Robusta coffee (Latin: coffea canephora) is a species of the rubiaceae family. The plant has shallow roots and grows as a robust tree or shrub about 10 meters tall. The fruit of the plant turns deep red as it ripens and contains two coffee beans (seeds) inside each ripe berry. Its beans are small and round, yet contain more crema, twice the amount of caffeine and less sugar than arabic coffee beans.
Robusta is native to west africa. It grows well at low altitudes, in humid climates, and at high temperatures. Its beans act as a natural pesticide due to its high concentration of caffeine. These natural properties make it easier to grow and maintain the plant. Robusta plants require cross pollination by insects or wind and its cherries take 10 to 11 months to ripen.
The first written record of coffee made from roasted beans comes from Arabs in Yemen. They noticed that drinking coffee helped prolong their working hours. Robusta coffee, native to Africa was not planted until the coffee leaf rust disease wiped out much of arabica coffee plants in the late 1800s. Robusta was found to be more resistant to fungus, diseases, and pests than arabica increasing its popularity.
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