Robusta Coffee Brands: Coffee That Will Kick Your Butt

I think you’ll agree that sometimes you just want a cup of coffee to blast you out of that morning stupor.  The caffeine content in Robusta coffee beans typically do just that.

As it turns out, only the great Robusta Coffee Brands can walk that fine line between delicious taste and rocket fuel!

In our article today, we will show you some of the great Robusta Coffee Brands and how well each goes about walking that line.  Your taste and caffeine needs will determine which brand provides exactly what you’re looking for.

Do You Want the BEST Robusta Coffee Brand? 

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A great Robusta coffee brand takes what is typically a very bitter coffee bean, and produce a great tasting bean using different roasting methods.  But, a great Robusta brand typically keeps that caffeine kick that Robusta is so famous for.

Robusta vs Arabica

“varietal of robusta” by Dennis Tang, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The top two species of grown coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta.

Here’s the deal:

Arabica gets the most press because most people prefer the taste.  But, some have developed a taste for Robusta.

The beans discussed in this article have taken what is traditionally considered a very bitter coffee bean, and developed the best Robusta Coffee brands.

Why would I ever drink Robusta then?

Robusta also traditionally has more caffeine than Arabica.  Typically a Robusta bean has approximately twice the caffeine of an Arabica bean.

Some brands like to take advantage of some of these “features” of Robusta.  The extra caffeine can be a selling point for those over achieving types that use coffee to give them that extra kick when they are sleep deprived.

Robusta Coffee Brands like Death Wish Coffee advertise that they include 200% more caffeine than your “normal” brand of coffee.

Blend It

The Solution:

Because Robusta beans don’t typically have a great taste to some, they typically aren’t sold by themselves.

Often they are blended with Arabica beans to get the sweeter more pleasant taste of Arabica, but including the high caffeine content of Robusta.

If you can’t live with grinding the beans yourself, then a blend might not be the right product for you.

Lavazza Crema e Gusto

The Lavazza robusta coffee brand is a great example of a Robusta and Arabica blend.  This coffee is 70% Robusta, which gives some of the taste intensity and higher caffeine.

But, the 30% Arabica adds some sweetness to the flavor to keep the bitterness of the Robusta from overwhelming the drinker.

The Lavazza blend ends up including a chocolate note that buyers simply love.

This is a very dark roast that is recommended for use in espresso, or for use with a French press.

So here’s the deal…

If you are a light roast to medium roast coffee drinker, this might not be the coffee for you.  This product is on the dark side of dark roast.  It is described as being more of an Italian roast.

Reading reviews, the only real complaints are from those that just do not like the Robusta flavor.  With 70% of the coffee being Robusta, there’s just no getting around that.

That being said, just under 90% of the people that took the time to give an honest review gave this product at least 4 out of 5 stars (79% gave it 5 stars).

With over 1,000 reviews, this level of approval is not typical.  So, if you go in knowing to expect a dark roast, it really seems you should have very little risk that you won’t like this product.

Banned Coffee Whole Bean Medium Dark Roast Blend

We have featured Banned Coffee before on our site because of its ability to combine extreme caffeine and flavor.

However, the focus for Banned Coffee is really caffeine kick.

So, if your focus is a morning pick-me-up, this is the coffee for you.

If you prefer your pick-me-up with less bitterness and more smooth flavor, then Death Wish is the brand for you.

The rating stay high for Banned Coffee Whole Bean Medium Dark Roast Blend.  So, the taste isn’t horrible for most.  But, many report bitterness.

The acidity report is also varied among drinkers.  A few report no acidity.  However, more than usual report some or a lot of acidity.  So, this is likely for most a l0w-medium acidity cup of coffee.

Creating a full bodied cup, Banned Coffee has also been described has having mild nutty chocolate notes.

Many do find this Medium-Dark roast just the right amount.  This amount of roast keeps it from tasting burnt.  Typically roasts that are described in the dark roast range do reduce the amount of acidity.

Darker Is Better

If you like Robusta, then you will likely prefer the darkest of roasts.

Some non-Robusta fans describe Robusta as tasting like burned rubber.  Or, burned tires.  With that description a darker roast does more to cover that bitter taste.

You would think it would be the opposite.  But, don’t believe my opinion.  The reviews are in and in droves, Robusta drinkers say the darker the better.

One of the beans we found is exactly that.  DARK!

Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee

100% Robusta coffee beans.  Can you say “adrenaline rush”?

The Death Wish Coffee Company brand claims that this is the “World’s Strongest Coffee”.

What’s the real story?

Reviewer after reviewer concur.  These are the types of quotes that confirm this.

  • “Man, my wife drank a cup and about bust thru the wall like Kool Aid”.
  • “Wow!!! that’s some good tasting coffee. I’m a truck driver and need to keep alert”.
  • “This coffee is pretty good honestly, and the kick it gives you is great. If you want to stay up all night look no further!”.

