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coffee: the difference between arabica and robusta

coffee: the difference between arabica and robusta

by Asher Yaron asher yaron
Nutrition | Healthy Eating

There are two major types of coffee in the world, Arabica and Robusta. Both of these species of trees produce coffee cherries that look very similar to each other but are, in fact, very different. The coffee that we consume are the seeds inside the cherries that are harvested, dried, and roasted. Arabica coffee is largely considered the superior of the two and comprises about 70% of world production.

Arabica coffee characteristics:

• Higher price (more than double the price of Robusta)
• More difficult to grow (needs altitude)
• More susceptible to diseases
• Produces a lower yield per acre
• Wider range in flavors
• Superior aroma and taste (more oils and sugars in the seeds)
• Lower caffeine content (about 1/2 the caffeine as Robusta)
• Superior effect on consciousness (enhances ability to focus attention)

Robusta coffee characteristics:

• Lower cost (less than 1/2 the price of Arabica)
• Easier to grow (can grow at sea level and higher)

• More resistant to pests and diseases

• Greater yield per acre

• Less flavorsome
• Lower quality aroma and taste

• Higher caffeine content (about twice as much as Arabica)
• Jittery effect on nervous system and consciousness
• Often used as a “filler” in blends to maximize profits

Robusta coffee comprises about 30% of the worldʼs production.

Based on my years of observation and experimentation, I have chosen to work exclusively with Arabica coffee. I have noticed, in myself and others, that high quality Arabica coffee (i.e., organically grown, fresh roasted, and well prepared) has powerful medicinal characteristics that effect the body by stimulating the desire to move (workout, dance, do yoga, etc.) and affect the brain by stimulating thoughts of creativity, positivity, and imagination. Arabica coffee is a very useful medicine by energizing our bodies, and for our consciousness by helping us focus our attention in a positive and creative way.

The effects of Robusta feel very different. With nearly double the caffeine content it can overload the nervous system (particularly on those who are sensitive to it), and create nervous jitters and attention that is distracted and unfocused, the exact opposite of Arabica. Many people feel they cannot drink coffee because they have experienced these effects and it has not felt good. In some instances it may not be coffee, in general, that is the culprit, but the type of coffee and the way in which that coffee was grown, harvested, roasted, and brewed.

Buyer Beware! Before drinking your daily cup(s) of coffee it is important to know the type of coffee you are drinking.

  • Is it Arabica? Robusta? A blend? 
  • Where is it from? Organically grown? 
  • Is it already ground or whole bean? 
  • How fresh is it from when it was roasted? Unknown? 
  • 1 month? 2 weeks? Within 24 hours? 
Knowing the answers to these questions will enhance your understanding of what is the best coffee for YOU? YOUR body? YOUR mind? Do your own experimenting and testing. Coffee is a powerful natural pharmaceutical consumed by hundreds of millions of people around the world every day. It is worthwhile finding out what is best for us individually so that we can enhance our life experience and perform at our very best!

More on coffee and consciousness and about coffee