Coffee is grown in many regions around the world – but mainly with the commonality that the coffee growing regions are within the band of the Tropics either side of the Equator – between the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere.
It is not just due the proximity to the Equator and the more consistent and moist tropical climate patterns that this produces, but also to the higher elevations present in Central and Southern America, tropical African regions and South East Asia and parts of the Middle East.
Coffee grows better at higher elevations (often 1,000 to 2,000 metes above sea level) – particularly the smaller beans of the Arabica variations which have generally been prized as the better beans, though there can be quite a variation in taste, flavour profile and production technique.
A bit like wine, coffee tastes different depending upon the bean, the soil and biodiversity environment, as well as the climate and the techniques of cultivation, preparation for roasting, washing, drying, etc.
Central and South America are the powerhouses of worldwide coffee production, with Brazil the biggest of them all.
Africa (the Sidamo region of Ethiopia) is often credited as the birthplace of human coffee consumption.
South East Asia and the Middle East also boast many coffee producing nations including their largest producers Indonesia and Vietnam with flavours thought to be more earthy and bitter.
Coffee roasting is usually done more locally to consumption – and ideally within just weeks or at the most a few months from consumption. Its best to grind coffee just before you consume it, if you have your own coffee grinder (see our range of handgrinders), to allow the coffee bean to contain the flavour until you release it.
There’s lots to discover about coffee beans, their flavours and characteristics – the best way is to try some different beans and take a few notes as you drink your coffee to create your own taste notes and get an idea of what your enjoyment of coffee is driven by.
There are many smallholder farms in amongst even the biggest coffee producing nations – we stock Redemption Roasters coffees who select coffee beans with the social responsibility agenda in mind and always on the lookout for an exceptional coffee.
See our range of coffees and their stories – coffees with social responsibility.