Vince harvesting robusta beans

Arabica vs Robusta — What’s The Difference?

Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world. At Nam Coffee, we’re proud to build off that legacy and showcase our country’s agricultural innovations. We offer three products — Da Lat, District One, and Orange County. Not all coffee is the same, however. There are mainly two types: Arabica and Robusta. 

While Da Lat consists of 100% Robusta, District One is an even 50% split between Arabica and Robusta. Orange County has Robusta and seventy percent Arabica. Though Robusta is by far the most popular type to grow in Vietnam, Arabica has made some gradual gains in the market with the rise of craft coffee. 

So, which one should you drink? At the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference. We’re proud to have products that include both and are happy to educate our customers of the differences. Let’s start with the tasting notes.  Robusta is chocolatey and earthy — a classic flavor palate for coffee traditions in Vietnam but also in Italy. On the other hand, Arabica is light and citrusy and is probably more in line with what you’d find at a western craft coffee shop. 

Here are the other differences between Arabica vs. Robusta

Arabica

Arabica encompasses a myriad of subspecies including Bourbon, Typica, and Catimor. Compared to Robusta, Arabica is harder to grow. The majority of arabica that’s grown in Vietnam is the Catimor variety — a hybrid of Arabica and Arabica-Robusta species. 

In the 1980s, Europeans introduced Typica and Bourbon to Vietnam. Since then, they’ve been largely replaced by high-yield varieties such as Catimor. However, with an emerging craft coffee movement in Vietnam, some coffee aficionados want to see it return to the country. 

Robusta

Robusta is pretty diverse with every region producing a varying quality. In Vietnam, the highest quality of robusta is grown in the central highlands regions. The high elevation creates a richer, more nuanced flavor. Though robusta does have more caffeine, it has 60% less fats and sugars. 

We’re proud to offer the highest quality beans that are grown in Vietnam and roasted in southern California. You can enjoy our coffee however you’d like. But for the authentic Vietnamese experience, we recommend using one of our premium phin filters. 

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