Free Shipping on orders above 200 AED

Choosing the Right Coffee Beans for Your Coffee Shop: Specialty vs. Robusta

Consider the unique flavor profiles and costs associated with each type of bean.

When venturing into the coffee shop business, one of the most critical decisions you’ll face is selecting the right type of coffee beans. This choice not only influences the flavor and quality of the coffee you serve but also defines your brand and determines your position in the competitive market. The debate often comes down to two main types of coffee beans: specialty (often Arabica) and Robusta. Each has its own set of characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your business strategy, target market, and long-term goals.

Specialty Coffee: A Mark of Quality and Sustainability

Specialty coffee refers to the highest grade of Arabica beans, known for their superior taste and aromatic complexity. These beans are typically grown in specific, ideal climate conditions, with meticulous attention paid to their cultivation, harvesting, and processing. The result is a coffee that offers a unique tasting experience, with a variety of flavors and aromas that can range from fruity and floral to chocolaty and nutty.


  • Superior Flavor Profiles: Specialty coffee is celebrated for its rich, complex flavors and higher acidity compared to Robusta, making it a favorite among coffee aficionados.
  • Brand Differentiation: Offering specialty coffee can help your coffee shop stand out, attracting customers who are willing to pay a premium for a higher-quality coffee experience.
  • Ethical and Sustainable: Specialty coffee often comes from farms that prioritize sustainable practices and fair compensation for workers, allowing your business to support these values.


  • Higher Costs: Specialty beans are typically more expensive than Robusta due to the careful and labor-intensive processes involved in their production.
  • Potential for Waste: The nuanced flavors of specialty coffee can degrade quickly if not properly stored or brewed, potentially leading to higher waste and costs.

Robusta Coffee: A Strong and Economical Choice

Robusta coffee beans are known for their strong, robust flavor and higher caffeine content. They are easier to grow and more resistant to pests and diseases, which generally makes them less expensive than Arabica beans. Robusta beans are often used in espresso blends for their ability to produce a better crema and add body to the coffee.


  • Cost-Effectiveness: Robusta beans are typically more affordable, which can help manage costs, especially for new or expanding businesses.
  • Stronger Flavor and More Caffeine: Some customers prefer the stronger, more bitter flavor of Robusta, as well as its higher caffeine content.
  • Durability: Robusta plants are hardier, and the beans have a longer shelf life, which can reduce waste and increase efficiency in storage and distribution.


  • Perceived Lower Quality: Robusta beans are often viewed as lower quality compared to Arabica, which may affect your coffee shop’s image and its ability to attract discerning customers.
  • Limited Flavor Profiles: The flavor of Robusta is less complex and more uniform, which might not appeal to customers seeking a unique or gourmet coffee experience.

Making the Decision: What’s Best for Your Coffee Shop?

Choosing between specialty and Robusta beans ultimately depends on your business model, target market, and brand values. Here are some considerations to guide your decision:

  • Understand Your Customer Base: Are your customers coffee connoisseurs looking for unique, high-quality brews, or do they prioritize convenience and price?
  • Understand Your Customer Base: Are your customers coffee connoisseurs looking for unique, high-quality brews, or do they prioritize convenience and price?
  • Evaluate Costs and Potential Returns: Higher costs of specialty coffee can lead to higher prices, but also potentially more loyal customers and a stronger brand.
  • Sustainability and Ethics: If these are core to your brand, specialty coffee might align more closely with your values.


The choice between specialty coffee and Robusta beans is a strategic one that should be made with careful consideration of your coffee shop’s identity, market position, and long-term goals. Both types of coffee have their advantages and can cater to different segments of the market. By understanding the preferences of your target customers and the values of your brand, you can make an informed decision that ensures the success and sustainability of your coffee shop in the competitive market.

Subscribe & Save!

Subscribe now and receive the same order at your door each month—with added discounts based on quantity! Plus, get exclusive promotional news directly to your inbox.

Confirm Your Subscription. Enter your email to approve:

Choosing the Right Coffee Beans for Your Coffee Shop: Specialty vs. Robusta