We do not say this lightly, but robusta coffee is the future of coffee. With climate change exacerbating agricultural conditions globally, coffee has become more and more difficult to cultivate across the world.
Arabica coffee, the world’s most commonly consumed coffee bean, faces increasing threats from rising temperatures and changing soils. Additionally, many leading coffee companies have lagged in their efforts to curb the effects of climate change. As coffee consumption continues to rise, production cycles from these companies have not decreased, resulting in continued exploitation of lands that have no opportunity to recover or reset before new growing cycles.
Without getting too technical, these kinds of farming practices and cycles result in lands that eventually become inarable. With monoculture and the wide use of pesticides and fertilizers, the land on which many commercial coffees are grown has become more desolate and unsalvageable. As such, we are seeing a crisis in many coffee producing countries where the coffee (arabica) is becoming more difficult to grow due to climate change, but also because the land is becoming more inhospitable for growth!
This is where robusta coffee, specifically Vietnamese robusta coffee, comes into play.
Vietnamese robusta coffee is the future of the coffee industry. Robusta coffee is naturally more pest resistant because it has more caffeine, a natural pest repellent. Additionally, robusta coffee has the ability to grow in a wide array of climates and altitudes whereas its cousin arabica requires very specific growing conditions to thrive and cultivate.
Robusta coffee also boasts a naturally high yield as opposed to arabica coffee. Being naturally more pest resistant and abundant in yield, robusta coffee requires less effort with higher yields. When producers take time to produce specialty varieties of robusta coffee, the results are coffee beans that are unlike any other on the market. Specialty robusta coffee beans have dark chocolate, nutty flavor notes that are deep and bold in flavor with double the caffeine as most coffees readily available.
Why is Vietnamese robusta coffee special?
Vietnamese robusta coffee requires shorter growing periods than arabica coffee. With the high demand of coffee (it is one of the most widely consumed products in the world), robusta coffee can play a vital role in the future of coffee especially as climate change accelerates and reduces global arabica coffee yields.
In addition to its unique growing properties, Vietnamese robusta coffee is an overall easier crop to grow. Robusta coffee grows in bushes with berries that ripen uniformly. Arabica coffee grows and ripens at varying times, so they must be hand picked. Robusta coffee, on the other hand, can be harvested by machine or with rakes, making it a more fruitful and efficient crop.
In the face of growing environmental concerns, growing robusta coffee may prove to be the best solution for the future of coffee farming as coffee farming becomes a more difficult practice globally.
Vietnamese robusta coffee has the potential to expand beyond the borders of Vietnam. If these beans can be cultivated in the mountains of Vietnam, then they may also prosper in the coffee growing regions of South America and Africa where temperatures and climates will already be ready to cultivate robusta coffee.
As we see rising prices of arabica coffee compounded with increased demand of coffee overall, robusta coffee may provide the key to crucial supply chain issues. With increased yields and easier growability, robusta coffee can meet demands never before seen in these unprecedented times.