Most people around the world can’t imagine starting their day without a cup of coffee. If you are a coffee drinker, then you might know that sometimes you get an incredible tasting coffee, while other times, you might quickly gulp it down for the energy boost, and not because you like the taste. While many people believe that the secret to great tasting coffee is in the preparation, there’s much more involved. While of course, there are lots of variables during the process of brewing the coffee that will ultimately impact its taste, the beans themselves also have a huge part to play.
Where the beans are grown can actually be a factor that impacts the taste of your coffee in your cup, with the origin making a lot of difference to how the coffee tastes. Where your coffee originates will not only impact the flavor of your brew, but also the quality. Factors such as the soil’s chemical composition, the type of coffee plant, the climate that it is grown in, and the altitude that it’s grown at will all have an impact on the final taste of the coffee once it reaches your cup. After growing, there are other factors in the product process that also impact the taste such as the way it is harvested and the time of year. As you may imagine, unripe coffee beans are not going to taste as nice as ripe coffee beans. Coffee that is handpicked might take longer to process, but it usually tastes better since the workers will only pick the ripe beans, unlike when the beans are machine-picked since the machine cannot tell the difference.
Coffee’s History and Origin
Where does coffee come from? Nobody is completely sure about when or how coffee was first discovered, but there are lots of legends and tales regarding how this beverage originated. All coffee can trace its heritage back to centuries ago in Africa, particularly the Ethiopian plateau’s coffee forests. Legend has it that the plant was first discovered by a goat herder named Kaldi, who was drawn to the plant after noticing that his goats became hyperactive and did not sleep through the night after eating the fruit from a particular tree. The berries were made into a brew, and knowledge began spreading.
Where do coffee beans come from? Coffee’s cultivation and commercialization started on the Arabian Peninsula. By the fifteenth century, coffee beans were being grown in Arabia, and were known in Turkey, Syria, Egypt, and Persia by the sixteenth century. The drink quickly became a staple in many homes, and the coffee bean made its way to Europe with travelers from the Near East. While it had a controversial start in the West, Europeans soon warmed to coffee, and by the middle of the seventeenth century, London alone had over three hundred coffee houses.
What Conditions Does Coffee Grow In?
How does coffee grow? The cultivation of coffee is typically done in large, commercial quantities. Because of this, you may not be surprised to hear that multiple steps are required to successfully cultivate this crop. Do coffee beans grow on trees? The coffee plant itself is a small tree, an evergreen shrub of African origin. It produces seeds that are typically referred to as beans. These beans are roasted, ground, and sold to brew coffee with.
Where did coffee beans come from? There are two types of commercial coffee: Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica species is cultivated mainly in Latin America, while Africa is the biggest producer of the Robusta species. Some regions grow both, including Indonesia and India.
How do coffee beans grow? For coffee to grow successfully, it needs a favorable climate. Sunshine and rainfall are some of the most important climatic factors for coffee growth. Between 73- and 82-degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature for growing coffee, along with between sixty and eighty inches of rainfall each year. Arabica beans require an area where there is a dry period of 2-3 months. Irrigation is required when growing coffee in areas that do not have the required amount of rainfall.
Coffee is usually grown in forests with the shrubs planted in rows. Seedlings are first raised in nurseries until the rainy season, when they are planted in the fields. Arabica takes around seven months to fully grow from blooming to maturation, while Robusta takes around nine.
So, now you know more about what’s needed for coffee to grow successfully, read on to find out more about where is coffee grown and how are coffee beans grown in different regions.
Ethiopia is the reported origin of the coffee plant, so it’s no surprise that this country is one of the biggest coffee producers in the world today. If you visit the country, you will quickly see how big the coffee production here is. The wild coffee tree forests are the main harvesting source. Coffee from Ethiopia is usually full-bodied, earthy, and full flavored.
Thousands of islands make up Indonesia. Java, Sumatra, and several of the larger Indonesian islands are famous for producing amazing coffee. The islands make up small pockets of coffee farms. Much of the coffee that is produced in Indonesia is dry processed, and the country is one of the biggest producers of coffee around the world. Coffee grown here tends to be full-bodied, rich, and mildly acidic. Indonesia is also home to unique fine-aged coffees, which are aged in warehouses for a long time to produce a brew that has a deeper flavor and is less acidic.
Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world today, with this plant making up a huge part of the country’s economy. It produces both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans since the soil, altitude, and climate here is ideal for both.
If you love coffee and know a bit about it, then you might already know that Columbia is one of the most famous exporters of coffee beans around the world. It is the second-largest coffee producer worldwide and produces coffee of an excellent quality and standard. It has a landscape that is ideal for the cultivation of coffee. However, the terrain in this country makes transportation to production and shipment centers difficult.
Wet-processed Arabica coffee is grown in Costa Rica. When you get coffee from this country you can expect a sharp acidity with a medium body. Costa Rican coffee is usually grown on small farms that are located in different areas around the country. Once the coffee is harvested, the fruit is taken to be wet processed at modern processing facilities.
Guatemala is another country where coffee is grown, and the coffee here has a distinctive and rich flavor. Guatemala is an excellent region for growing coffee with dark volcanic soil that is very fertile. High altitudes here give the coffee hints of chocolate and spices.
Mexico also grows coffee – in fact, it is one of the main exports of this country despite the fact that there are no large coffee plantations. Over one hundred thousand coffee farmers that own small coffee farms make up the industry in Mexico. Mexican coffee has a rich aroma and taste with a sharpness to it. Altura coffee is grown here, in the high peaks.
With a tropical climate and fertile soil, the islands of Hawaii are an excellent place for growing coffee. So, it’s no surprise that there are lots of coffee farms on the islands. Several types of coffee are grown here, with Kona coffee being the most popular. The active Mauna Lao volcano is home to coffee plantations, as it’s an ideal environment with fertile and dark volcanic soil, rain that provides enough moisture, and tropical clouds that protect the plants from intense sunshine.
When it comes to the flavor of your cup of coffee, it’s not just the roast level or the way that it has been brewed that will make a difference. The flavor of the coffee actually starts from the shrub, with lots of different factors in the growing environment that will ultimately have an impact on the final cup of coffee that you enjoy. Some say that coffee’s quality is at its highest when it is still on the tree, and any processing is done to preserve this.
Coffee plants are grown in lots of countries around the world, where the climate is right and other conditions and factors are met including soil type, rainfall, and altitude. While there are actually more than one hundred coffee species, Arabica and Robusta are the only ones used commercially, and it’s usually going to be one or both of these that you will use to brew your morning cup of joe. ou will use to brew your morning cup of joe.
Along with where the coffee is grown, how it is grown and harvested will also have an impact on the final taste, aroma, body, and quality. Ripe beans will always taste better, so the stage and method by which the coffee beans are harvested can also have an impact on how your coffee tastes no matter where it was grown.