Coffee Growing Countries

 Let’s Travel …

Each coffee producing country has its own unique characteristics and its own flavor profile. We seek worldwide unique varieties depending on the country, region, altitude, rainfall and harvest method ….

Bolivia

 

Bolivia, located in the western heart of South America is just starting to make a name for itself on the global speciality coffee scene. 85 – 95% of its largely Arabica coffee crop is cultivated on one to eight hectare plots by small farming families, mainly in the semi-tropical Yungas region.

Delicate, bright and aromatically sweet, Bolivian coffees evoke subtle fruit notes such as pear, lemon, apple and tangerine.


Harvesting: Jun – Sept
Processing: Washed, Natural, Honey Processed
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Criolla, Typica
Altitude: 1,250 – 1,650m asl


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Brazil

 

Producing around one third of the world’s coffee, Brazil is by far the biggest coffee grower – and has been for over 150 years. Coffee growing regions, mainly in the South Eastern states, cover over 10,000 square miles and employ around 3.5 million workers.

Characteristically sweet and smooth with low acidity and nutty, chocolately notes means Brazilian coffee stands out from the crowd.


Harvesting: Jun – Sept.
Processing: Natural, Pulped Natural
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Typica, Acaia, Canario, Maracatu, Maragogype, Icatu, Maracaturra, Mundo Novo, Rubi
Altitude: 950 – 1250m asl


Colombia

 

The third biggest coffee producer in the world, and often regarded as producing some of the highest quality coffees, Colombia has a unique geography and excellent growing conditions. Over 500,000 farms, most of them small holdings of five hectares or less, are scattered across the zonas cafeteras, some of the world’s most biologically diverse landscapes.

Colombian coffee is renowned for its silky body and cane sugar sweetness, which is often underpinned by subtle floral hints and traces of tropical fruits.


Harvesting: Sept – Dec
Processing: Natural
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Typica, Castillo
Altitude: 1500 – 1900m asl


Costa Rica

 

The finest Costa Rican coffee is typically grown at altitudes of 1200 to 1700 metres, in a shorter winter growing season. The region of Tarrazú is thought to produce the best beans in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica coffees are straightforward, clean, softly acidic and mild.


Harvesting: Nov – Mar
Processing: Washed
Variety: Bourbon, Caturra, Typica
Altitude: 900 – 1700m asl


El Salvador

 

Coffee production has been key to the Salvadoran economy for over 100 years, traditionally producing more than 50% of the country’s export revenues. But civil war in the 1980s and increased competition over the last few years has reduced this to just 3.5%.

Typified by its straightforward clean, softly acidic and milky tones, it also shows off quirky full flavours depending upon the varietal.


Harvesting: Nov – Mar
Processing: Washed
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai, Typica, Pacamara
Altitude: 1200 – 1500m asl


Guatemala

 

In a country with numerous microclimates, ideal rainfall patterns, high mountain ranges and a wide diversity of rich soils, there are now eight distinct growing regions in Guatemala. Each produces it’s own unique speciality coffee under its own origin brand, including Highland Huehue, Acatenango Valley and Rainforest Cobán.

Beans from this region are distinguished by a bright, moderate body usually teamed with floral hints, clean fruit notes and a distinct aftertaste.


Harvesting: Nov – Mar
Processing: Washed
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Pacamara, Maragogype
Altitude: 1400 – 1900m asl


Hawaii

 

Famous for its Kona coffee, grown in the Kona Districts of Hawaii, it is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Because of its rarity and price, it is often mixed with Colombian or Brazilian coffees and sold as Kona Blend, where the Kona content is only 10% – the minimum required. In 1989, UCC established its second directly managed coffee plantation here.

Hawaii produces light and silky bodied coffees with brown sugar and butter aromatics, often with notes of cream soda.


Harvesting: Aug – Feb
Processing: Washed
Variety: Typica
Altitude: 60 – 150m asl


Honduras

 

Honduras is the seventh largest coffee producer in the world and has, over recent years, gained wide recognition for its high quality coffee. There are six distinct coffee growing regions, where high quality altitude, shade grown Arabica is produced. Each region specialises in coffee that has a different, distinct taste when tasted.

The coffee grown in this island paradise evokes flavours ranging from strong sugar cane sweetness with bright and acidic flavour profiles to lower-acidity with caramel-like tastes.


Harvesting: Nov – Mar
Processing: Washed
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Typica
Altitude: 1490 – 1950m asl


Jamaica

 

Grown in the Blue Mountains between Kingston and Port Antonio, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee has developed a reputation that has made it one of the most costly and sought after coffees in the world. Over 80% of production is exported to Japan. The beans are also used to flavour Tia Maria coffee liqueur. In 1981, our first directly managed UCC coffee plantation was established in the Blue Mountains.

Famous for its Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaica is known for sweet, smooth beans with a floral hint that lingers, teamed with notes of root beer and aromatic wood.


Harvesting: Feb – Jun
Processing: Washed
Variety: Typica
Altitude: 1000 – 1700m asl


Mexico

 

Mexico is the world’s 8th largest coffee producer with 252,000 metric tonnes being produced in 2009. Mexican coffee is grown in the south-central to southern regions of the country and tends to be light-bodied and mild, with subtle flavours. The coffee is mainly Arabica, which grows particularly well in the coastal region of Soconusco, Chiapas, near the border of Guatemala.


