Premium Arabica Versus Your Standard Instant Roast

When it comes to comparing premium Arabica and instant coffee, there are significant, important differences in almost every area.

Everything from the type of bean used to the processes of roasting and preparation differs, and it's these factors that give premium Arabica its smooth, velvety and rich taste compared to the generic, often bitter flavours on offer from instant roasts.

We’re going to look at the fundamental differences between the two forms of coffee and learn why premium Arabica offers superior flavour and experience.

Arabica vs. Robusta

The Arabica plant, whose berries become the beans you grind up in your cafetiere, requires very specific conditions to grow. For example, the Arabica plant needs high altitudes, a particular temperature band and just the right amount of moisture to flourish and produce the best results.

Moreover, it can take four years from the planting process to when the Arabica plant starts to produce berries. That makes cultivating and growing the plant a time and money intensive affair. The result is beans that create rich, flavourful coffee for a superior taste.

Robusta, on the other hand, can grow in lowland areas and tolerate more heat – and grow with lower moisture levels – making it ideal for fast, high output bean yields. But Robusta is much more acidic than Arabica, giving a much harsher, less refined taste. Add in the fact that Robusta carries a very high caffeine level, and the result is a less-costly but cheaper tasting final product.

This is important to know because many instant coffees use Robusta as their bean of choice, mainly because it's cheaper to grow and source.

The Process

When harvested, Arabica beans – still technically berries at this point – they are dried and processed to prepare them for roasting. How long the roasting process goes on for has a significant effect on the flavour, so much effort and care goes into ensuring they roast for the optimum length of time.

Once they’re roasted, Arabica beans take on the lush, dark brown colour that’s so familiar. Then, they’re either packaged whole as-is or ground down into a fine powder for brewing. It’s a long process, undertaken with care and it’s why quality Arabica costs that little bit more.

With regards to instant coffee, the beans are either freeze-dried or spray-dried – often under high temperatures that affect the taste of the coffee. This process often turns the beans into a superfine powder, which manufacturers then reconstitute into granules.

If you’d like to try premium Arabica coffee, check out Caffè Sardo’s 100% Nigheddu blend. Rich, flavourful and made with pride, our coffee is made to be savoured and cherished.