February 15, 2022

Why We Chose 100% Arabica Coffee Over Other Coffee Types

By Philippe Jolicoeur
woman holding 100 % arabica coffee beans in her hand to prepare 1936 instant coffee
Why We Chose 100% Arabica Coffee Over Other Coffee Types

Here at 1936 Coffee, we make our instant coffees using only 100% Arabica Coffee. This is a decision we made early on in the process which completely dictates the quality of our final product. But what is Arabica Coffee? And what is the difference between Arabica and other species of coffee? Let's dive in and find out.

Species of The World
There are more than 100 species of coffee in the world; however, there are really only two main species that are commonly grown to sell. These two species are Arabica, and Robusta. Arabica is the more popular of the two, with over 60% of the World’s coffee.

Robusta Coffee originated in central and western sub-Saharan Africa, whereas Arabica Coffee originated when coffee first traveled from the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia to lower Arabia in the 7th Century (hence the name Arabica). Arabic scholars produced the first ever written record of a drink made from brewed coffee seeds, noting that the beverage allowed them to prolong their work hours.

Arabica is pretty much unanimously considered to be the superior coffee in this category. Arabica tends to have a smooth, well rounded flavor palette with notes of nuts, chocolate, and fruit. Robusta on the other hand has a lower acidity and is more bitter, and it also has a more woody flavor palette. Robusta contains a higher amount of caffeine, which directly affects the flavor, primarily contributing to its bitterness.

Arabica is a more sensitive plant than its counterparts, requiring very specific care and growing conditions to grow effectively. It grows well in humidity, and tends to react poorly to frost. It takes about seven years for an arabica plant to mature fully, and once it does a tree can produce between 0.5 to 5.0kgs of beans. Robusta is a plant that is much more versatile and easy to grow, it has an easier time adapting and growing in many environments, and the higher caffeine content acts as a natural pesticide against instects. The largest producer of Arabica beans in the world is Brazil, and Vietnam is the largest producer of Robusta beans in the world.

Arabica’s smooth, nuanced flavor palette makes it a very versatile coffee which can be easily drank black, but also mixes in milk drinks very nicely. These days, Robusta is most commonly used for filler in mixed blends, as well as in lower quality instant coffee (not us!). High-quality Robusta is also often used in espresso blends, about 10-15%, as it famously helps create a nice layer of foam, or crema. That’s not to say that there aren’t some great cups of quality artisan Robusta coffee to be had; however, in the world of gourmet coffee they are certainly a rarity.

Final Thoughts
So there we are, even though Arabica is more expensive and harder to farm, the difference in flavor palette and quality of bean make it our choice of bean for all of our instant coffees, every time.

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