Coffee


There are various Coffee species, but the two most common are Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora, commonly known as Arabica and Robusta.
     Arabica is the most highly prized and valuable, and it accounts for three-fourths of world coffee production. Arabica is also more delicate, preferring higher altitudes—at least over 900 feet above sea level—and requiring more intensive cultivation than Robusta.  Arabica grows in the tropical and equatorial strips of America, Africa and Asia where it is always spring or mild summer.
      Robusta, as its name suggests, is more resistant to tropical heat and parasites and is grown at lower altitudes at comparatively low cost. Robusta can prosper in harsh environments such as the equatorial rain forest, where Arabica would succumb to diseases like root nematodes and "coffee rust". Unfortunately, Robusta’s greater resistance also increases its bitter and astringent flavor as well as its caffeine content, and therefore it is not used in the illy blend.

     Arabica coffee flavor can be described as fragrant, sweet, round, slightly acidic and often chocolaty, with a light hazel to reddish crema and a pleasant bitter note. Robusta coffees by contrast are sharp and astringent, with little fragrance and greater bitterness.  The crema tends to have a brown-grey color.
There are other differences between the two species:
      The Arabica bean is elongated, with a sinuous groove.  The Robusta bean is rounder, with a straight groove. While Arabica and Robusta differ only slightly in appearance, they are genetically quite distinct: the first has 44 chromosomes, the second only 22. The caffeine content of Arabica ranges from 0.9 to 1.7% while the Robusta species is much higher at 1.6 to 2.8%.
 

 

 

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