Harvesting: Nov – Mar
Processing: Washed
Variety: Bourbon, Caturra, Maragogype, Mundo Novo
Altitude: 900-1600m asl


Nicaragua

 

The largest, most sparsely populated country in Central America, Nicaragua borders Costa Rica to the south and Honduras to the north. Around 33,000 farmers and their families rely on coffee production as their main source of income. Some single estate speciality coffees are now exported around the world.

Nicaraguan growers are known for their sweet, balanced and often full-bodied coffees, which have an emphasis on low-toned chocolate and apricot notes.


Harvesting: Nov – Mar
Processing: Washed, Natural, Pulped Natural
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Pacamara, Maragogype, Catimor, Longberry
Altitude: 1200 – 1400m asl


Panama

 

Panama’s coffee plantations are mainly located in the mountainous area that surrounds the Baru Volcano, near the picturesque towns of Boquete and Volcan-Candela. Here, the spring-like weather conditions and rich volcanic soil work to produce some of the best coffees in the world.

Coffees from this region can be identified by their bright, acidic coffee with sweet floral notes. The brightness has hints of fresh citrus and a touch of wine that rounds out the flavour in the finish.


Harvesting: Nov – Mar
Processing: Washed
Variety: Bourbon, Typica, Geisha
Altitude: 1500 – 1700m asl


Peru

 

The ninth largest coffee producer in the world, Peru is noted for being a major producer of Organic and Fairtrade beans. Arabica coffee is grown throughout the country on approximately 200,000 farms.

Clean, sweet and a striking acidic brightness, teamed with moderate fruit or floral hints, makes Peru’s coffee famous.


Harvesting: Jun – Sept
Processing: Washed
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, Typica
Altitude: 1600 – 2000m asl


Ethiopa

 

Believed to be the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia is the fifth largest coffee producer in the world. There are around 700,000 small coffee farms in Ethiopia, of which 54% are in semi forest areas. Coffee has been part of this country’s indigenous cultural traditions for more than 10 generations.

Ethiopian coffee gives a clean, bright cup usually teamed with floral notes of stoned-fruits.


Harvesting: Nov – Mar
Processing: Natural
Variety: Bourbon, Typica, Heirloom
Altitude: 1900 – 1200m asl


Kenya

 

The acidic soil in the highlands of central Kenya combined with just the right amount of rainfall and sunlight, provides perfect conditions for growing coffee. The Kenyan coffee industry is known for its cooperative system of production, processing, marketing and selling where around 70% of coffee is produced by approximately 150,000 small scale farmers.

Kenyan produced beans are known for a unique, clean and bright cup, usually teamed with blackcurrant like citrus notes.


Harvesting: Nov – Mar
Processing: Washed
Variety: SL-28, SL-34
Altitude: 1371 – 2072m asl


Rwanda

 

Rwanda is known as the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ and much of its coffee is grown between 1700 and 2100m above sea level. Following the civil war during the 1990’s coffee production has been key to rebuilding a brighter economic future for many of its population.

A clean cup, teamed with bright blood orange notes, lavender aromas and a tea like finish distinguish Rwandan coffees from other Sub-Saharan grown coffees.


Harvesting: Jul – Sept
Processing: Washed
Variety: Bourbon
Altitude: 1700 – 2000m asl


Vietnam

 

The second largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil, Vietnam grows mostly Robusta trees which are high bearing and disease resistant due to the higher caffeine levels. Robusta coffee is characterised by its woody and earthy flavours and is traditionally blended with Arabica beans to achieve excellent body in an espresso.

Vietnam robusta is known for a very heavy body, bitter cacao, smokiness and an ashy, lingering bitter finish.


Harvesting: Nov – Apr
Processing: Washed, Semi-washed, Polished
Variety: Typica, Robusta
Altitude: 500 – 700m asl


India

 

Perhaps known better for its tea harvests, India also accounts for over 4% of global coffee production and is the sixth largest coffee producer in the world. Both arabica and robusta trees are cultivated across almost 900,000 acres of land in its Southern states – mainly Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Of its 250,000 coffee growers, over 90% of them are small farms of 10 acres or less.

Indian Monsoon Malabar is typified by a very heavy body, tobacco, smoke and saltiness. Indian Robusta has a medium-heavy body and smooth mouth feel, with hints of red fruit and dark chocolate.


Harvesting: Dec – Mar
Processing: Washed, Natural
Variety: Bourbon, Caturra, Typica, Robusta
Altitude: 1,000 – 1,500m for Arabica and 500 – 1,000m for Robusta


Sumatra

 

Indonesia is the fourth largest coffee producer in the world. Sumatra produces two of the world’s most famous and high quality coffees – Mandheling and Ankola – and our own Orang Utan Coffee.

Low acidity, thick and rustic earthy flavours are common characteristics for coffee grown in the region.


Harvesting: Sept – Dec
Processing: Washed
Variety: Typica, Ateng, Bergendal, Djember, Tim Tim
Altitude: 900 – 2400m asl


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