Robusta coffee as a multi-billion-dollar industry


A distinct combination between bitterness and grain-like flavor, along with high economic potential has made Robusta coffee to be in the spotlight, not only among coffee enthusiasts, but also among ambitious coffee traders.

An overview of Robusta coffee

The origin, typical taste and necessary conparison among popular types of coffee are crucial information for any trader.

Robusta coffee: The origin

Robusta coffee beans are harvested from Coffea Canephora trees, which first originated from Central and West Africa. But not until the 19th century, thanks to the discovery of Robusta in the Congo, did this type of coffee open its way to the world, especially to lowland areas.

Nowadays, the cultivation of Coffea Canephora is not limited to Africa, but spread to Brazil and Asia, mainly in Indonesia, Vietnam, India and the Philippines.


The origin of Robusta coffee

Robusta coffee: An irresistible taste

Robusta coffee impressed first-time drinkers by its earthy, somewhat grainy flavor, with notes of pleasant bitterness. Interestingly, the coffee’s aftertaste is usually reminiscent of oak and peanuts. However, like any other types of coffee, the flavor profile of Robusta coffee depends largely on the region of origin, the roasting and brewing methods.

Flavor depending on region of origin

Cultivation sites have a huge influence on the taste and smell of the coffee itself. For example, coffee beans from Ethiopia and Kenya often conjure up the smell of floral fragrance, while Brazilian Robusta coffee has a unique scent of fruits.


An irresistable taste

Flavor depending on the roasting method

Only by skilfully roasting the washed and dried coffee beans, are the unique aromas and flavors unfolded all the way.

The raw coffee beans are exposed to a dry heat, ranging from 180 to 230 Celsius inside a furnace. The beans are constantly stirred and turned in order to obtain a uniform roast and avoid burning the beans.

Years ago, coffee used to be roasted in clay pots put above a little wood fire. But nowadays, 2 major methods of roasting coffee are the drum roasting and the hot air roasting

  • Traditional Drum Roasting

The so-called drum roasting method is used in most of the more traditional roasting companies. Drum roasters are available in numerous shapes and sizes. Some smallest versions can be even set up in your garage. 

The raw material is poured into a circular and roaring drum, which is heated externally by either wood or oil. The rotating drum transmits the heat into the coffee directly through the surface of contact with the beans.

After going through the roasting process containing lots of heat, the beans need to be immediately cooled off to prevent the roasting. Finally, the coffee is poured onto a flat sieve so that cold air can be blown through it and cool the beans down.


Roasting methods

  • Industrial Hot Air Roasting

Due to the incredible development of the coffee industry in recent decades, roasting companies have to use more efficient and time-saving ways to roast their coffee in big amounts. The most common method is industrial hot air roasting. 

Hot air roasters are set up as continuous systems, which consist of a perforated and relatively large drum with a spiral conveyor on the inside. With the temperature up to 700 Celcius, the beans are roasted in only 5 minutes before being cooled down again with cold water. Although this method can effectively guarantee and increase the quantities of the coffee, it considerably reduces the quality. This is due to the short duration of exposure to heat, there is not enough time for the chlorogenic acids to transform and decrease. At the same time, the beans are soaked up by the cooling water, which falsifies the weight and aroma of the coffees.

Compare Robusta and Arabica coffee

The chart below will give you a brief but defined comparison between two most prevalent types of coffee in the world: Robusta and Arabica coffee.

Criteria           Robusta Arabica
Caffeine content 2 – 4% 0.8 – 1.4%
Optimal altitude 0 – 700m 1000 – 2000m
Shape Oval Flat
Time from flower to ripe cherries 10 – 11 months 9 months
Yield (kg beans/ha) 2300 – 4000 1500 – 2000
Immunity Strong Easily infected by fungus
Ripe cherries Fall Stay
Root system Shallow Deep
Typical brew characteristics Bitterness, full Acidity

This information is crucial for any coffee trader because different types of coffee require different business tactics to maximize the profits.

Economic potential of Robusta coffee

For any trader, the aspect of economic potential is one of the most important and also the first thing to dig into.

Asian countries are recorded to be the biggest exporters of Robusta coffee in many years. Vietnam is one of the most outstanding producers as well as exporters of this product. For the 2020-2021 crop, the country’s Robusta production reached around 29,700 tons, while Brazil, as a familiar name in the coffee exporting industry, only had nearly 21,3000 tons. According to the global statistics, Robusta coffee export output of Vietnam is holding a crucial position, making up for 40% of global production. There was a period of time, it even reached 60-70% of global Robusta’s production.


Economic potential

How to brew Robusta coffee like an expert?

It is not difficult to brew an excellent Robusta coffee. All you need is Robusta ground coffee, a cup of hot water and following the recipe below

  • Step 1:  Prepare two tablespoons of Robusta ground coffee
  • Step 2: Put the phin filter on top of the coffee cup
  • Step 3: Cover the lid on top of the Phin Filter
  • Step 4: Pour in boil water to cover half of the Phin Filter
  • Step 5: Let it bloom until it stops dripping
  • Step 6: Add sugar or milk, and there you have your perfect cup of coffee

Robusta coffee

It is the most popular way to have a good cup of Robusta coffee. However, if you want to “spice” your coffee up, you can mix Vietnamese Robusta coffee with Arabica beans in the ratio of 7:3, 3:7, or 2:8 to obtain a more exquisite taste. It is described to have a perfect balance between bitterness from Robusta and natural sourness from Arabica. 

Robusta and Arabica coffee: which is better?

That depends on your taste priority and target customer markets. 

If you are into the milder and more sugary taste, Arabica coffee is made for you. However, if you prefer a more bitter and mysterious flavor, you should go with Robusta coffee.

When it comes to target customer markets, Arabica coffee is more preferred in the West (Starbucks coffee almost 100% uses Arabica). But if you want to jump into the promising Asian market, just go for Robusta.


Comparison between Robusta and Arabica

Recommend you top 3 biggest Robusta coffee suppliers

Inexperienced traders always struggle with finding high-quality Robusta coffee suppliers when there are too many options for them. The list below will save Robusta coffee traders lots of time and effort to do that.

99 Gold Data Processing Trading, LLC.

99 Gold Data Processing Trading, LLC aims at adding more value to its Robusta coffee while also expanding into new coffee products. Therefore, it aids in the development of the company into an ever-growing coffee provider.


Being one of the Vietnamese Government Units which is well-known for providing Vietnamese Robusta coffee in bulk to the foreign markets, K-Agriculture has gained trust and love from customers by its excellent coffee and professional customer service.



Contact us:



WhatsApp: +84855 555 837

Spinel, LLC

Spinel, LLC is a prestigious trading corporation which is founded in Thailand and registered under the Civil and Commercial Code. Its key trade commodities are agricultural products, namely sugar, rice, nuts, and so on, in which Robusta coffee is the most-traded product.

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