Most coffees in the specialty sector belong to the Coffea Arabica species. Among them, there are many varieties, such as Bourbon or Typica. But only about 70% of the coffee consumed is Arabica. There are up to 100 other species of the genus Coffea.
The other major species is called Coffea Canephora, but most know it by its only cultivated variety, Robusta. About 30% of the world's coffee production is Robusta, grown mainly in Central and West Africa, Southeast Asia, and Brazil.
Robusta has a much heavier flavor profile than the "noble" Arabica. It is most often used with Arabica in blends to give the cup a fuller body and that "extra kick". In an espresso, Robusta has much more crema. So a bit is often blended into Arabica espresso blends to give a thicker texture.
The Robusta plants themselves are also, as the name promises, more robust than Arabica. They're bigger, and more resistant to disease, just robust. The growing area is also larger than Arabica, as Robusta can withstand higher temperatures. Robusta is also inexpensive and reliable.
Robusta is also used a lot for instant coffee. Here, the quality is not as important, and the cheaper price and reliability of Robusta make it a good option. That Robusta also has about 50% more caffeine than Arabica makes it even better, because we mostly drink instant coffee for the caffeine anyway.
We at 19grams do not roast Robusta coffees, our coffees, single origin as well as blends are 100% Arabica coffees.