Did you know that around 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year! This figure is staggering and it’s no wonder that coffee is the world’s most widely traded agricultural commodity. Today, coffee is something to be appreciated, savoured, experimented with and loved.
However, not all coffee tastes the same. Gone are the days where you walk into a good café and ask for a plain old coffee. With the third wave of coffee has come cafes where you can order based on your own personal taste preferences, coffee origins and flavour profiles.
If you’re feeling like you don’t know enough about these different origins or tastes of coffee, read on!
The coffee plant, especially the Arabica species, is very demanding and grows best around the equator. This region is also referred to as the coffee belt or the bean belt and extends between the tropics of Cancer and the Capricorn. The cultivation area within this belt is about 10 million hectares. Here the tropical to subtropical climate is ideal for this sensitive plant, which likes to be shaded and wind-protected. The ideal average temperature for growth should be about 26 °C and at a cultivation height between 800 – 2,200 meters above sea level.
Depending on their country of origin, each coffee has its own unique flavour notes and aromatic profiles. Coffee taste characteristics are also influenced by coffee varieties – most broadly Arabica and Robusta. Coffee characteristics are also affected by temperature, type of soil, humidity, altitude, processing technique, how the farmers care for the bean and ultimately, even how it is roasted. There are so many taste profiles of coffee – from sweet to bitter, nutty to fruity, toasted to floral – every coffee lover eventually finds the one they love the most through constant tasting and drinking of this delicious dark liquid.
Our Brazil Jaguara, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua coffees all come from Latin America, Coffees from this region tend to have a chocolate, caramel and nutty flavour. Latin American coffees generally give you good body, acidity, and a hint of fruitiness.
Look out for higher acidity and bright flavour notes if you are buying African coffee! Generally, African coffees can taste fruity, floral and sweet.
True coffee lovers enjoy the light and fruity flavours of African coffees and from here, the two major growing regions are Ethiopia and Rwanda.