Death Wish stands behind their product as well.  They offer a full refund “no questions asked” if not completely satisfied.

Location, Location, Location

Robusta is grown primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere.  Although Brazil is also has large crops of Robusta as well.

In our research to find the best Robusta coffee brands, we found that the more popular beans seem to come from Vietnam or the Philippines.

One of the big benefits of growing Robusta, is that it is much more immune to insects.  Because of this, it is much less expensive to produce an abundant crop.

Without a lot of care, Robusta can thrive and produces much higher crop yields than Arabica.

Philippine Robusta Green, Unroasted

This Robusta bean Heirloom Coffee LLC brand is grown at high altitudes in the Cordillera Mountain region.

And, from all of our research higher altitudes provide the best climates for coffee bean farming.

If you are looking for a Robusta bean that is less strong and less dark than your typical Robusta bean, this might be the bean for you.

The manufacturer describes this bean as having depth and complexity.  It also describes it as having low acidity, high body, and no bitterness.

Even with it’s “less strong” description, one reviewer still describes these Robusta beans with “If this doesn’t wake you up have someone call 911”.

Dalat Peaberry Robusta Whole Bean Coffee

Heirloom Coffee LLC provides another bean from the Vietnam region.  This whole bean is another high altitude grown bean.

Vietnam has a traditional “butter-roast” style of roasting.  But, these beans are not roasted using that method.  Instead a more American style of roasting is performed.

The “American” style of roasting produces a much more medium roast as it’s roasted at lower temperatures and for less time than a traditional dark roast.

This bean is often used in an Italian espresso as a “secret” ingredient.

The term “peaberry”, sometimes also called “cherry” is a term to describe how the Robusta bean is shaped.  It resembles more of a rounded pea shape than what you might find with a typical Arabica bean.

Cheaper and Easier to Grow

“remember when coffee actually cost a dollar?” by torbakhopper, via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Farmers would love to grow Robusta and include it in Robusta coffee brands if they could get the same selling price as Arabica on the markets.

And, maybe more will go this way as the price difference between Robusta and Arabica has dwindled.

Robusta made a run around March 2008 where it sold for around $122 per pound compared to Arabica which was around $148 per pound.

Typically Arabica is closer to twice as much per pound.

As of February 2016, Arabica was just under $149 a pound, and Robusta for the same time period was just over $81 per pound.

The Bugs Just Don’t Like it Either!

“mating Dysdercus bugs” by Marshal Hedin, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It’s kind of good news and bad news.

The good news for Robusta farmers is that farming is much less expensive for Robusta.

One of the big reasons is that the insects also don’t like the taste of Robusta.

This is great news for the farmers since they don’t have to spend as much money on insect control.

The insects don’t like the taste of caffeine.  So, the high caffeine content for Robusta acts as its own bug repellent!

However, this is good news for farmers from the standpoint of cost and ease to maintain a Robusta coffee crop.

This means less bugs, which also means a higher yield of top quality beans that bugs would normally target.  Arabica, on the other hand, is often hit by bugs that reduce the quantity and quality since these bugs target the higher quality, sweeter beans.

Of course, this is also the bad news.  Because the reason that bugs don’t like Robusta coffee beans is also the same reason that humans often don’t like Robusta.

The Height of Easy Farming

Another reason farmers find it easier to grow Robusta is that Arabica just does better in the higher elevations.

Robusta does well in various climates.

The ability to grow in lower flatter plantation style farms allows farmers to use cheaper methods for harvest.

Robusta is the Crema of the Crop for Espresso

If you are an Espresso lover, one of the reasons you might go with Robusta coffee brands is that Robusta produces more Crema when pressed for espresso.

Often Italian dark roast blends include Robusta and larger quantities of Robusta just for this feature.

Caffeine Kick or RoBUST(a)!!

If you just want that extra caffeine kick in your coffee, then Robusta is the way to go.

The theme for Robusta coffee brands is dark, strong, and with a donkey’s kick.

Do You Want the BEST Robusta Coffee Brand? 

YES - GET IT NOW

These Best Robusta Coffee Brands are just what you need to meet what you are looking for in a Robusta coffee bean.


  5 Responses to “Robusta Coffee Brands: Coffee That Will Kick Your Butt”

  1. Hello! My name is dulce Maria Ralda i am a coffee producer from Guatemala
    I produce arabica and robusta coffee.
    And i would like to send some sample for you to taste

    • Susan,

      Thank you for your interest in our web site. We would love to sample some authentic Ugandan coffee beans.

      I will contact you via email with the details.

      Regards,
      Emily
      Editor The Coffee Bean Menu

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