Where does the World's Best Coffee come from?
Where does the World's Best Coffee come from?
Apart from those who take a cup of coffee once a week or once in a month; those of us who enjoy coffee on a daily basis must always appreciate the origin of the various coffee we've tasted.
It is no longer news that the quality of coffees largely depends on the pattern of storage, humidity, rainfall, degree of sunlight and altitude. These factors as long as it influences the quality of other crops can do much more on coffee plants.
Since it's agreed that the location from which any coffee is grown speaks volumes on the various outcomes of the coffee after you brewed it. We will take a look at the birthplace of coffee as well as the various places where you can get the best and highest quality coffee beans in the world.
The Birthplace of Coffee: Ethiopia
The popular story most people tell of the discovery of coffee was that of an Ethiopian goat herder who noticed that his goats get more energized after eating from the plant. Then he tried his best at extracting from the tree and voila! Coffee is born!
Like many foods, confusion surrounds the place where coffee was actually planted or used. However, the oldest and most reliable evidence dates back to the 15th century when a merchant, Sufi Imam Mohammed, imported goods which include a tangible amount of coffee out of Ethiopia to Yemen.
Based on the evidence, It can clearly be seen that Ethiopia is the actual birthplace of coffee. The high altitude and planting climate in Ethiopia quite provides the best conditions for the growth of coffee.
Contrary to popular opinion, Somalian merchants were only later notable for the importation of the priced beverage throughout the middle east, Arabian peninsula and to places like Turkey, India, and Egypt where there were high demands.
Although Ethiopia does not produce much coffee compared to other countries or when they produce massively at the beginning of the millennium; right now, they produce a rare and quality variety of coffee.
Their speciality, the Harrar, and its other variety are unique. The Harrar coffee has an undertone of an exotic wine that can either be spicy or fruity depending on the high altitudes the coffee trees were planted.
The connection of Ethiopian coffee to the Arab world cannot be expunged. In fact, the name 'coffee' has a great connection to the Arabian world. It entered the English lexicon after it was borrowed from the Dutch. The Dutch version, 'Koffie', on the other hand, was borrowed from the Turkish simpler version, Kahve. The root of the word was originally Arabic which is 'Gahwah' which originally means a type of wine.
The World Largest Coffee Producer: Brazil
Out of the total annual coffee production in the world, Brazil single-handedly produces about one-third of the total. Brazil being a notable country in South America (The continent is generally notable for its massive coffee supply) has about 10,000 miles of coffee plantation.
Since they produce in large quantities, Brazil is not identified to a specific Coffee type or strain. Hence consumer prefers to identify with a particular brand from the country. However, this does not deter them from producing one of the best coffees in the world.
Depending on the strain, a cup of coffee from Brazil is usually sweet, mildly acidic, and medium-bodied.
You must Harvest by Hand: Colombia
In Colombia, for many coffee farmers, the way you harvest your coffee is such a big deal. If you're caught being careless about it it could cost you sales.
Apparently, the farmers have been harvesting coffee by hand for decades if not centuries. This helps to differentiate the underripe, overripe, unripe and ideal version of the coffee beans.
Second, only to Brazil, Colombia supplies about 15% of the world total coffee. However, unlike Brazil, they have been identified with quite some specific brands of coffee.
For example, The Supremo, Extra and Excelso are the notable brands.
The Supremo has smooth grains with an extremely rich flavour. It is so rare, you should count yourself lucky to meet one in any coffee shop.
Extra and Excelso on the other hand are a bit different. The extra is a smaller version of a Supremo while an Excelso is a combination of both extra and Supremo beans
The Well Rounded coffee Beans Country: Costa Rica
They are very good with Arabica coffee beans by wet processing them. Costa Rica passed a law as far back as 1989 prohibiting the making of poor standard coffee beans. Now, imagine how good the coffee beans of such a country will be? Or how much attention would be paid to coffee farms?
Costa Rica has rich volcanic soils and a perfect altitude that matches the optimal conditions for coffee beans.
Margaritas and the Cashier are the most common as well as a unique variety of coffee in Costa Rica. The beans are well rounded, rich, smooth and have a flavour similar to that of a walnut.
James Bond Coffee Exquisite Recommendation: Jamaica
If a brand as exquisite as that of the 007 franchise can refer to the quality of the coffee produced in Jamaica you better believe it! It is as good as true!
Jamaica produces one of the most expensive, luxurious and elegant brands of coffee in the world. Some brands can cost as high as $70 for 16ounce.
The country has very rare strains and variants. Each with individual and unique flavour/ taste. Some can have a rum-like aroma as well as a smooth flavour while others can have a distinct sweet banana aroma and smooth flavour.
One of the rarest variants is the mountain coffee that must compulsorily grow under certain conditions on the blue mountain, St Thomas and at Patrick parishes in the eastern part of the country.
These locations have an altitude of about 2,000- 6,000 ft and there are only 5 of such Locations certified for growing such in the country.
See our coffee bean guide for begginers.