Where Does Coffee Come From?

Origins of coffee

Earliest mention of coffee is likely in Arab chronicles circa the turn of the previous millennia. The coffee plant is a native species to the geographically isolated Yemeni region on the south side of the peninsula. The plant, and its invigorating properties were popular among the Sufi communities in and around Mocha.

What about different kinds of coffee today?

Today, coffee has become a staple drink in many parts of the world. Since water, soil (acidity etc.) and presense of other kinds of vegetation all affect the flavor of coffee, you can go on a very long and delicious journey finding your favorite blends based on where they originated. Here’s a list of countries with characteristics of coffees for you.

Africa

  • Yemen: medium to full bodied, fruit and wine notes.
  • Kenya: very fruity, medium bodied.
  • Zimbabwe: high acidity, fruity, wine-y.
  • Ethiopia: specifically Yirgacheffe, extremely floral, mid to light bodied.
  • Tanzania: wine-like acidity, low acidity, medium body.
  • Uganda: fruity, medium body.

Central America

  • Guatemala: complex, acidic, floral, fruit, mid to full body
  • Nicaragua: full bodied, low acidity
  • Honduras: full bodied, sweet
  • Mexico: mild body, light acidity.
  • El Salvador: medium body, lightly acidic.
  • Costa Rica: full bodied, bright, very balanced.
  • Panama: medium bodied, mildly floral, sweet.

South America

  • Colombia: mid to full bodied, balanced, high acidity.
  • Venezuela: mild, sweet.
  • Ecuador: mild, slightly floral.
  • Bolivia: balanced, sweet.
  • Peru: medium body, slight acidity and sweetness.
  • Brazil: lots of variance from region to region.

Caribbean and Central American Islands

  • Jamaica: home of blue island coffee, medium bodied, mild flavor, rich acidity.
  • Haiti: sweet, medium bodied, slight fermented notes.
  • Dominican Republic: balanced, soft, rich acidity.
  • Puerto Rico: full bodied, balanced, rich acidity.

Asia and Various Islands

  • Sumatra: home of the famous mandheling coffee, very full bodied, slight fruit tones.
  • Sulawesi: very full bodied, earthy.
  • Java: medium bodied, lightly acidic, floral, fruity.
  • Papua New Guinea: citrus, balanced, heavy body, floral.
  • India: sweet, medium bodied, floral.
  • Indonesia: very earthy, fermenty, tree-like.
  • Hawaii: mid acidity, mid bodied, balanced.
Coffee Pour Over Style

Keep in mind the other variables

That’s it on the origins. I find that these characteristics are generally descriptive, but keep in mind that the final beans’ taste will vary a lot based on the roaster, roast level, growing season and other things.

… but not too much

Of course, none of this is indicative of “better” or “worse” coffee. Just find one that you like best.

Hope this is helpful!

Love,

G.

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