October 27, 2021 4 min read
The idea of enabling anyone to create a great cup of espresso coffee was the beginning of the Nespresso® story. Nespresso® has redefined and changed the way millions of people enjoy a cup of coffee. Nespresso® has launched their own capsule system which allows you to use any pod with your existing nespresso® machine. This means that if you already own an older model of nespresso® machine then it will still work perfectly fine with these new compatible capsules. When choosing compatible coffee pods, you're usually going to end up in a situation of choosing flavours incorporating either Arabica or Robusta. This article is for the coffee lovers out there who are interested in understanding the differences & which one you might be better off buying.
Coffee beans come from two main sources: Arabica or Robusta. Both coffees contain caffeine, however, each one contains slightly different amounts. For example, Arabica tends to be sweeter & softer while Robusta has a stronger body & can sometimes be harsh in flavour.
Arabica beans tend to be roasted lighter than Robusta. However, both can be used interchangeably when making espresso. If using a single origin bean then this should always be specified within the description.
Robusta beans are generally darker roasted than Arabica. These beans give off a bolder taste compared to Arabica beans and is often used to add more body and more acidity to a blend. It’s important to note Robusta is grown at much lower altitudes than Arabica and produces more beans per tree than Arabica. Which makes it much cheaper to produce, and is often used to bring the price of a blend down as well. Arabica on the other hand, grows at much higher altitudes and yields less coffee cherries. This improves the flavour of Arabica beans and therefore it costs more to produce and buy Arabica coffee.
When looking at raw coffee, before it’s roasted, you can tell by the colour of the beans themselves what you’re looking at. Greenish-yellow coloured beans are usually Arabica beans whereas brown ones are typically Robusta beans. Robusta is also more round in shape and smaller than Arabica beans, which are usually more of an oval shape.
Yes, you will find that for the most part, roasters choose to use only Arabica beans. This is mainly because Arabica is much higher quality than most Robusta beans. The flavour is smoother with less acidity or harshness than Robusta. It does mean that you will pay more for your coffee.
If you look at the bottom of the bag/pod, you may see something written like “100% arabica” or “arabica blend”. These terms mean that all the beans inside come from the Arabica strain of coffee tree. You could also find words like “single origin” or “speciality grade”. Single Origin would mean that the beans are from one particular plantation or region thus its origin is singular. Specialty needs a bit more of an explanation. Coffee needs to be graded before it is sold to roasters to determine its price and quality. This is done in an internationally standardised score card. The coffee is put through a cupping process where coffee tasters, called Q Graders, taste and score the coffee. If a coffee scores 80 or more it is classified as “specialty”. if it scores less than 80 it is classed as “commodity coffee”.
There are many factors that determine why your coffee tastes so good. It could be that the farmer has done an excellent job nurturing his crop and harvesting it. It could be that the roaster has roasted your coffee in just the right way to extract more pleasant flavours from that particular bean. Your coffee also needs to be aged correctly. Too fresh and the flavours will be under developed, Too old and the coffee will lose its luster. Brewing your coffee correctly is also a major part of getting good flavours. Correct grind size, water temperature, brew time, all of these are factors that determine how your cup will taste. When all the stars align and all these factors work in harmony your coffee will taste amazing!
Whether you prefer Arabica or Robusta, it's will ultimately by based on your own opinion on the cup of coffee you enjoy the most. We recommend trying some samples of both types to decide which one suits you best. At Podify coffee we have perfected two types of blends, Lucid which is 100% Arabica & while Dark Matter is Robusta.
Scandinavian style roasting inspired lucid, sits on the lighter side of our roast profiles. Using our unique air roaster, we are able to caramelise all the sugars and properly develop the flavours of this blend. The result is bright, juicy and complex while still highlighting the caramel notes in our Colombian and Brazilian coffees.
Our house blend, Dark Matter, has dark chocolate flavours associated with South American coffee. Combined with a punchy, full bodied India high-grade robusta and clean, crisp acidity from PNG, it cuts through milk easily and makes for an excellent traditional espresso.
Apart from making really good coffee, our compatible capsules are completely plant based and completely free of any environmental nasties. This means our eco-friendly pods are biodegradable and compostable when disposed of properly. Why not give our compatible capsules a try & enjoy the ultimate coffee experience!