for the content of Robusta, such as growing conditions, quality of varieties, processing technology, coffee roasting, and roasting techniques.
Arabica has up to 60% lipids and contains almost twice the sugar in Robusta. This gives Arabica a gently bitter taste and an intense aroma, not as strong as Robusta.
The conditions under which Arabica and Robusta coffees are grown are a significant difference. Arabica coffee is grown at elevations of 600+ meters on mountain peaks and in tropical environments. Robusta coffee is grown from sea level to around 600 meters. Robusta coffees also produce a harder fruit, making them less vulnerable to pesky insects. Arabica, on the other hand, is more delicate and susceptible to insect damage.
Arabic coffee accounts for roughly 75% of global production, with Robusta accounting for the remaining 25%. Brazil is the world’s largest producer of Arabica, while Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of Robusta.
One thing to keep in mind is that taste preferences and profiles differ from person to person. Many people enjoy a good Robusta-based blend, while others prefer only 100 percent Arabica.
Coffee bean shape
Arabica coffee beans are oval slightly long; there is a zigzag-shaped groove in the middle of the beans, while Robusta is round and the beans are also smaller; in the middle, there is a straight groove and quite deep compared to Arabica. In terms of color, if roasting the above two types of coffee at the same temperature, the color of Arabica will be lighter than that of Robusta due to Arabica’s solid characteristics and poor bloom that make them so colored.
In terms of processing, Robusta and Arabica have pretty different processing methods! As for Arabica, people will ferment them after harvesting by soaking in water. This process will somewhat make Arabica a bit more sour, which is also characteristic of Arabica. When drinking this type of coffee, the aftertaste is very interesting; Arabica leaves an aftertaste like turning from bad to bitter like when eating chocolate; only after swallowing can you feel all the unique taste of Arabica.
For Robusta, there is no need to ferment. Still, it can be roasted at a temperature of 230 – 240 C. If for Arabica, fermentation is necessary to make the coffee have a specific flavor, then for Arabica. The Robusta roasting process also plays a similar role. The roasting conditions of Robusta must be strictly followed to bring out the characteristic rich coffee flavor that is true to Robusta.
Price of Robusta and Arabica coffee
As the two most popular types of coffee in the world, each type has different characteristics in terms of quality, quantity, and price. Robusta is a type of coffee with a lower yield than Arabica but better than Arabica. Both types have their characteristics in terms of quality, but Arabica with an attractive aroma is still more popular. And that means that the price of Arabica is much higher than Robusta.
Arabica coffee is often sold twice as much as Robusta, but not many people drink only Arabica or only Robusta. The types of coffee we still drink are a combination of both types of coffee.
Each type has specific characteristics and advantages, but the other does not; when mixed in different proportions, they form a coffee with a balanced flavor and taste, perfect taste.
The passion and love of Arabica, when combined with the solid and impressive Robusta, will create a perfect coffee flavor in both flavor and taste. The experience of each type of coffee at the same time will give you a unique feeling. Slowly feel the coffee taste from mildly sour to bitter, along with an intense aroma that is seductive to ecstasy.
Depending on the price and taste, people will mix Arabica with Robusta in different proportions to get the best feeling. The types of coffee mixed between the two types also have different prices depending on the ratio of Arabica and Robusta.
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>>> Comparing Arabica and Robusta coffee quality in Vietnam
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