You probably haven’t given much thought to where coffee comes from, except when you’re running late and don’t know whether you’ll have time to stop for your morning brew. That aside, you probably take for granted the fact that coffee will always be there when you want it.
It turns out there is quite a bit involved in growing and producing the roasted products you find on the grocery store shelf. It all starts with the coffee beans chosen for a particular blend and where these are grown.
Producing the perfect coffee bean requires the right combination of soil, sunshine, and moisture. However, these things vary so much that it is nearly impossible to create two crops that taste exactly alike. That is one of the reasons roasters blend a variety of beans to produce the distinctive flavors that bear their names.
Two Primary Beans
There are two primary beans responsible for the majority of the coffee consumed around the world. The first, and most common, is the Arabica bean. Arabica accounts for nearly 70% of the world’s coffee; it is available in a number of different varieties directly descending from the oldest known coffee trees in Ethiopia.
The other bean is known as a Robusta. This bean is smaller than the Arabica, but it packs a greater punch – between 50 and 60% more caffeine. Robusta production around the world is increasing thanks to its ability to thrive in warmer climates and the fact that it is less expensive to grow and process. You are familiar with the unique taste of Robusta if you use instant coffee.
Where It Comes From
The best coffees are grown in climates that are near, or at, the equator. That is where you will find the right combination of temperature, sun and moisture. It is also where you will find the best soils. According to the National Coffee Association USA, coffee beans are grown in more than 50 countries around the world.
In North America, coffee production is limited primarily to Mexico. As far as American blends are concerned, the best come from Hawaii. You have had Hawaiian coffee if you’ve enjoyed a Kona blend. Meanwhile, a once robust coffee industry in Puerto Rico is making a comeback after years of dormancy.
Central and South America are where we get most of the coffee sold in the US. The best-known country is Colombia, where growers and government officials take pride in producing what they believe is the finest in the world. Other Central and South American coffee producers include Costa Rica, Guatemala and Brazil.
Africa and the Middle East provide some excellent coffee beans from Ethiopia, Kenya, the Ivory Coast and Yemen. It turns out that the Yemen was the first place coffee was commercially produced. Unfortunately, a sustained lack of water has greatly reduced Yemen’s output.
Lastly, we cannot leave out Vietnam and Indonesia. These countries also contribute significantly to global coffee production. Now that you know more about where coffee comes from, consider giving Galaxie a call. We provide our customers with the finest coffee and beverage service in the New York area.