The Robustaissance is officially upon us. C. canephora is emerging from the shadow of its coffee species counterpart in Arabica and gathering a bit of momentum in specialty coffee circles. Long the fodder for cost-conscious blending and caffeine boosting, robusta is now receiving the same similar levels of attentiveness in producing more associated with Arabica, and it is creating specialty-grade and very tasty results. We’ve seen aerobic fermented robustas, robustas used in the US Barista Championships, World Coffee Research even recently published a robusta variety catalog, and now there’s a robusta-only coffee subscription. It’s from Paradise Coffee Roasters and it is being touted as the “first specialty robusta subscription.”
Based in Hilo, Hawaii, Paradise Coffee has been in the business for over 20 years roasting exceptional—and exceptionally diverse—coffees from around the globe. Along with coffees from more popular producing countries like Colombia—roasting many high-end varieties like Gesha, Pink Bourbon, and Wush Wush—Paradise trades in the road less traveled, at least for Arabica drinkers, with coffee from Yemen, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, even a little Jamaica Blue Mountain, and yes, Kona. Many of these are, in fact, robusta.
So to highlight some of their more unheralded offerings, Paradise has created the Specialty Robusta Tour subscription. Each month, they will highlight a different specialty-grade robusta from around the world, including producing countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, and India. For their first offering, Paradise is featuring a robusta grown on Hacienda Legrand in Ecuador. Produced in the Santa Elena Province by Denise Bustamante, the lactic acid anaerobically fermented, natural processed robusta has notes of creamy vanilla, coconut, mulled wine, and oak.
The Specialty Robusta tour subscription costs $25 per 12oz delivery and can be scheduled to recur anywhere between one- and eight-week cycles.
It’s a great way to discover something new in the world of specialty coffee, from origins that you may not necessarily be as familiar with. But be forewarned, the caffeine content in robusta is no joke. You may think you know what “2x the caffeine” means, but you don’t truly get it until you’re vibrating at a whole new wavelength after subbing out your daily Arabica for robusta. It is only after you have come face to face with the robusta godhead that you truly understand that caffeine is a drug.
For more information or to sign up for a Specialty Robusta Tour subscription, visit Paradise Coffee Roaster’s official website.