Have you ever been curious about the applications of Robusta coffee? Everyone keeps talking about it, but no one ever really goes into detail about it.
After all, why is it important, and why is it used, if people are so dissatisfied with its flavor?
As it turns out, Robusta has a wide range of applications and was instrumental in saving the coffee industry more than a century ago.
This is primarily because Arabica beans are more expensive.
You see, a long time ago, Arabica was the only variety of coffee grown anywhere in the world. So before the Coffee Leaf Rust made its way to Sri Lanka and neighboring Asian countries, the disease was confined to Africa.
Because it destroyed entire farms, they had no choice but to resort to the next best thing, Robusta beans.
It is not as flavorful as Arabica, and it is much harsher and more caffeinated. As a result, they became more hardy and resistant to pests and diseases.
This means that it could thrive in environments where Arabica was unable to.
This resulted in the rise and establishment of Robusta coffee as a highly regarded and useful bean throughout the world.
By now, you’ve probably learned that there are two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. In addition, there are a plethora of sub-classes within these two categories.
The majority of coffee is grown in the Coffee Belt, located approximately 30 degrees north and south of the Equator.
On the other hand, Robusta appears to be one of the most well-known and, as a result, somewhat despised.
Yes, Robusta can be a disaster in a hot brew for a good portion of the time, but it does have its redeeming qualities. This is especially true if you use a cold brew method.
However, it is a necessary coffee to have in the industry, and it makes a significant difference whether you use Robusta or not, both in terms of taste and price. Allow me to explain.
1. Robusta beans are used in the production of decaf.
The decaf variety of coffee is likely to be consumed in an attempt to wean yourself off of the stimulant.
Alternatively, you could have some black tea, which is lower in caffeine than coffee but still provides a wake-up boost in the morning.
Aside from the amount of caffeine in decaf coffee versus regular coffee, there is a significant difference between them.
The main difference between decaf and regular coffee is that decaf uses Robusta beans. This is especially amusing when you consider that Robusta has the highest caffeine content – 2.7 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in Arabica – and is the most popular variety.
What is the benefit of using Robusta?
Not, given that this has been the standard method of producing decaf for decades.
Robusta is used for decaf because it has a very harsh flavor and is therefore not suitable for espresso.
Furthermore, the decaffeination process removes the caffeine and the flavor. Arabica beans would lose almost all of their flavor if they were cooked.
Another reason is that Robusta beans are significantly less expensive than Arabica beans. Partly because they produce a larger crop, and partly because people prefer Arabica.
Even if the decaffeination process is expensive, it is significantly less expensive to use large Robusta beans rather than the more expensive and sensitive Arabica.
That’s all there is to it. Most likely, if you’re drinking decaf, you’re drinking Robusta. Examine the bag to see if the claim is correct.
The Three Coffee Waves is a post that is highly recommended.
2. Robusta coffee is also used in instant coffee.
What’s more, if you’re a fan of instant coffee, guess what? Robusta is something else you’re drinking.
This is due to the low cost of Robusta beans, as previously stated.
Because instant coffee is made, a significant amount of coffee is lost. Unfortunately, we aren’t aware of a better way to prepare instant cups at this time.
Currently, the primary process entails spraying a large volume of already brewed coffee into a large, dry, and warm tower. It’s empty inside, and it dries the coffee drops in record time.
These are reduced to their solid components then dropped to the bottom of the tower to be reassembled.
As a result, losing some Robusta will not be as detrimental as losing some Arabica.
In addition, instant coffee must retain some flavor, which Arabica would lose during the processing process of making it.
3. Robusta is a type of Arabica found in many blends.
You’re probably familiar with this one.
Do you ever buy coffee and forget to look at the labels on the bag before you take a sip? If you do, you’ll notice that many of them advertise that they are “100 percent pure Arabica.”
This is a gimmick, but it also serves as a quality assurance measure.
It provides quality assurance because you know you’re only getting Arabica, which is an important consideration for some people.
The fact that many pure Arabica blends, except for gourmet specialty blends, taste a little watery and incomplete is also part of the appeal of the blend.
If you drink your coffee black, pure Arabica will leave you feeling underwhelmed, especially if you use milk and sugar.
This is why a small amount of Robusta will be beneficial. In addition, many coffee blends contain some Robusta, though not all of them specify how much is in each cup of coffee.
In a blend, Robusta brings more caffeine and a more pronounced coffee flavor to the table, which helps to balance out the good flavor of Arabica.
It’s similar to seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper, and it works extremely well with Arabica.
It would be almost too bad to drink a pure Robusta on its own, but it would be delicious in a hot brew. However, a blend consisting of 30% Robusta and 70% Arabica would be well received by most people.
4. Robusta coffee aids in the production of thicker crema in espresso.
The crema in an espresso, how I love you. This is probably what every barista dreams about.
I’m not sure because I’m not a barista. But I’m assuming they do because otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to make their lattes look as pretty as they do.
Robusta beans, for some reason, produce a thicker crema on the surface of the espresso.
Now, this is a little strange because crema is made. After all, hot water pushes some hot air bubbles through the fats and sugars of the bean, which results in the crema. This results in the formation of the crema on top of the espresso.
Arabica contains twice the amount of fat and sugar found in Robusta. So the fact that Robusta is producing more crema may seem strange at first, but it is something that many baristas have noticed.
Pure Robusta in espresso, on the other hand, is not a good idea. However, a blend of Robusta and Arabica ensures that both the taste and the crema are consistent.
So there you have it, even your espresso, which most likely contains some Robusta, contains some Robusta.
Not all espresso blends contain it, but a significant number of them do. Ask your barista or examine the coffee you’re purchasing close to determine the Robusta/Arabica ratio if you want to be certain.
5. Iced drinks made with cold-brewed Robusta are better than hot-brewed drinks.
If summer is just around the corner – and it is, at the time of writing this – you’re probably getting your cold brew jars out of the cupboard as well.
That’s fantastic because Robusta will be able to assist you here.
I believe this is one of the only ways to brew commercial Robusta while maintaining a pleasant flavor successfully. Unfortunately, brewing at a high temperature produces disastrous results.
This is because cold brewing extracts nutrients and flavors differently from hot brewing. This means that there will be less acidity and more sweetness.
If there are any to be found, the flavors in your Robusta will be much more noticeable in a cold brew, if you can believe there are any.
You’ll finally understand what people mean when they say Robusta has a peanut-y aftertaste or that it has some toffee notes in its flavor profile.
When the coffee was extracted at a low temperature, the differences were noticeable.
You can make a strong cold brew with it by using less ground coffee than you would with Arabica, which saves you money. Which will stand up to almost any flavoring you throw at it admirably and is very versatile.
That’s a big promise for an iced coffee, and you’ll find that Robusta doesn’t fall short of it.
Robusta is a pleasant cup of coffee to have around, no matter how you look at it.
It manages to bring the flavor of pure Arabica together, and it also has some additional applications that you may not have considered before reading this.
Generally speaking, I believe that Robusta has a bad reputation and that many people would be extremely disappointed in their morning cup of coffee if it were solely Arabica.
Even the low caffeine content, if not the bland flavor, is enough to convince me.
I experimented with pure Arabica for several months before settling on one. Unfortunately, every single one of the brands I tried was disappointing. I think I tried 6-8 different ones.