Espresso Needs Robusta – Honest Guv!
In today’s cafe culture society, many of the high street retailers trade on the basis of a 100% Arabica espresso
All well and good, as a basic indicator of quality for the inexperienced espresso drinker…
This plain and simple mark of quality works much in the same way as Fair Trade … simply an off the shelf brand, that acts as a salve for a the uninformed western consumer conscience…
But the reality is, as any taster worth their salt will tell you, that good espresso needs some Robusta
Robusta is oft maligned… and although grown at lower altitude and often in harsher conditions, many robustas can taste as ‘well’ as a mainstream Arabica…
Angolan would be a good example….
Robusta Canephora is the original genus of all coffee…and believe it or not Arabica is simply a varietal of the Robusta genus… Robusta contains more caffeine…. often has more body and a stronger and intense earthy tone… it also aids the production and persistence of the all important espresso crema!
In our ESE espresso coffee pods we specify Vietnam Wet Polished (Extra Prima)17/ 18 screen
On its own it won’t win any prizes! But blended skilfully with other fine origins, it becomes a bit like Johnny Marr’s guitar playing in The Smiths…. an essential part of the mix….!
Coffee cultivation was introduced in Vietnam at the turn of the last century and until the 1970’s all three coffee types were grown- Robusta- Arabica and Liberica
The Vietnam War and resultant defoliation and destruction of many of the plantations as well as ‘coffee rust’ saw off the Arabica and nearly signalled the demise of coffee production completely!
From a ranking of 42nd world producer in the late 1970’s, today Vietnam is the world’s third largest producer… this year supplying c 21 million bags of Robusta to the world trade
Coffees are mainly grown in the Tonkin, Annam and Cochin regions of the country and the beans are prepared using the wet method…