So many people drink coffee without much of a thought; where does your brew come from? What happens if those coffee berries are grown elsewhere, at a different altitude, in a climate that's wet or humid? It all makes a difference and we've been doing a lot of coffee tasting here and it's interesting how every place has its own taste characteristics, just like wine.
So, let's get ready for this mini coffee bean world tour; are you ready?!
This will need a table of contents and here we go:
Africa - Starting from Ethiopia
Americas - Starting from Brazil
Asia - Starting from Thailand
Ethiopia: The Birthplace of Coffee
Ethiopia holds a special place in the history of coffee as it is considered the birthplace of the beverage. You can taste floral and fruity notes, with hints of blueberry, jasmine, and citrus. This is one of our favourite roasts due to the fruitiness.
Kenya: Bright Acidity and Complexity
Kenyan coffee is highly regarded for its vibrant acidity, full body, and complex flavor profile. It often gives bright citrus and berry notes, accompanied by a wine-like acidity. And the fun fact is Kenya's high altitudes and volcanic soil contributes to its unique taste.
Tanzania: Diverse and Distinctive Offerings
Tanzania is home to several coffee-growing regions, each offering its own distinct flavours. The most famous bean is Peaberry, which is characterised by its small, round-shaped beans and rich taste. Tanzanian coffee often exhibits a balanced acidity, medium body, and a range of flavours that can include citrus, chocolate, and even floral undertones. The country's Mount Kilimanjaro region is particularly renowned for producing high-quality coffee.
Peaberry beans are small and sweet
Uganda: Versatile and Diverse
Uganda is one of the largest coffee producers in Africa as the country cultivates both robusta and arabica beans. Robusta beans from Uganda are often used in espresso blends, known for their bold, earthy flavour and higher caffeine content. Arabica beans from Uganda can offer a wide range of flavours, including fruity and wine-like notes.
Rwanda: Unique and Delicate
Rwandan coffee is known for its delicate and complex flavours, often showcasing floral and tea-like characteristics. The coffee-growing regions in Rwanda, with their high altitude and volcanic soil - Hi, Kenya! -, contribute to the bean's quality. Rwandan coffee is also recognised for its commitment to sustainability and ethical practices, and we love sustainable coffee around here, right?
Burundi: Bright and Fruity
Burundian coffee often exhibits bright acidity, medium body, and fruity flavors. It can display notes of red berries, citrus, and sometimes even floral and wine-like undertones.
Brazil: The King of Coffee Production
Brazil is the largest producer of coffee globally and has a strong influence on the coffee market - no, we're not just saying that because our Raquel is also produced in Brazil but pretty much like the beans she's a bit nutty, smooth and sweet. The coffees are characterised by low acidity, medium body, and a smooth, sweet taste.
These are coffee beans being dried in the sun
Colombia: Rich and Balanced
Colombian coffee is renowned for its high-quality beans and balanced flavour. And often displays notes of chocolate, caramel, and a hint of citrus.
Costa Rica: Bright and Lively
Costa Rican coffee is celebrated for its bright acidity and lively flavours. Just like Kenya and Rwanda, Costa Rica has a volcanic soil and high altitudes which contributes to their bean's taste exhibiting a tangy, citrusy acidity, accompanied by notes of honey, caramel, and tropical fruits. It is highly regarded among speciality coffee enthusiasts.
Jamaica: The Exquisite Blue Mountain Coffee
Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee holds a special place in our hearts, mainly because we want to visit. These beans are known for their exceptional flavor and limited availability and are characterised by a mild yet complex taste, with hints of nuts, spices, and floral undertones. It is often praised for its smoothness, balance, and lack of bitterness.
This is the blue mountain in Jamaica. No coffee in sight, just this breathtaking place.
Thailand: Emerging Speciality Coffee
The northern region of Thailand, specifically around Chiang Mai, has seen a surge in coffee cultivation. Thai coffee often exhibits a bright and fruity flavour profile, with notes of citrus, berry, and floral undertones. What is really nice about Thai coffee farms is their focus on sustainable and organic practices.
Indonesia: A Blend of Diversity
Indonesia is home to several distinct coffee-growing regions, each with its own unique characteristics. The most famous Indonesian coffee is Sumatra Mandheling, known for its earthy and full-bodied flavour profile. Other Indonesian coffees, such as Java, Bali, and Sulawesi, offer a range of flavours, including notes of spice, chocolate, and even tropical fruit. Indonesian coffee is often processed using the unique method known as "wet hulling," which contributes to its distinct taste.
India has a long history of coffee cultivation, particularly in the southern regions of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Indian coffee is primarily arabica, and its flavours can vary depending on the specific region and altitude. For instance, coffee from the Malabar region is often characterised by its low acidity, heavy body, and notes of spice and chocolate. Indian coffee is also known for the unique "monsooning" process, where the beans are exposed to moist monsoon winds, resulting in a distinct flavour profile.
Those coffee beans are exposed to monsoon rain and winds for a period of about three to four months.
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