The Coffee Belt

All You Need to Know

Did you know that coffee is grown in special places all around the world? There is a unique term for these regions called the bean belt or the coffee belt.

What is the coffee belt?

The coffee belt is an area that circles the globe between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. You can think of it as a band around the middle of the earth that is home to some of the best coffee producing countries in the world. Bounded by the tropics, these countries provide the ideal environment for the coffee plant to grow.

Why does Coffee grow in the Coffee Belt?

Regions in the coffee belt share a set of similar characteristics that make them ideal for growing coffee. Rich soil and mild temperatures with lots of rain and shaded sun are typically what coffee plants thrive in. Many of the countries in the belt are a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire; their volcanic activity creates the rich soil the coffee beans need to thrive in.

Which Regions are a Part of the Coffee Belt?

There are similar characteristics required for coffee to grow. They have moderate climates with plenty of rain and dry seasons. The dry seasons allow pickers to pick the coffee cherries. Because of these specific weather conditions, coffee beans are not nearly as successful in other parts of the world that are outside of this region. Here is a list of regions that are home to your PERFECT cup of joe, according to the National Coffee Association:
Continents Countries
North America and the Caribbean Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico
Central America Guatemala, Costa Rica
South America Colombia, Brazil
Africa Ethiopia, Kenya, Ivory Coast
Asia Indonesia, Vietnam

What Makes Each Region of the Bean Belt Special?

Ever wonder why your coffee tastes different than that of other coffee beans? While the regions listed above share similar characteristics for growing; their altitudes, soil and climate give each bean its distinct flavor. This is what makes tasting coffee from all around the world so interesting and fun.

Americas

American coffees are often described as having a very sweet and medium taste. They possess flavors such as berries, fruity, spices, chocolate, and nuts, which can make for the perfect cup of coffee for first timers and for casual drinking.

Africa

If you’re looking to expand your palate African beans have an array of fruity and sweet flavors with more juicy notes. They possess tastes like blueberry, tomato, spice, and melon.

Asia

Asian coffee is known for having a more exotic taste. They tend to be more dense in taste and possess flavors reminiscent of dark chocolate and nuts, because of this they have a dry after-taste.

Who are the Top 5 Coffee Producers in the Coffee Belt?

These 5 countries comprise the coffee belts top producing coffees according to the World Atlas:
  • Brazil
Brazil has been the worlds’ largest coffee producer for over 150 years. What makes their coffee distinct from others is their way of processing their beans. They use the dry process, where their coffee cherries are dried in the sun.
  • Vietnam
Vietnam is number two on the list as they have found a niche market with the robusta bean. They have a much more bitter taste than most coffee and are the number one producer of robusta coffee.
  • Colombia
They are known for their renowned quality coffee and are number two when it comes to producing arabic beans. Colombian coffee is highly preferred over other coffee due to its mild, well-balanced flavor.
  • Indonesia
The process of harvesting indonesian beans is the most extensive resulting in expensive coffee.
  • Honduras
It is the third largest coffee producer in Latin America. They are a big producer in specialty coffee due to the amount of growing area they acquire.

Summing it all up!

The coffee belt is an area around the globe in between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. It consists of regions with weather conditions of rainy and dry temperature creating its rich soil required for coffee beans to thrive in the bean belt. Each region of the coffee belt has distinct taste and flavors that give them their unique taste. This is what makes each of the top 5 coffee producing regions of the coffee belt so special.

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