The Coffea genus: Arabica vs Robusta

saka differenze caffè arabica robusta

Coffee is now one of the most widespread and drunk beverages in the world with a consumption in Italy of about 6kg per capita.

In 2020, sales in stores, supermarkets and discounts increased in value, compared to 2019, by 10.3% (IRI data).  But let’s take a step back.

Coffee is a plant native to Ethiopia, belonging to the family of Rubiaceae (genus Coffea). It lives in tropical areas, specifically between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at an altitude ranging from 200 to 2200 meters.

The genus Coffea has as many as 60 species of plants. However, less than half of these are marketed, in particular we find:

  • Coffea Arabica
  • Coffea Robusta

Coffea Arabica

Originally from Ethiopia, and now cultivated in all tropical regions, at an altitude between 800 and 2200 meters above sea level, with temperatures ranging between 15° and 24°. It is distinguished by its oval and elongated shape with an internal groove in the shape of an “s”. It represents 70% of global coffee cultivation.

Coffea Robusta

Originally from West Africa, the scientific name of this variety is actually Canephora, but it was named “robusta” because of its adaptability to parasites and high temperatures. It is grown from the plains up to a maximum of 900 meters above sea level, with temperatures between 23° and 30°. The beans are round and with straight internal grooves.