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Robusta coffee, knows its types and characteristics

Robusta coffee, knows its types and characteristics

Robusta comes from the word 'robust' which means strong, in accordance with the description of posture (body) or a strong level of viscosity. Robusta coffee is not a species because this species is derived from the species Coffea canephora.

Robusta can grow in the lowlands, but the best location to cultivate this plant is at an altitude of 400-800 meters above sea level. The optimal temperature for the growth of Robusta coffee ranges from 24-30oC with rainfall from 2000 to 3000 mm per year.

Robusta coffee is very suitable for planting in wet tropical areas. With intensive cultivation, it will begin to bear fruit at the age of 2.5 years. In order to bear fruit well, this plant requires a dry time of 3-4 months a year with several rains.

Robusta coffee plants require loose soil and rich in organic matter. The ideal soil acidity (pH) for this plant is 5.5-6.5. Robusta coffee is recommended to be cultivated under the auspices of other trees.

Characteristics of plants
Reproductive branches or branches in Robusta coffee grow perpendicular. Coffee fruit is produced from primary branches that grow flat. This primary branch is quite flexible so that it forms a canopy like an umbrella.

The shape of the leaf is rounded like an egg with the tip of the leaf pointed to dull. The leaves grow on stems, branches, and twigs. In the stem and branches grow perpendicular to the intermittent leaf arrangement.

Whereas on the twigs and horizontal branches the leaf pairs grow in the same plane. Robusta is relatively more resistant to leaf rust.
Robusta coffee plants have begun to flower at the age of 2 years. Flowers grow on the armpit of the primary branch. Each armpit has 3-4 flower groups. Flowers usually bloom at the beginning of the dry season. Unlike Arabica, robusta flowers cross-pollinate.

The young fruit is green, after cooking it turns red. Even though it is fully ripe, the robusta fruit attaches firmly to the stem. The time period from flowering to fruit ready for harvest ranges from 10-11 months.
Robusta coffee plants have shallow roots. Therefore it requires fertile soil and rich organic content. This plant is also quite sensitive to drought.

Robusta coffee clone type
Robusta coffee is derived from several species, especially Canephora. Maybe for that reason, the source of plant seeds for robusta is not called a variety but a clone.

Similar to varieties in arabica, robusta superior clones in Indonesia were developed by Koka Research Center. Here are some of the robusta clones recommended by the institution:

BP308 clone. This clone is a superior plant that is resistant to nematode attack. Another feature of this robusta clone is that it is tolerant of infertile soils. BP308 is recommended to be used as rootstock, while the upper stem is connected with other clones that are adapted to the local agro-climate.

BP42 clone. This type of clone has a productivity of 800-1200 kg/ha/ year. Medium stature with many branches and short sections. The fruit produced is large and the dompol is tight.

SA436 clone. Has a high productivity, reaching 1600-2800 kg/ha/ year. The shape of the seeds of this clone is small and the size is not uniform.

BP234 clone. Productivity is 800-1200 kg / ha / year. Slim stature with long, flexible branches. Fruit granules are rather small and not uniform in size.

Product characteristics
In the market, robusta coffee is sold at a lower price than arabica. This causes disincentives to farmers. So to save production costs robusta farmers tend to ignore post-harvest handling. In turn, the quality of the coffee produced is low.
The aroma of robusta is not as strong as arabica, with a moderate level of body to weight and bitter taste. Robusta caffeine content is more than double arabica, which ranges from 1.7-4%.

Robusta coffee trade
About 99% of the world's coffee trade is robusta and arabica. Robusta coffee is produced by many countries in Asia-Pacific and Africa, while Arabica coffee is produced by many South American countries. The biggest robusta producer is Vietnam.
There is a paradox in the development of robusta trade. In the 1950s when it was first traded on the London exchange, the price level was relatively the same as arabica. At that time the market share proportion of Robusta coffee was 25-30% and arabica was 70-75%.
The situation began to change when there was an increase in robusta coffee production. Today, where the market share rises above 30%, the price drops below Arabica to almost half. Of course, this is very worrying considering that more than 80% of Indonesia's coffee production is robusta

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