Although Arabica beans contain less caffeine than Robusta beans, they are often considered superior in taste. Arabica beans tend to have a smoother, sweeter flavor with notes of chocolate and sugar. They also often have hints of fruit or berries. Robusta, on the other hand, has a stronger, more tart, and bitter flavor with grainy or rubbery overtones. According to the International Coffee Organization, more than 60 percent of the world’s coffee production comes from Arabica growers.
This bean variety started the whole history of coffee in Ethiopia, and it still grows best at higher altitudes. The delightfully fragrant Arabica flowers only appear after a few years and produce ellipse-shaped fruits containing two apartment seeds known as coffee beans. An Arabica bush grows up to 15 feet (5 m) tall but is usually pruned back to 6 feet (2 m) to make it commercially viable. Arabica has two sets of chromosomes, so it is capable of self-pollination. This means that it generally remains stable as a species, as cross-pollination is less likely.