Robusta beans are easier and cheaper to grow providing higher yields but a more bitter taste than Arabica beans. The market price for Robusta is about half of that of Arabica.
Robusta beans are mostly used in instant coffee as well as some supermarket brand ground coffee. They are also used as a blend in espresso providing a stronger flavor to offset the sweetness of Arabica beans. Robusta beans have more caffeine than Arabica for that morning jolt.
Arabica beans are the ones we think of when enjoying our fresh brewed gourmet coffee. The growth yield is lower and requires more stringent conditions. Robusta is lower in price, more bitter in taste, higher in caffeine and used in instant coffees. Some countries grow both types.
Arabica beans grow at a higher altitude and tolerate lower temperatures. Robusta beans grow in hotter, drier conditions. Extreme rain or drought decreases harvest and affects supply and price.
Check out the forecast in each country to see when to stock up on your favorite brew.
American Grown Coffee
The United States is generally not thought of as a coffee producer but Hawaii grows coffee on most of its islands. The primary coffee area is in Kona which is the name of the best known coffee of Hawaii. Coffee plants were originally brought to Hawaii from Brazil in the early 1800s. Kona coffee is grown in rich volcanic soil at high elevations.