The United States consumes the greatest amount of coffee in the world and spends billions of dollars annually enjoying java, mostly due to the fact that almost all of it has to be imported. The coffee growing industry sounds like a great gig, however growing coffee is not as easy as one might think. Location, weather, soil, sunshine, and altitude all play a role in the overall taste of coffee and its quality.
Coffee can only grow in regions that are considered to be in the “Bean Belt” which is 25 degrees north and 30 degrees south of the equator and thrives best in temperatures between 60-73 degrees Fahrenheit. Coffee plants need an annual rainfall between 1500 to 3000 mm. There are two varietal types of coffee and here at Vida we use the Arabica type which accounts for 60% of the coffee produced worldwide. The Arabica coffee grows best in mountain and hilly areas as higher elevations allow the beans to mature slower, develop more character, depth of flavor, and an overall higher quality.
One of the most interesting things about coffee is that it actually comes from a fruit that is grown on the coffee tree and is referred to as a cherry. The Coffea plant produces the cherries and each usually produces 2 beans inside which are the pits. The coffee plant takes about a year to grow and then about five years to able to produce fruit. Once the cherries are a dark red color, they are ready to be harvested and separated, dried, roasted, and then exported.
Next time you are enjoying your Vida coffee, we hope you will reflect on the adventure that produced your favorite coffee.