Have you ever wondered, "Where is the Robusta coffee plant grown?"

The rationale behind the growing trend of individuals favoring robusta coffee is that the beans produce high-quality coffee that is rich in consistency and has a very characteristic flavor. However, have you ever wondered about the history and where this famous coffee bean is grown?

Find out which areas, weather patterns, and other factors contribute to its distinct features. It's time for characteristics. Discover the true origins of Robusta coffee by setting out on a flavor-filled journey.

Origin and History of Robusta Coffee

Coffea canephora plant

Coffea canephora, also known as robusta coffee, is a coffee plant species indigenous to central and western Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a member of the Rubiaceae family.

Despite widespread recognition as Coffea robusta, the correct scientific name is Coffea canephora. The plant produces beans which, when roasted and ground, become the popular robusta coffee, which is known for its strong and bold flavors.

coffea canephora is a rubiaceae plant

Coffea canephora is a Rubiaceae plant

Historical and geographical diversity produce Robusta coffee

Robusta coffee was developed in Central and West Africa. The discovery of Robusta in the Congo at the end of the 19th century paved the way for lowland coffee cultivation. The name Robusta is not a misnomer; the variety is stronger, more disease-resistant, and more sustainable.

Colonial Robusta plantations did not really take off until the early 20th century. It was forced to halt its spread during World War II, but it was able to recommence following Africa's independence wave with the backing of the new administrations and fervent smallholder support, particularly in Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire.

Robusta coffee, prized globally, finds its main cultivation hubs in Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, India, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Vietnam stands out as the largest producer, commanding over 40% of the world's Robusta output, while Indonesia's fertile islands, Brazil's diverse climate zones, India's southern states, Uganda's rich soil, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo's conducive conditions collectively bolster the robust presence of this coffee variety in the international market.

robusta coffee cultivation and flavoring

Robusta coffee cultivation and flavoring

View more: Guidelines: How to use Vietnamese Coffee Filter?

The amazing cultivation of Robusta Coffee

Cultivating at low altitude

As shared above, Robusta coffee is primarily grown in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa, with Vietnam being its largest producer. Unlike Arabica coffee, which requires higher altitudes for optimal growth, Robusta coffee thrives at lower altitudes.

Typically, this coffee species is cultivated at altitudes ranging from sea level to 800 meters above sea level. The lower altitude requirements enable Robusta coffee to be grown in a wider variety of regions, contributing to its global prevalence.

The ability to endure

Robusta plants exhibit a higher level of tolerance. This resilience is partially due to their more robust root structure, which allows them to better absorb water and nutrients, enabling the plants to better endure disease and pest attacks.

Besides, Robusta coffee production is more sustainable; Robusta production has a smaller environmental impact since it uses less water and chemical pesticides because they are naturally more resistant to pests.

Finding out the process of harvesting

Robusta coffee is usually picked by hand because of the height of the trees and the requirement to select only the ripe beans. Generally, the harvesting of it involves several steps.

  • Ripening and harvesting: After blossoming, Robusta coffee cherries often take 9 to 11 months, then it will be harvested by skilled workers.
  • Sorting and cleaning: The cherries are sorted to remove any debris leave, or unripe cherries.
  • Processing: There are two primary methods for processing coffee beans:
  • Dry processing: This is known as a natural method - The whole cherries are dried using by being laid out in the sun. The green coffee beans are visible when the outer layers - husks, pulp, and parchment are mechanically removed after they have dried.
  • Wet processing: This strategy is understood to be washed - After the cherries are pulped to remove outer the skin, the mucilage in the beans is eliminated by fermenting them in water. The beans go through a rigorous washing and drying process after fermentation.
  • Hulling: The parchment coating that encases the dried beans is removed by hulling them in both dry and wet processing methods. 
  • Milling and grading: To get rid of any last traces of imperfections and contaminants, the hulled beans are ground. The size, weight, and quality of the coffee beans are used to grade them.

the process of harvesting coffee beans

The process of harvesting coffee beans

Robusta Coffee can be used with

Besides, gaining knowledge of the topic “Where is Robusta grown?” - What types of coffee drinks can Robusta coffee beans be processed into and what seeds they can be combined with are also of great interest.

Blending with Arabica beans

Arabica and Robusta coffee beans are often mixed together to create special, well-balanced coffee blends. When Robusta beans - which have a stronger flavor profile and a higher caffeine content - are combined with Arabica beans, which have milder, more subtle characteristics, the resulting blend can give the flavor more depth and complexity.

Instant coffee

With a lower cost of production and flexible growth in altitudes and climates. Robusta coffee is often used in the production of instant coffee. The higher caffeine content and robust taste make it a popular choice for instant coffee blends.

Because of its strong ability to endure, Robusta can be grown in large quantities, making it an accessible and affordable option for instant coffee manufacturers.

Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Americano

The bold taste and higher caffeine content of Robusta make it an excellent choice for brewing espresso and other strong coffee drinks. In particular, Robusta's lower acidity and thicker crema work well in espressos, providing a richer and more intense flavor experience.

Additionally, the distinct flavor profile of Robusta coffee can add an interesting and contrasting character to popular coffee beverages such as cappuccinos, lattes, and Americanos.

types of coffee drinks made from robusta beans

Types of coffee drinks made from Robusta beans

French Press

Lastly, a French press can be used to appreciate Robusta coffee for emphasizing robust tastes. The distinctive qualities of Robusta coffee are brought out by the longer steeping time and coarser grinds used in the French press brewing process.

The result is a very powerful, rich, and full-bodied brew that is ideal for people who like their coffee to have a strong flavor and high caffeine content.

french press robusta coffee with a strong flavor

French press Robusta Coffee with a strong flavor

The Best Robusta Coffee to pick at 88 Coffee

Vietnamese coffee culture is closely associated with the Robusta coffee bean, as the bulk of the world's robusta coffee is produced there. The world will unavoidably awaken to the centuries-old Vietnamese coffee culture as it does to robusta.

explore the various types of robusta coffee

Explore the various types of Robusta coffee

Discover a rich tapestry of unparalleled Robusta coffee selections at 88 Coffee, where a meticulously curated range of the highest-quality beans awaits, promising a symphony of robust flavors, nuanced aromas, and distinctive characteristics that elevate your coffee experience to unparalleled heights, inviting aficionados to savor the essence of excellence in every meticulously brewed cup.