Thursday 12 May 2016

A bit of geography

The main world coffee producers and its market

We love coffee for its aromatic fragrances, for the friendly moments and the power it gives us in the morning and throughout the day, but perhaps we would like to know it better. Today we will travel throughout the world’s most important coffee producers and its market.

Arabica and Robusta (or Canephora) are the most popular varieties of the Coffea plant. The Arabica variety is characterized by its delicate flavor and slight acidity, whereas the Robusta origin has more body and more caffeine. While the Arabica origins are cultivated prevalently in South America and Central America, the Robusta grows mainly in Africa, Indonesia, India and Vietnam.

One of coffee’s most popular flavors come from the Ethiopia, producer and exporter of some of the most important coffee in the world. Ethiopia, which remains between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer has very proficient climate conditions due to its regular rain and its temperature which ranges between 17° and 23° Celsius. In the Harenna forest, at 1800 meters of altitude, the Arabica origin is grown, which drupe is then dried under the sun on special nets. Big and small coffee berries give birth to different types of origins such as the Sidamo, Limu, and Jima.
Another equatorial country, which origins are appreciated due to its acidic and fruity notes, is Kenya. The cultivations include both natural Arabica and washed coffee. If instead we’d like to try a cup of Robusta, cultivated around 600 meters of altitude, we have to move to Ivory Coast, where the Arobusta is produced: a mix of Arabica and Robusta. Other countries which grow the Coffea Robusta are located in the west side of Africa.
The Huehuetenango mountains in Guatemala, produce a optimal washed Arabica thanks to its subtropical climate. However almost 40% of the coffee exported in the world comes from Brazil. The most prestigious origin is the Bourbon Santos, harvested at 1300 meters of altitude. Another excellent quality of coffee is present in Colombia, which takes about 6% of the world’s coffee production. The plant, brough over by the Jesuits in the ‘700’s grows in Medellin, Manixales, Armenia, and Pereira, all located between 1,320 and 2,150 meters of altitude.
The second biggest country for coffee production in the world is Vietnam. In 2014 Vietnam exported 28 millions bags of coffee and, along with India and Indonesia, gives us the best Robusta origins. Other cultivations are present in Thailandia, Lao and Cambodia. Both Arabica and Robusta are exported from India, but also a particular coffee exposed to the monotonic climate characterized by its spiced flavor. Bali, Timoe and Giava all export its products, whereas Sumatra, with the Mandheling variety, offers a very prestigious variety.