What are Robusta coffee beans?

Arabica Vs. Robusta Coffee

Robusta Coffee

Robusta coffee beans come from a different species of coffee plant than Arabica beans. Arabica beans are thought by most to be superior, and Robusta coffee brands are not nearly as widely recognized.

Significantly lower Robusta coffee prices would seem to indicate that people stronger prefer Arabica beans, and are willing to pay a lot more for them. While it is true that Arabica beans are more popular, there are those who may prefer a good Robusta bean for a number of reasons. 

If you’re mostly here for suggestions, you can skip to our recommendations!  

Arabica Vs Robusta Coffee Beans

Arabica beans are used in coffee shops, cafés and account for most of the beans that you purchase too. Robusta beans are more frequently found in instant coffees and Arabica Robusta blends. It is likely that you are more familiar with the flavors and characteristics of Arabica beans than that of Robusta beans. You may have only experiences Robusta beans in Arabica Robusta blends!

Arabica beans are considered to taste better in general, and a lot of people leave it at this… But Robusta coffee beans can be so much more than a cheap filler! The best Robusta coffee can be extremely flavorful and smooth.

If your ideal coffee sounds something like this...

  • Strong
  • Dark
  • Highly caffeinated
  • Bittersweet & dark chocolate notes

You may find that you really enjoy Robusta coffee. You may even prefer it to Arabica!

Coffee Species & Taste Profiles

The Robusta coffee plant (Coffea canephora) and the Arabica coffee plant (Coffea arabica) are two distinct coffee species.

Arabica coffee beans are delicate and more prone to disease. They require a higher altitude to be effectively grown, and even still result in a lower yield. These beans are known for their more pronounced flavors and aromas, as well as their pleasant acidity. 

Robusta coffee beans are, believe it or not, very robust. They naturally contain a much larger amount of caffeine than Arabica beans. The high caffeine content actually helps to make Robusta beans considerably more resistant to disease. Because of this, Robusta coffee growing conditions are much more versatile. Robusta plants are often grown at lower altitudes, and  they produce a higher yield than their Arabica counterparts.

Robusta coffee beans are known to be low in acidity and often have a dark chocolate, bittersweet flavor.

These qualities often make Robusta beans ideal for espresso shots!

Robusta Coffee Taste Preference - Front Vs Back Palate

Arabica beans are enjoyed for their flavorful and bright profiles. People that prefer Arabica beans considered are to have a front palate preference, as the best qualities of Arabica beans are tasted by the front of the mouth and tongue.

Robusta beans are enjoyed for their heaviness and strong taste. People with a back palate preference are more likely to prefer Robusta species coffee, as these signature qualities are experienced more so back the back part of the palate.

So the question is, are you a front palate person, or do you fall in with the back palate crowd? Don’t worry, you don’t have to pick, Arabica Robusta blends are readily available! We feel that it’s worth experimenting a little, you may just find that you prefer Robusta beans.

Robusta Coffee Prices

Robusta coffee prices are worth considering. Although you may be able to find some Robusta brands at a fraction of the price of an Arabica brand, care must be taken. A bad Robusta, is a lot worse than a bad Arabica. Low quality Robusta that is used as filler in cheap instant coffees and blends can have a rubbery smell and taste, so unless you’re into that, be wary of a suspiciously low Robusta coffee price.

The Best Robusta Coffee 

Think you might be a back palate person? It’s definitely worth finding out! Here are some of the best Robusta coffee beans that we have tried! You can click on 'View profile' to see detailed Robusta coffee taste profiles!

The Coffee

The Visual

Defining Qualities

Available As...

Vietnam Robusta

Robusta Coffee Beans Vietnam Robusta Peaberry Coffee Whole Bean
  • Rich, dark & thick!
  • Nuts & Chocolate

Panama Robusta

Panama Coffee Panama Robusta Coffee Whole Bean
  • Dark & Heavy
  • Baker's Chocolate


Strongest Coffee Most Caffeine Biohazard Coffee The Worlds Strongest Coffee Whole Bean
  • Strong, dark & earthy
  • Hazelnut & Cherry

Psst, hey! If you like the average Robusta coffee taste profile, you might also like these strong coffees! Most of them are Arabica Robusta blends.

We hope that you feel enlightened about the oh-so misunderstood Robusta coffee species. Let us know what your favorite Robusta coffee beans are!

Have a coffee question? We may have the answer. Ask away!

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