All About Coffee

Where Coffee is Grown

All coffee is grown between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. These names represent two imaginary "lines" that circle our globe approximately 23 degrees north and south of the equator. Here in the "middle of the world", the climate is warm and humid - necessary conditions for growing the sensitive coffee plant.

Although there are more than 60 varieties of coffee that grow in the world, only two are commercially cultivated. These are Arabica and Robusta.

Arabica coffee is a higher quality coffee. It is naturally lower in caffeine than Robusta and grows at elevations of 3000 to 6000 feet and above, where frost is rare. The Arabica tree is not as hardy as the Robusta, and a single Arabica tree typically yields only 1 - 1 ½ pounds of green coffee beans per season. Gourmet coffee companies purchase the highest grades of Arabica beans.

Robusta coffee plants are more resistant to disease and drought than the Arabica and are grown from sea level up to 2000 feet. Robusta trees yield twice as many beans per tree per season, but produce a coffee that is of lower quality. Most Robusta beans are blended with Arabica coffees and used by large commercial coffee companies for canned and instant coffees.