Here at DR Wakefield, we ship both Arabica and Robusta varieties of coffee beans to our roasters and blenders, so we naturally take a great interest in how these are performing on a regular basis, as well as how much is being exported overseas in the countries we deal with.
Between September 15th and 19th, the value of Arabica beans fell slightly, while the worth of Robusta coffee went up and down with the fluctuations of the New York market.
In Brazil, Robusta beans have played a significant role in recent weeks, contributing hugely to the country's coffee harvest. Last season, the quantity of Robusta that was produced in the South American location reached 10.81 million bags.
However, things were not quite so successful for Robusta coffee in Uganda, with droughts believed to have affected the country's crop, leading to a decrease in the number of bags exported.
In Tanzania, Arabica beans fell in value in correlation with the New York market over the seven-day period, while Robusta coffee's worth rose. All bags of the latter variety cultivated in the East African country sold at auction during the week.
Kenya specialises in producing mainly Arabica beans, but there are some concerns regarding its upcoming December harvest, but with no official report released yet, only time will tell how coffee has performed in the country this season.
In terms of cupping profiles, Arabica beans tend to be much more sweet than the Robusta variety, which is largely due to the fact they have significantly higher acidity levels. Arabica coffee tends to have notes reminiscent of citrus fruit and berries.
Robusta coffee is nowhere near as acidic as Arabica, meaning it has more of a nutty aftertaste and a strong flavour, making it perfect for including in drinks such as espressos. In addition, this type of coffee plant is less vulnerable to pests and harsh weather, meaning it survives better than Arabica in some countries.