Picture this, you enter your local grocery store and head to the coffee aisle. Upon turning the corner to your destination, you are greeted by an aroma of the roasted goodness that stands before you. Your eyes dart back and forth to locate your favorite brand, you notice something that you hadn’t before. Most of the coffees you are staring at have the same dozen or so origins. Sure, you might see the outlier country here and there but for the most part, the same countries appear. There’s an Astonishing reason for that! A lot of the world’s coffee producing countries all have something in common; they are all members of The Bean Belt.
What is the Bean Belt?
Let me explain. What gives coffee its taste involves factors such as elevation, mineral-rich soil, shade and tropical climate. The area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn known as the Bean Belt is an ideal location for these factors, a place where the coffee berry fruit can thrive. Additionally, because of the advantages that these locales provide for harvesting coffee, local governments have invested in the infrastructure required to allow the coffee farmers to grow their businesses.
Taking a closer look, countries such as Kenya, Colombia, and Indonesia located in the Bean Belt also are areas with active volcanoes. When volcanoes erupt, the soil is enriched with many minerals from Earth’s magma chamber. Sediments and ash from the eruptions help invigorate the soil with nutrients and as time passes, the coffee that is grown on top of the soil gains extra nourishment which enhances the taste of the coffee. Need more convincing, try it out for yourself with our Kenya origin blend.
Elevation (not to be confused with altitude) is also another critical factor in the coffee growing industry. The higher the elevation, the less oxygen and cooler it is. The less oxygen and cooler it is, the longer it takes for the coffee berry to mature. Due to this, the bean inside the berry has more time to develop its flavor notes and acidity. Additionally, certain insects and pests cannot survive at certain elevations, which mean the coffee tree would have a healthier life.
Coffee trees grow in areas where there isn’t any extreme cold and lots of sunshine. The Earth’s equator is located within the Bean Belt which adds to the area’s ideal conditions for farming. Additionally, the many trees in the rainforests and valleys provide shade from too much direct sunlight to the coffee berries, allowing them not to dry out quickly.
As you can see, the Bean Belt is very critical for coffee growth. Surely, you can grow coffee in different places (California farmers are now experimenting with coffee farming) but the Bean Belt offers the most ideal place to grow the plant. More importantly, the Bean Belt covers a wide geographic area so numerous countries can take advantage of its benefits. Next time you’re looking at a coffee bag, see which part of the Bean Belt the origin hails from.