Espresso coffee is one of the most preferred kinds ordered in coffee shops. The creamy and frothy beverage spreads warmth and makes the perfect cup that keeps chat sessions continue for a long time. But have you ever thought of the ingredients (I mean) the coffee that goes into making it? Possibly not! Commercially two types of varieties are grown for the purpose namely, Arabica and Robusta. Both contain a different taste, but they are mixed together for economic reasons as well as to create newer tastes.
Know Your Coffee Beans
Both Arabica and Robusta have their own strong points and reasons why roasters prefer to mix them. Personally, I prefer a cuppa that tastes good but I also know the story of the espresso. The first espresso was started in the early 1990s and its drinkers did not find it very tasty. It was initially called cafe crema but with the improvement in the quality of coffee and blends the name changed and gave way to espresso.
The coffee blends are made by combining both Arabica and Robusta varieties. The varieties are different in taste, smell, and even consistency. But they are mixed together sometimes for taste, sometimes for creaminess and sometimes just for reducing the cost of making the espresso. The taste of the former ranges from soft to tangy while the Robusta ranges more from neutral to bitter. The unroasted Arabica tastes more like blueberries. But Robusta tastes like burnt tire or slightly like a raw peanut. Arabica is the best among the two, but Robusta has its own usefulness. The high caffeine content makes the taste bitter which is why espresso that has more Robusta in it will require more sugar than one which does not have that much Arabica in it. Notably, Robusta has 2.7 percent caffeine in it while Arabica has 1.5 percent.
Among the two varieties, Arabica contains 60 percent more of sugar and lipid content than Robusta which is also why it is tastier.
Producing Your Cup of Arabica Espresso
Arabica can technically produce the best quality espresso because it is considered the best form of coffee and is produced under careful conditions. They also may be the best option for commercial coffee machines as automatic machines prefer a better quality bean roast. They require delicate conditions like specific subtropical climatic conditions, good quality soil, sun and shade, and loads of moisture. The plants are vulnerable to bad handling and cold and have to be grown at a higher elevation of nearly 2,000 meters. Since producing good quality Arabica requires extreme care and caution these are usually expensive and hard to procure. Nearly 80 percent of the coffee produced in the world is Arabica, but each plant gives a lower yield. Even though the amount of area behind the Robusta variety is low the produce is high. That is one of the primary reasons why the hardy and inexpensive Robusta variety is mixed with it. It brings down the price range but then it compromises the taste as well.
The increase in profits had been the primary incentive for many coffee store owners and roasters in the 1900s. They steadily enhanced the proportion of the Robusta variety used in the espresso coffee blends which made lump sum profits for them but deteriorated the quality and gave birth to a generation of coffee enthusiasts who understood caffeine as tasty rather than enjoy the real taste of coffee. The Robusta variety is 40 percent cheaper than Arabica so most coffee makers opt for the same. In fact, it is the variety that is sold as instant coffee. It is perfect for coffee enthusiasts who prefer caffeine over taste. But for the real connoisseurs, Arabica does the trick.
Why Use Robusta
Therefore, should it be understood that using Robusta is not a good idea for those who prefer taste? No. What needs to be done it to get a variety that tastes neutral which will help to add body to the beverage, make it creamy with a lasting flavor, and is easy on the pocket as well. The perfect combination of taste and consistency is necessary for making a good cup of coffee. The high caffeine content cannot be undermined because espresso is made with beans that are dark roasted. The process of dark roasting makes the beans lose its caffeine. But the addition of the neutral Robusta helps in bringing the kick back and strength into the beverage without affecting the flavor.
But then you don’t get good quality Robusta all the time. The cost of growing Robusta is low and planters don’t have to put in a lot of backbreaking work to grow it, unlike the Arabica variety. Robusta is toxic to most bugs so pest control is hardly necessary. With rough handling, these plants can be grown well at altitudes of nearly 800 meters. Therefore, much of the Robusta beans produced are grown in bulk and the variety is always not great. The regular or inferior varieties, when mixed in the espresso blends, lend the strong bitter taste which requires much sugar to balance it. Thus, all the good intension behind mixing Robusta and Arabica falls flat because of the quality of the beans.
Is Pure Arabica The Best Option?
Pure Arabia is undoubtedly the best variety available if you consider its history. Its blends have always been most expensive in the market. Owing to its quality and pricey nature you will find Arabica in the specialty stores and coffee shops only while the Robusta can be found in the supermarket. In Italy also, where the story of the espresso starts, Arabica is considered the best while Robusta is the most popular. Simple the label “Made in Italy” can increase the value of the regular variety of Arabica and make everyone consider it as high quality “gourmet coffee” in the United States.
For people who prefer a better tasting cup of coffee, a good variety of Arabic is the right answer. A cup of 100 percent full blended Arabica uses beans produced from different parts of the world and makes the perfect cup of espresso. Good quality Arabica is versatile and can import the flavors of the region where it has been produced. Therefore, it is the best for a single origin blended cup. These characteristics cannot be found be found in even the best variety of Robusta. It simply masks the taste and flavor of the Arabica beans. In fact, coffee connoisseurs prefer a sugar-free cuppa so that the taste and smell can be felt. But that is impossible unless you have neutral tasting Robusta mixed in it.
I understand why Robusta is necessary and how it can be an important addition to your coffee mug. Experimenting with different these beans is a good idea if you want the best of both worlds but till you find the perfect blend stick with the pure Arabica blend for the rich taste of coffee. It tastes smooth, delicate and has the right amount of acidity which is not too sweet or sour but just the right amount of sharpness that can make you fully awake in the morning. Most coffee drinkers who have tasted the pure Arabica espresso even just once swear by it and will never want anything else in their cup blends again. Our blend of beans and our high traffic location require top quality machines and our machines of choice are from our friends at Fresh Boost decking out our stores with coffee machine lease Perth and have a range of coffee equipment suiting all our venues.