Coffee beans flourish in warm weather, reliable rain, and a healthy amount of sunshine. Each of these factors can have a huge impact determining each cup’s flavour. This being so, the best places around the world for growing is on the bean belt. Ranging from the top of the tropics of Cancer to the bottom of Capricorn, the belt is an ideal place for coffee farms. Image sewing a tape laid on a 2D map ranging from the heights of Hawaii passing through the Americas, down through Africa and lastly, South East Asia, ending in Indonesia. For all those dreaming of a worldwide coffee tour, read below.
These little islands are a great place to start. It’s the only place in the U.S. where this coffee is produced. Farms can be found on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa. The rich volcanic soil gives these beans their unique taste. Konas beans are the most popular with a sweet fragrance and honey-like taste. “What also makes Kona unique is its physical effect. Kona doesn’t produce the jitters of regular joe. After drinking a cup of Kona, you’ll feel rejuvenated and calm” says barista Michael Hibbs. Although the many brands, small farms are known to produce the best flavours.
Next stop, head east to a country known for being one of the first to make the bean into a major industry. This region is also a common supplier to Starbucks. One of the popular brands in Costa Rica is the Howler Monkey Jungle Coffee. Experts define it as a “dry, bright and sparkling sensation that sets a high quality”. Another popular aspect is how they preserve their bags, allowing gases to escape while keeping oxygen in, preserving freshness.
Go further south-east to hit Brazil, the country which has been exporting this nectar since 1820. Today they are still a leading producer, responsible for 30% of international production. They have a massive variety of brews ranging from some of the world’s cheapest to most elegant. Cafe Pilao is known as one of the number one brands. Full bodied, slow roasted with a taste of fruit. Processing methods include wet, dry and semi-dry.
Swim through the South Atlantic and Indian ocean to another coffee paradise. Indonesia is home to the island of java, which spurred the nickname, and also to the most bizarre style of coffee farming. Kopi Luwak, also known as cat poop coffee, is not your average cup o’ joe. Farmers take the faeces of a civet cat and proceed to roast and brew them. Doyo Soeyono Kertosastro and Indo farmer explain: “natural fermentation that occurs in the [cat’s] stomach seem to make the difference… this is the best of all coffees”. The civet cat’s stomach ferments the beans, softening the bitter aftertaste. It is described as smooth, earthy and nutty. The farming style along with the high demand makes this one the priciest coffees- ranging from $100-600 per pound.
If you are not satisfied with this list, there are hundreds of other places along the belt. Thinking of going on a coffee expedition with us? Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello! I’m Josh and I’m a journalism and business student from the U.S. I grew up near Boston but now I’m living in Thailand. In the past I’ve been a ski instructor, waiter, and camp counselor. Now I’ve taken up the pen and want to develop my skills as a writer. I got hooked on traveling last December. I found the microscopic image of my town and realized how much of the earth I hadn’t seen. Since then I’ve had a fire in my belly to see and do as much as I can. My experience here in Thailand has been so great and now I’m eager to share and inspire others to get out, it’s worth it! You can keep in contact with me at LinkedIn, Upwork or Facebook.