The irresistible allure of Robusta Coffee from India

Robusta Coffee | Robusta Coffee India

Few are unmoved when greeted by the intoxicating aroma of a freshly brewed cup of good quality coffee, and when that cup of coffee is made from Robusta Coffee beans from India, the coffee-drinking experience is heightened even further! If you aren’t particularly au fait with the distinct character and charm that Robusta coffee has to offer, then please read on as we’ve written this blog especially for you.

Robusta coffee (botanical name: Coffea canephora), is a resilient species of coffee which does really well in a number of different locations and environments. Its inherent adaptability towards inclement weather and its resistance to disease and pests means that it can be grown in places of the world where other coffee beans simply can’t be cultivated. Whilst Robusta is often used in blends to add body and crema, its flavours can be further elevated through selective harvesting and adjusting roasting techniques.

The Robusta bean vs. the Arabica bean

Arabica is generally considered to be the most popular and widely consumed coffee in the world today, and has been for some time. Indeed, well over half of all coffee produced globally today is Arabica coffee. Arabica coffee has a relatively subtle flavour profile and a rather reduced caffeine content compared to Robusta coffee.

Ranking in second place in terms of worldwide popularity, Robusta coffee is only just behind Arabica coffee. Robusta beans do have a stronger and more robust flavour than Arabica coffee beans, with what can be described as more earthy / nutty notes and a slightly bitter aftertaste which separates it from the smoothness and delicacy of the Arabica bean. Robusta coffee plants grow to be much taller than Arabica plants, and their robust leaves are able to withstand both high winds and heavy rainfall. Therefore, with its higher yields and reduced growth cycles, when all things are considered equally, the Robusta bean is a surefire winner for coffee producers.

Indian Grown Robusta Coffee

Robusta coffee is well suited for cultivation in India due to the highly suitable conditions for growth offered by the Indian climate. With high rainfall and altitude ranges between 600 to 1,200 meters above sea level, the climate offers all the right ingredients needed for the Robusta plant to thrive. One of Robusta's most attractive traits for Indian cultivators is its natural defence against diseases, including coffee leaf rust and coffee berry disease. The reason for this resilience is actually quite fascinating, as it’s the higher caffeine content in Robusta coffee which acts as a natural deterrent against pests and pathogens. This resilience results in a highly sustainable and reliable coffee crop, providing stability for the industry and local economies in India.

Indian harvesters employ two main processing methods: the washed (wet) process and the natural (dry) process. The washed process involves removing the fruit pulp and fermenting the beans before drying them. This method is chosen when clean, bright flavours are desired. The natural process involves drying the cherries with the fruit pulp intact, allowing the beans to absorb the fruit's sugars which imbues a heightened, more intense flavour profile.

Indian coffee cultivation provides both direct and indirect employment opportunities for a large population of workers in India. From the farmers and labourers working on coffee estates, to the processors and exporters who work in coffee-adjacent industries, the coffee sector generates many high value jobs in India. The income that the industry generates contributes to rural development, particularly in the regions which grow coffee.

As a major exporter of coffee, India as a country earns a substantial income that benefits the overall economy. The coffee industry in India has developed strong market links to international auctions, trade fairs, and specialised coffee associations.  These links help to promote and drive the industry, which benefits all those in India who produce coffee, as well as the end consumer.

So you can enjoy your cup of Robusta coffee from India, safe in the knowledge that you are helping to support local farmers and workers in India to produce and export a much valued commodity.