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While there are numerous species of coffee plants, there are two species that are predominantly consumed.  Coffea Arabica may be the most commonly consumed coffee plant but Coffea Robusta accounts for approximately 25% to 40% of the coffee grown in the world.  Discovered in 1898 in Congo, Coffea Robusta is the most commonly grown variety of the Coffea canephora species of coffee plant.  It is popular among growers because it can grow in less rigid conditions than Coffea Arabica.

The Coffea Robusta coffe plant is a robust shrub that can grow up to heights of 10 to 12 feet.  Unlike Coffea Arabica coffee plants, the Robusta coffee plant does not need to grow at high altitudes.  As a result, it is grown in areas that are between sea level and 800 meter elevation ranges.  Additionally, Robusta coffee plants require less care to grow due to the fact that it is hardier.  This means that it is the cheaper of the two main types of coffee plants to grow.  Coffea robusta has a shallow root system and the fruits that grow from the plant take up to 11 months to mature.  The cherries that grow on the robusta coffee plant require less care, as they remain on the trees after it ripens.  Additionally, coffea robusta has an advantage over coffea arabica for coffee growers, as this coffee plant species tends to be less susceptible to problems related to pests and rough handling.  As a result, robusta coffee plans tend to yield more pounds of finished coffee beans per acre at a lower cost of production than arabica coffee plants.

However, the coffee beans grown on the robusta coffee plant tend to have a lower quality than the ones grown on the arabica coffee plant.  Thriving in tropical and subtropical climates, particularly in equatorial areas, coffea robusta is predominantly grown in the eastern hemisphere.  It is most commonly grown in West and Central Africa, South-East Asia, and in certain areas of South America.

The main reason why robusta coffee plants are not grown as much as arabica coffee plants is because of its lower quality in taste.  While robusta coffee can range in taste from neutral to harsh, the best robusta coffee cannot match the flavor of the best Arabica coffee.  This is why robusta coffee is typically found in jars of instant coffee and supermarket cans of coffee.  However, the debate over which is the better coffee should not be misconstrued, as the best cup of robusta coffee easily supercedes the taste of a cup of the worst arabica coffee.  Additionally, robusta coffee beans tend to have twice the caffeine of Arabica coffee beans.

While robusta coffee beans are less common in the marketplace for coffee lovers they still serve an excellent purpose.  High quality robusta coffee beans are often used in specialty espresso blends.  These premium robusta coffee beans only constitute 5 to 15% of the espresso beverage blend but add body to the taste of the drink.  However, premium robusta coffee beans should not be used in any other coffee brewing methods other than the espresso coffee brewing method.  Robusta coffee beans are also used in combinations with Arabica coffee beans to create coffee-based drinks that many coffee lovers adore.