Variety is the spice of life, and coffee is no different. Today we’ll talk about the 2 main types of coffee bean species, what makes them different, and how to get the best results in your Minipresso! The two prevalent coffee bean varietals are Arabica (75% of the world’s beans) and Robusta (25%); grown at different altitudes the two species differ in taste and caffeine content. One thing we’ve noticed is that the level of grind varies depending upon bean varietal when using the Minipresso.
Robusta Beans: Robusta is a hardier bean that is more resistant to pests and yields a higher caffeine content, double that of Arabica, which contributes to more bitter tasting notes. Roasted Robusta beans produce a strong, full-bodied coffee with a distinctive, earthy flavor which is why it’s used in most Italian Espresso Blends. In our experience robusta beans are generally larger, drier because of a lower lipid content, and more oblong in shape. And because of this, they can be ground to a very fine espresso grind to be used in the Minipresso. Our current favorite is Deathwish Coffee, which yields a delicious high octane cup with perfect crema every time. Deathwish is a blend of both Arabica and the highest quality of Robusta from Peru and India. They’re one of the few Roasters pushing the envelope and sourcing extremely high grade Robusta that doesn’t compromise flavor, but delivers an unrivaled caffeine punch.
Arabica Beans: Arabica has long held the crown of being the most popular bean type, and was the first bean ever cultivated. These beans create smooth complex flavors with notes that vary greatly depending upon altitude, weather, and region. Compared to Robusta, Arabica beans tend to be smaller, and the plants are more oily because of a higher lipid content. Something that contributes to the wide range of flavors one can experience from these. On one end of the spectrum you can taste hints of lemon zest, while in another arabica varietal you can taste strong bourbon undertones. Because the beans tend to be more oily (varies depending upon level of roast), you’ll need to dial in the exact grind a bit more precisely. Too fine and the Minipresso will be too difficult to pump because the grinds will stick together to tightly, too coarse and you’ll have too low of pressure and sacrifice obtaining any crema. You want a grind that falls between course and fine, and each individual coffee will need some practice to get absolutely perfect. But any excuse to drink more coffee, is a good excuse, and this is for SCIENCE! Minipresso Science! We're currently thoroughly enjoying La Colombe’s Matilde Mahogany, pictured above is the exact level of grind we use to achieve a perfect cup every time.
As always, experiment! May your filter baskets be full, and be sure to tag us in your #minipressoadventures !