For many of us, coffee is a way of life. We meet our friends for a coffee, we share moments with loved ones over the warm beverage and we rely on it in the morning to give us that well-needed caffeine boost. We claim to love it, and even state that we have a favourite brand and blend, but how many of us actually know where this internationally beloved drink is from?
Let’s start from the beginning. Coffee actually originated from Ethiopia, Africa, in a region known as Kaffa. Over the years, coffee beans migrated to South East Asia, Central and South America. With most being grown in Brazil, Brazil produces about 45% of the world's total coffee exports and is popular in most arabica blends. This includes our house and espresso roasts, which are both grown in the high altitude area of the Mogiana region. As an area renowned for some of the worlds highest quality beans our popular blends exude notes of caramel and chocolate (absolutely delicious we must say!). So it’s clear as to why they are the leading coffee exporters.
Coffee grows best in hot climates close to the equator, a lot of regions which are known for coffee growing have high altitudes. This is because the altitude at which a bean is grown has an effect on the flavour of the beans. The plant then devotes more energy to bean production which in turn produces more of the sugars that create those amazing tasting notes in your favourite coffee.
The coffee belt
The Coffee Belt is an imaginary band that circles the globe around the equator, encompassing all of the world’s coffee-growing regions. It touches primarily on Africa, Asia, South America and Central America.
While these regions all share a tropical, warm climate, their climates each have unique characteristics that influence the flavour profiles of the coffee they produce. Even different regions within a single continent—or different farms within a region—can produce coffees that are quite different.
Arabica and Robusta
The two types of coffee cultivated for drinking are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica features softer, sweeter notes (as our best-selling espresso roast does!), while Robusta has a slightly more bitter taste. Robusta actually contains twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans - this is why we use these for our super strong rocket roast.
Typically arabica beans originate from central and South America, with Colombia and Brazil being the main coffee regions whereas Robusta tends to grow in Asian countries such as Vietnam and India. Vietnam’s speciality is strong tasting robusta beans - exactly why we source our rocket roast from this region!
With Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia being the world’s top 5 leaders when it comes to growing and producing coffee. It’s often safe to assume that your coffee comes from one of these regions.
So there you have it, you can now say you know where your morning brew comes from!