Over the last month, we have talked about how different processing methods and grind size affect the outcome of your coffee. The region where the coffee is grown and sourced will also impact the flavor of the coffee. This area around the earth where the coffee is grown is called the coffee belt, or the “bean belt”.
The coffee belt is about 5,000 kilometers north and south of the equator between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This area has the right combination of altitude, soil quality, temperatures, and precipitation to grow the best coffee. Just as oranges are known for coming from Florida, coffee is known for being farmed and sourced from specific regions within the coffee belt.
Many countries in the coffee belt are also located in what is known as the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire includes a collection of volcanoes of seismic activity around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. The chemistry of the soil, which needs to be rich in nutrients that cannot be derived from the air or water, plays a pivotal role in coffee flavor. It also helps coffee tree growth to thrive. This volcanic activity improves the richness of the soil, but also aids in the soil’s ability to drain. The soil in these regions, with varying rainfall and dry seasons, is not dense and does not hold a lot of water. This capacity to drain makes volcanic ashy soil ideal for coffee plants.
Image is taken from Sesia https://seasia.co/2018/01/27/the-coffee-belt-a-world-map-of-the-major-coffee-producers
Other factors within the coffee belt may also impact flavor. The higher the sea level, the sweeter the coffee, and arabica coffee, for example, will grow better in higher altitudes. The origin of the coffee will impact its consistency and flavor. Hill Tree has a Central and South American Collection as well as an African and South Pacific Collection and curates only the best tasting single-source coffee from regions within the coffee belt. Single-source, or origin, coffee comes from a single farm in a specific region. While this farm may have various hills or locations where it grows different flavors of coffee, the beans will always be sourced from one farm in a coffee belt location.
So, whether you like the sweet fruitiness of Kenya or the chocolate nuttiness you’ll get from Columbia, knowing your coffee is sourced from a farm in the coffee belt will ensure you have a better tasting and more flavorful cup of coffee. From the farm’s location to the processing method and grind size, you can create a completely different flavor in your favorite cup. Explore the single source coffee currently available at Hill Tree Roastery.
Christie Trent - Coffee Contributor / Staff Writer
Christie is a programmer, data nerd, and blogger. Christie is the founder of Athena Blue (athenablue.dev) where she works as a web and database programmer, and Pain Free Journey (painfreejourney.com) where she produces digital content to inspire those suffering with chronic pain. Although she enjoys many, her favorite Hill Tree coffee beans are the ones from Ethiopia.