Coffee Regions of the World
Author: Rob Date Posted:14 February 2013
What does it take to make great coffee?
A Lavazza espresso machine and Bluepod coffee pods will give you great results, but the process starts with nature. Great coffee beans grow in regions of the world where ideal soil and climate conditions occur. High altitudes in tropical countries where the weather is warm contribute to these conditions. That’s why coffee growing regions are typically found in hard to reach locations far from the sunny beaches some of these countries are famous for.
Brazil has been the world’s biggest coffee producer since the middle of the 19th century. Brazil produces as much as a third of the world’s coffee. Half of that coffee is grown in the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais, where over a million hectares of coffee plants are cultivated.
Colombia is the second biggest coffee producer in the world, but Colombians take particular pride in the quality of the coffee they produce. The rugged mountain landscape is perfect for growing coffee, but makes large scale operations and transport very difficult. Coffee is grown primarily by small farmers and often transported by mule to lower elevations, from where it is distributed to larger production and shipment centres.
Peru is another South American country where a lot of coffee is grown. Much of Peru’s coffee is grown by small farmers in the lower Andes who join together in coffee cooperatives to meet the demands of the coffee drinking world. Climate change is something Peruvian coffee growers are well aware of. In recent years, harvests have been poor due to seasons of too little rain being followed by growing seasons deluged by rain.
Costa Rica is as well-known for its coffee as it is for its beautiful beaches and eco-resorts. A “boutique” coffee growing region, Costa Rican coffee is grown on small plantations known as fincas and then transported to facilities where it is “wet” processed. Coffee growing and processing in Costa Rica is arguably the most sophisticated in the world and is one of the reasons why Cost Rican coffee is so prized by coffee connoisseurs.
Guatamala is not as renowned as Costa Rica for its coffee, but the country is making efforts to improve its image as a region known for fine coffee. The coffee regions of Guatemala are located at high elevations with rich volcanic soil and are perfect for growing distinctively rich varieties of coffee.
India is not the first country most of us think of when we think of coffee growing regions, but it has the distinction of being the first country outside of the Middle East to grow coffee. Most of India’s coffee beans are grown in the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. India began exporting coffee during the British colonial era and more recently has ramped up its production. Today, India is one of the world’s top 10 producers of coffee, with Robusta being the country’s most popular variety.
From Yemen, where coffee was first produced, to Indonesia, coffee has been grown for hundreds of years in Asia. Indonesia has the distinction of growing the largest amount of coffee in Asia, but smaller countries like Vietnam and Laos are coming into their own as growers of fine coffee varieties.
Ethiopia has the distinction of being the first country where coffee was consumed by humans. According to legend, a shepherd noticed how his flock got an energy boost from coffee beans. He tried them himself and discovered they gave him a boost as well. Since then, coffee has continued to be an important part of life in many parts of Africa. Unfortunately, climate change is threatening Arabica crops in the Sudan and other parts of Africa.
Many of the world’s coffee growers experience very poor living and working conditions. To help improve their lives, Lavazza introduced their ¡Tierra! Project in 2002 and the Bluepod Coffee Company offers Lavazza’s Rainforest Alliance coffee pods in their product range. Read the Bluepod blog, What is Rainforest Alliance Coffee? and learn more about how you can help improve the lives of thousands of coffee workers simply by enjoying the world’s best coffee.