The majority of Americans (and people around the world for that matter) enjoy at least one cup of coffee per day. What few realize is that there are different types of coffee beans, each bringing its own unique flavor profile to the cup. Of all the species of coffee, the two most popular are the Robusta bean and the Arabica bean. Little Green Cyclo combines a blend of premium high quality single-origin Robusta & Arabica beans harvested in Vietnam to create our ready-to-drink coffees. Here's a breakdown of differences between the two bean types.
Robusta beans make up roughly 40% of the world's coffee market. Of that 40%, the large majority comes from Vietnam, where the climate and weather conditions are perfect to grow Robusta trees in bulk. Robusta beans are known generally for their stronger and more bitter taste as well as their high caffeine content. However, these beans are different from Arabica in a variety of ways that we believe should be more well-known.
- Robusta Trees: Robusta trees are far larger than their Arabica counterparts. Robusta can grow up to 12 meters tall and span 3-4 meters across. Each tree can yield between 1 and 5 kilograms per season (more than double the yield of Arabica). Robusta grows best at an altitude of 900m above sea level and at temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. Vietnam checks all of the climate boxes so it quickly became the largest exporter of Robusta beans in the world!
- Farming Robusta: Historically, Robusta beans have been given a bad reputation due to poor-quality yields. However, this quality is not a reflection of the bean itself, rather, it reflects the farming practices that surround this product. In recent years, there has been a movement to improve the farming practices of Robusta beans that are proven to result in better-tasting, higher-quality beans. Little Green Cyclo is doing our part to support this movement by sourcing our beans directly from single-origin, family-owned farms. Our farmers harvest by hand to preserve the bean, and will only export the beans that meet their highest standards.
- Chemical Composition: Robusta beans are complex. They contain roughly 3-7% sugar, and 10-12% oil. They also contain chlorogenic acids which are naturally occurring antioxidants. These three factors taken into account, Robusta beans produce a more raw and bitter brew, a smoother and thicker crema, and a powerful health drink. It's important to mention that Robusta beans also contain 1.7-4% caffeine, making the subsequent brews packed with energy-boosting power. Little Green Cyclo Classic and Matcha RTD Coffee contains the same caffeine in one can as you'll find in around 3 cups of regular coffee.
- Final Products: Robusta beans can be used to create a wide variety of coffee drinks. Of course, Vietnamese coffee such as cà phê sữa đá utilizes the powerful flavor of the bean, but you can actually find it hiding in plain sight. Many espressos and cappuccinos use Robusta beans at least in part to bump up the coffee flavor and caffeine content. You may have Robusta beans to thank for that early-morning pick-me-up.
Arabica beans hold the top spot in the coffee market at 60%. Because of this large market share, many people believe that Arabica is the "parent" coffee. The reality is that Arabica actually developed from Robusta, making Robusta the parent! Arabica is more-widely used in coffee because it is sweeter and less bitter. Many cultures have a bit of a sweet tooth, so Arabica suits them best.
- Arabica Trees and Farming: Arabica trees are smaller than their Robusta counterparts, and produce only half the yield each season. They can only thrive in areas 900-2000m above sea level which can make it challenging to find suitable farmland. The most prominent exporters of Arabica are Africa, Central America, and South America. Arabica trees require humidity, but too much moisture can damage the beans. They're a very finicky plant that is not conducive to farming in most areas of the world.
- Chemical Composition: Arabica beans are chemically quite different from Robusta beans. They contain 15-17% oil, and 6-9% sugar. This elevated sugar level results in the sweeter taste of the finished product. You may notice notes of acidity because the sugars break down during processing into acids, but it will be milder than Robusta. Arabica beans are only 0.8-1.4% caffeine, meaning you'll need more cups to get the same energy boost as you'll get from Robusta beans.
As you can see, there are many unique aspects to both Robusta and Arabica beans. Little Green Cyclo produces only the highest-quality Vietnamese coffee. This includes using single-origin coffee beans sourced directly from family farms in Vietnam. These farmers are passionate about improving the quality of their coffee beans by implementing innovative methods of sustainable and organic farming. Rather than being harvested by machines, the coffee cherries are 100% handpicked with only the perfectly ripe cherries chosen to capture all their complex flavors.
Our cà phê sữa đá is crafted with the finest specialty Robusta & Arabica beans. Try our products and you'll understand why these beans pack a serious flavor punch that results in a delicious cup (or can) of coffee full of natural antioxidants. Enjoy a can of our ready-to-drink Vietnamese coffee today! Order online at https://coffeelgc.com/.