Keep It Simple, Stupid: A Robusta Coffee Bean Breakdown

June 11, 2021Kelly Getzelman
Robusta Pic_4040

Adding Robusta to the mix is not always a bad thing. Photo by Exclusive-design/Adobe Stock.

I recently received my first bag of Black Rifle Coffee Company’s Fit Fuel Blend coffee. The bag that arrived at my doorstep contained whole beans, and my initial plan was to grind up 30 grams each morning to add to my pre-workout ritual.

Somewhere along my military journey, I read that drinking a single cup of black coffee was a popular option with the fitness community, so I decided to give it a shot.

While prior attempts of using coffee as a pre-workout resulted in negligible results, my interest piqued after discovering that this particular blend of coffee contained a blend of 25% Robusta and 75% Arabica coffee.

Fit Fuel_2020
The Black Rifle Coffee Company Fit Fuel Coffee is a 25% Robusta and 75% Arabica blend. Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

I feel pretty confident that I could spend two hours explaining the origins and intricacies of the Arabica bean. But my knowledge of Robusta needed a bit of a refresher. 

That’s when the knuckle dragger in me took over. There are countless articles on the differences between Arabica and Robusta, and some provide way more information than the average consumer needs.

In the Navy, we used the KISS principle — Keep it Simple, Stupid — to break down complex concepts. So why not apply it to better understand this often misunderstood bean?

The first thought that pops into my brain when hearing the word “Robusta” is a barista in some high-end coffee shop pouring a rich customer a double shot of espresso. But as I continued down the coffee rabbit hole in search of usable knowledge, the KISS principle helped guide me to a deeper understanding of Robusta coffee beans.

Fit Fuel_3030
Will adding BRCC Fit Fuel to my pre-workout routine give me the boost I crave? Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

Seven key pointers have helped me quickly and easily explain what makes Robusta so unique:

  1. Robusta is coffee made from the beans of the Coffea canephora plant.

  2. Robusta is often grown at lower altitudes, with the country of Vietnam being a prime example.

  3. Robusta has almost twice the caffeine of Arabica, hence the somewhat bitter taste.

  4. Unroasted Robusta beans can smell like raw peanuts.

  5. Robusta beans are more circular in size, whereas Arabica beans tend to be more oval.

  6. Robusta is used in instant coffee, espresso blends, and filler blends.

  7. Robusta makes up only about 25% of the world’s coffee production.

Some coffee enthusiasts may claim that there is more to the Coffea canephora plant than just these seven points. But this is an easy way to remember the specifics of Robusta without reinventing the wheel.

And after doing a bit of research, I realized that the reason I have never experienced a pre-workout boost from coffee might be that the cups I consumed were not a true Robusta and Arabica blend. I guess I’ll find out next week if that answer lies within this bag of BRCC Fit Fuel.

Kelly Getzelman
Kelly Getzelman

Kelly Getzelman is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. A retired Navy SEAL chief petty officer, Getzelman has nearly two decades of special operations experience and is always ready to ship out on his next epic coffee adventure.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
navy seal training
Navy SEALS Training Plagued by Massive Problems, According To Investigation

Medical oversight and care were “poorly organized, poorly integrated and poorly led and put candidat...

memorial day arlington
Memorial Day Is a Day of Remembrance, Not Celebration

Memorial Day was created as a remembrance to honor the fallen by decorating graves — a holiday meant...

air force joint chiefs
Air Force Fighter Pilot Tapped As Next Joint Chiefs Chairman Has History of Firsts

The Air Force fighter pilot about to be nominated as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ...

sowf special operations warrior foundation
BRCC Donates $500K to Special Operations Warrior Foundation

In an effort to continue Black Rifle Coffee Company’s mission of supporting the veteran community, B...

Coca Cola 600
BRCC to Honor Fallen Marine During NASCAR’s Legendary Coca-Cola 600

Black Rifle Coffee Company will honor Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa during NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 this Memorial Day. Menusa was killed in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq.

uss gerald r. ford oslo
US Aircraft Carrier Arrives In NATO Member Norway, To Take Part In Drills

The nuclear-powered ship USS Gerald R. Ford entered the Oslo fjord escorted by a rapid dinghy-type boat with armed personnel on board.

adam driver indy 500
Marine Vet, Actor Adam Driver Named Honorary Starter for Indianapolis 500

Two-time Academy Award nominee Adam Driver, who will soon be starring as Enzo Ferrari in a biopic of...

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved