Regions & Countries of Origins
What better place to start than where your coffee did. Coffee, as I am sure you know, comes from all over the world. From Brazil to Burundi, and Colombia to Costa Rica — but did you know it originated in Ethiopia? This was the only country in which coffee naturally grew, and it is believed to have been first cultivated by the indigenous people of Oromia, a large zone across central and western Ethiopia. From here, it made its way to the 16th century Islamic societies of Yemen, and, after years of strict control over this world-famous commodity, it was eventually smuggled out to the Netherlands, and from there began its long journey of nearly word-wide cultivation. Coffee grows almost exclusively within ‘The Coffee Belt’, an area which falls inbetween the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, but it has also been known to be cultivated outside of this area.
Country of Origin is often the first thing people discuss when it comes to coffee, whether it is being bought or sold, made or drunk, and there is good reason for it to; the origin has a huge impact on what type of coffee grows, how it grows, how it is processed, and much more. What makes the country of origin important is a very long list, and most of these are discussed in more detail on our website or online, but includes things like:
• Soil Type
• Agricultural Trends
But the more we study coffee, the more we realise that ultimately, when we talk about origin, or region, what makes these unique is the trend towards the aforementioned details, like what cultivars are grown, what soil type, what climate, what altitude etcetera. Regions are a way of focusing even more on these aspects, as the smaller the area, the more precise the trends become, and the more we can learn about the coffee.
Knowing where the coffee comes from is also a good indicator of how well the coffee was sourced, and this typically aligns with a higher quality relationship between farmers and buyers, not only ensuring fairer pay for the farmers, but also a better coffee for you! Just like the other trends, the more we focus in on this, the better it is for everyone. In the specialty coffee industry, simply knowing the country of origin is not enough, and neither is region, or even area of the region, it is commonplace for roasteries to be well acquainted with the specific co-operatives, farms, and the farmers themselves, which you can read more about HERE.