What is Robusta Coffee? Exploring the Importance of Vietnam's Robusta Beans

Robusta coffee beans on tree

When it comes to coffee, most of us are familiar with terms like espresso, latte, cappuccino, and cà phê sữa đá. However, have you ever wondered about the different types of coffee beans used to create these delicious beverages? One such variety is robusta coffee, known for its bold flavor profile and high caffeine content.


In this blog, we will delve into the world of robusta coffee and explore the significance of the robusta beans grown in Vietnam.

What Really is Robusta Coffee?

Robusta coffee, scientifically known as Coffea canephora, is one of the two major coffee species used in commercial coffee production, the other one being arabica coffee. Robusta beans have a stronger and more bitter taste, making them great for producing espresso and instant coffee, and for making Vietnamese iced coffee of course!

However, these very qualities are what mislead people into believing that robusta beans are “inferior” and aren’t as flavorful as arabica beans. Sigh, what can we say, haters gonna hate.

Picture courtesy of Rodrigo Flores via Unsplash
Roasted coffee beans
Picture courtesy of Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

Robusta Beans in Vietnam

Coffee has a long history in Vietnam. The plant was brought to the country by French colonialists, and today it has emerged as the largest producer of robusta coffee globally! Vietnam’s unique rich volcanic soil, high humidity, and the long rainy season create the ideal environment for robusta beans to thrive, and it’s no secret that the plant has had a major impact on the country both economically and culturally.

Robusta Coffee Beans and Vietnam

Favorable Growing Conditions:

Robusta coffee plants grow robustly and don’t require as much maintenance as arabica coffee plants. Vietnam's climate and geographical features, such as the Central Highlands region allow the robusta beans to flourish.

Diverse Applications:

Along with being used for espresso and instant coffee production, robusta beans are used in various coffee blends worldwide as it adds a depth of flavor to any coffee blend. The beans' bold flavor and high caffeine content is why so many people enjoy it.

Economic Impact:

The cultivation and export of Robusta coffee have a significant economic impact on Vietnam. The coffee industry contributes around USD 3 billion to the Vietnamese economy or roughly two to four percent of GDP. It also provides employment opportunities for thousands of farmers and plays a vital role in supporting rural communities.

Woman picking coffee beans
Picture courtesy of Delightin Dee via Unsplash

High Yield:

Robusta coffee plants are known for their higher yields compared to arabica plants. Vietnamese farmers benefit from the hardy nature of the robusta coffee beans, as they can produce a larger quantity of beans per acre of land. This high yield also explains why Vietnam is the second-largest producer of coffee in the world.

Flavor Profile & Versatility:

Robusta beans are recognized for their distinct flavor characteristics. With earthy, nutty, and chocolatey notes, this strong coffee pairs beautifully with the creamy sweetened condensed milk in a cà phê sữa đá. Robusta beans are also prized for their ability to create a thick and foamy layer of crema in espresso shots – which you can experience firsthand when you try SANG Straight Black with Vanilla Essence.

SANG Vietnamese iced coffee

While we’re definitely partial to robusta coffee, especially that grown in Vietnam 😉, there are so many reasons why this type of coffee is extraordinary.

Most people enjoy it for its unique flavor profile and higher caffeine content, but because of climate change, it might be the future of the coffee industry. Robusta beans’ adaptability, robustness, and high yield make it a great option for both farmers and consumers.

So, the next time you want to add a new coffee to your rotation, deff give robusta coffee beans a try, or better yet snag some SANG Vietnamese coffee. Our coffees come in five fiery flavors and each let the flavor of robusta coffee shine.