The Type of Bean
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There are two basic coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is the good, flavorful stuff. Robusta, not so much. "Robusta really didn't even become marketable until there was a coffee blight, a big, massive worldwide scourge," says Sinnott. At the time, Robusta was a wild plant but you can now find it in most instant coffees. However, there might be a reason to shop specifically for Robusta: It has twice as much caffeine as Arabica.