How Beans Are Farmed
Year after year coffee is produced during the dry season when coffee cherries are red and firm. Cherries that are ripe are either harvested by hand, taken down from a tree, or collected using a harvesting machine. There are different ways to process coffee beans using selective picking, stripping, and mechanical harvesting. Most countries, such as Brazil, use the “stripping method” in which the coffee beans are pulled from the tree and fall where sheets catch them. These sheets are then used to make a delicious cup of coffee.
Importance of Weather and Altitude for Growing Coffee Beans
To grow a nice cup of joe, conditions include cool to warm tropical climates, rich soils, and a few pests/diseases. This takes place all around the globe along the equator, with North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Exposure that is continuous to temperatures just over 86°F can damage coffee plants, stunting growth, yellowing leaves severely. Some research demonstrates a difference in taste when you go higher in altitude as elevation changes. Research suggests that different altitudes produce different cups of coffee; coffees grown higher up in altitude tend to be a more acidy and complex coffee while lower elevations are to be more intensely coffee flavored.
Arabica Beans versus Robusta Beans
Taste: Robusta’s beans are mostly described as burnt tires or having a rubbery taste. One reason that Robusta’s taste isn’t as good is that it has more caffeine compared to Arabica. Caffeine plays a big role and has a bitter taste which makes it an unpleasant drink to consume. In fact, the Robusta bean has 2.7% caffeine content, which is almost double the caffeine that’s in the 1.5% of Arabica.
Lipid and sugar content: Arabica has almost 60% more lipids and almost twice the concentration of sugar than Robusta. Therefore, most people prefer the sweet delicious taste of Arabica.
Price: Robusta beans are about half the price of Arabica beans, but that is because most people prefer Arabica beans.
Tending: Robusta is a lot easier to tend on a farm, and it is less sensitive to insects. The extra caffeine in Robusta is a chemical defense for the seed as the amount in the Robusta is toxic to bugs. This is a very good factor to know that Robusta beans can protect themselves from any pests or diseases.
The Shape: Robusta beans appear to have a more circular shape, on the other hand, Arabica beans are more oval shape.
Plant Height: Arabica beans usually grow between 2.5 – 4.5 meters whereas the Robusta beans have the 4.5 – 6-meter height.
Regions of the World Where Beans are Grown
The ideal conditions for coffee trees are found around the globe along the Equator called “The Bean Belt”. In more than 50 countries around the world, coffee is expanded its growing including: Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, and Hawaii. In Hawaii, its own nature provides the right environment for the coffee trees to nourish and grow on the slopes of the active Mauna Loa volcano. In Mexico, it ranks as one of the largest coffee producing countries in the whole world.
Tasting profiles of popular regions
Ethiopia is the one of the oldest known producers of coffee and is the origin of Coffee Arabica. Coffee from Ethiopia is famous from the complex, bright, and fruity flavors it contains. The places that produce coffee are highly regarded for their quality and flavor.
Kenya is one of the leading coffee-producing countries in the world and even has its own rating system for its bean size produced in the many growing regions they have in the country. The most popular is the AA type of bean, which is the second largest and contains the highest quality of flavor. The taste is sweet and acidic, with hints of berry.
Rwanda has been growing steadily as a major coffee producing country around the early 2000s. Coffees from this African country are known for their freshness, some with tasting flavors of crisp apple.
Indonesian coffee is the region where the coffee is grown on the market. Coffee from Indonesia is quite low in acidity, but very strong in body with deep earthy-like flavors. It is commonly roasted dark to bring out its spicy flavors. You can even sample a Starbucks Sumatra to see why this is a standard coffee served in shops across the country.
Costa Rica is the most popular place to visit coffee farms, and it has developed in this way as a boost to the economy to make more of a profit. It has also been high quality in the specialty coffee market for some time now. The flavors associated with costa Rican coffee are clean and light. This refreshing cup of coffee has hints of coco and grapefruit in it.