One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun Coffee or coffee beans from a widely grown kind of coffee plant. Beans of this variety are often used in the manufacture of instant coffee.
- ‘Most of this coffee is not the higher grade arabica bean sold to connoisseurs, but the lower-grade robusta that ends up in instant coffee or in cheap blends sold in supermarkets.’
- ‘Arabica has historically been prized for its mild, rich taste, whereas robusta tends to be much harsher.’
- ‘There are two general types of coffee beans, arabica and robusta, which yield two very different beans.’
2The tropical West African bush that produces robusta coffee beans.
Coffea canephora formerly 'robusta', family Rubiaceae. See also arabica
- ‘Other species are C. robusta, now reclassified as C. canephora, and a couple of minor ones suited to the climate of W. Africa.’
- ‘Only two Coffea species are widely cultivated: Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora, known in the trade as robusta.’
Early 20th century: modern Latin, feminine of Latin robustus ‘robust’.
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