Coffee Growing Regions

Coffee grows throughout the tropical world within an area nicknamed as the “bean belt”. The bean belt is the latitudes in which all coffee plants are grown, this is the area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.  The bean belt spans the main growing regions; Central & South America, Africa & the Arabian Peninsula and the Asia pacific region.

The coffee tree is a product that is very unique and contains distinct flavor differences between one origin to another, as it’s a product that embodies the environment, nutrients, local climatic patterns, rainfall, temperature and altitude. The care of the cultivating farmer is equally important, as is the care and thoroughness of the processing given to the coffee after it is harvested.

Most people perceive coffee cultivation regions as being hot and/or humid ,. in reality some the world’s best coffee is grown at the cooler, more temperate environments of the higher mountainous growing regions. The Conditions most conducive for coffee growing are: abundant rainfall, annual stable temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and a well-drained nutrient-rich soil. Coffee is cultivated at all altitudes from sea level up to the frost level. These elements can be found at a variety of origins within the coffee growing regions.

Coffee beans from different regions or origins can usually be distinguished by differences in flavor, aroma, body, and acidity.  These taste characteristics are dependent not only on the coffee’s growing region but also on the genetic varietals and their processing methods. Varietals are generally known by the region, origin or micro climate zone in which they are grown, or sometimes even by the port city from which they are exported.

The traditional method of planting coffee is to place 20 seeds in each hole at the beginning of the rainy season and about 50% of the seeds fail to sprout. A more effective method of growing coffee is to raise seedlings in nurseries that are then trans-planted after six to twelve months.

Of the two main coffee species grown, Arabica coffee is generally more highly regarded than Robusta coffee. About 70-75% of coffee cultivated worldwide is Arabica