Robusta Beans in Espresso Blends

We're always working on improving and developing our offering and as part of that process we sample blends from the best in the business. One of those is Monmouth http://www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk/coffee/for-espresso . It really is very good; light, fruity with chocolate and caramel notes. It's a combination of Brazil, Columbia and Guatemala beans. With a medium dark roast. However it's 100% Arabica,  there's no Robusta. 
Surprising maybe? We've always looked to include Robusta in our blends, we feel it adds both body and depth, and a richer crema - as well as giving the customer that 'hit' they might be looking for. Also the Robusta bean has more hard shell which means that the granules are courser allowing the water to flow more easily when the Arabica grind is fine, allowing more of the oils to be extracted - not the case with a 100% Arabica finely ground, as my straining pump will attest.
In the 50’s major American coffee producers began developing blends using Robusta to reduce their costs, especially after the 1954 crop failure in Brazil.  Today Vietnam has become a major Robusta coffee exporter and Starbucks is reportedly the world’s largest purchaser of Robusta coffees, with a virtual monopoly of Robusta coffee originating in Vietnam. (http://www.barkingdogroasters.com/our-coffee/arabica-vs-robusta/ )
Of course the Robusta bean is a staple of Italian baristas and a good one can easily hold its own against an Aribica bean.
We recently developed a a blend for a mobile coffee shop using a ratio of 80:20 Aribica to Robusta. If you're in the South Cambridgeshire are you can try it out at the fantastic pop-up cafe they're running at Manor Farm in Bourne (http://www.ruralcoffeeproject.co.uk/index.html ) and we have had very good feedback :-)

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  • David on

    Enjoyed reading about the espresso blend! Id lounge to try some!!


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