This week we’re starting a series on Coffee & Climate Change. For our first post, we wanted to discuss a few facts about coffee and the coffee industry, and nerd out a little bit about the fine-tuned conditions that great coffee growth and harvesting requires.
We’re consuming coffee more than ever. Which is great! I need coffee, you need coffee, and at Java Advisor we know that. Today however, we wanted to talk about something real and something that is causing a ripple through the caffeinated world.
After oil, coffee is one of the most traded commodities, and in fact coffee is grown in over sixty different countries throughout our world. However, with 195 countries in total - coffee is grown in less than half of the countries on earth. A lot of this has to do with the climate that coffee requires to grow.
Research has been done, and generally these are the agreed upon guidelines (most optimal climates) for growing coffee:
“The subtropical regions, at high altitudes of 16-24°. Rainy and dry seasons must be well defined, and altitude must be between 1800-3600 feet. These conditions result in one coffee growing season and one maturation season, usually in the coldest part of autumn. Mexico, Jamaica, the S. Paulo and Minas Gerais regions in Brazil, and Zimbabwe are examples of areas with these climate conditions.
The equatorial regions at latitudes lower than 10° and altitudes of 3600-6300 feet (Illy, 21). Frequent rainfall causes almost continuous flowering, which results in two coffee harvesting seasons. The period of highest rainfall determines the main harvesting period, while the period of least rainfall determines the second harvest season. Because rainfall is too frequent for patio drying to occur, artificial drying with mechanical dryers is performed in this type of coffee growing environment. Examples of countries that have this climate are Kenya, Colombia, and Ethiopia).”
That seems technical, complicated, and highly specific - well because it is! That first cup of coffee needs to be perfect in the morning, and in order to get the great beans that we roast and ship to you here at Java Advisor - we need the growing conditions to be perfect too.
Now that we’ve established a base-line for the optimal growing conditions, on Wednesday we’re going to talk about some of the immediate and future effects that climate change could have on coffee.
See you then!