A Guide to the World's Coffee Regions
Sure, when it's early in the morning, the last thing you're really thinking about is where your coffee comes from — you just need it. Now. But let the caffeine work its magic, and you might find yourself wondering — where exactly does your coffee come from?
Sure enough, the next time you're at the grocery store or coffee shop perusing the endless amount of coffee bags, you may be wondering exactly what difference it makes where your coffee comes from. Kenya or Ethiopia? Brazil or Colombia? Sumatra? Jamaica Blue Mountain? (Are those not vacation destinations that make us wish to be heading out of the country?) The question is, how do a few thousand miles change how your coffee tastes from the ground to the cup?
As we've discovered with both wine, and water (seriously, don't take our word for it), terroir is a term that can be applied to your coffee, too. Just as soil, climate, and weather conditions play a big part in a wine's composition, the same factors play a big part in a coffee's composition. They often determine the acidity of a coffee, its flavors, and body — sounding similar to your wine terminology yet? As Meister at Serious Eats notes, there are also factors like how the plant is grown that can influence the taste of the coffee. And of course, each region processes and roasts its coffees differently. Some regions, like some parts of Ethiopia, "wash" their coffee, giving it an entirely different taste than "natural" coffees.
Still, despite the endless amount of variance between coffee varieties and where they're from, there are still some basic guidelines to how each coffee-growing regions' coffees taste. Click ahead for a guide to the tasting differences of each major coffee-growing region.