When you’re enjoying that first cup of coffee in the morning, you might’ve wondered why you don’t try going coffee yourself? After all, what can be so hard about growing coffee beans? The truth is, it comes down to climate.
Prime climates optimal for growing Arabica coffee are found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world near the equator. You may have heard of the “Coffee Belt”; meaning the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn as the primary location for coffee growing ranchers around the world.
What makes such climates optimal for coffee growing? First off, ample rainfall in regions surrounding the equator are optimal for encouraging coffee trees to repeatedly flower, which yields two harvests for every growing season. Altitude also plays a role in outdoor maturation of flavor and essence of the coffee beans. Altitudes between 3,600 and 6,300 feet are especially preferable.
Countries like Brazil in South America, and Zimbabwe in Africa, belong to subtropical regions, enduring specific dry and wet seasons, with altitudes ranging between 1,800 feet and 3,600 feet. Coffee grown in these regions produces one harvest per season, typically in the cooler fall months.
If you attempt to grow coffee in less than ideal geographic locations, you’ll end up with not only smaller harvests, but lower quality. Sure, you can do it, but the coffee will be undrinkable. That’s because at lower elevations, the coffee bean will be exposed to humidity as well as heat, which encourages plants to flower sooner than you want. What you’ll end up with is a very bitter coffee.
That being said, coffee can – and is – grown around the world, much of it in natural, non-farmable environments. Of the hundreds of coffee species out there, only a handful produces drinkable coffee.
At any rate, let someone else do all the work of growing, processing, harvesting, packing, and shipping your coffee. You just sit back and enjoy the result.