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Brazil

Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee, with different regions dedicated to its production. Each region with a special characteristic of body, acidity and flavor.

MINAS GERAIS:

Located in the southeast region, Minas Gerais is the largest coffee-growing state in Brazil. It accounts for nearly 50% of the national production and is one of the major specialty coffee sources in the country. Nearly 100% of the coffee plantations in Minas raise Arabica coffee, produced in four different regions: Sul de Minas, Cerrado de Minas, Chapada de Minas and Matas de Minas. Their coffee is exported through the ports of Santos, Rio de Janeiro and Vitória.

ESPÍRITO SANTO:

Espírito Santo is ranked second in coffee production in Brazil and first as a Robusta producer. Cultivating Robusta coffee in the warmest areas to the north - the so-called Conilon Capixaba region - and Arabica to the south - the region known as Montanhas do Espírito Santo - the state is a major supplier to the Brazilian market and has the Vitória port as an outlet for its specialty coffees.

SÃO PAULO:

The state of São Paulo is one of the most traditional coffee-growing areas in Brazil. The state grows Arabica coffee in two regions: Mogiana and Centro-Oeste Paulista, which alternate between big farms and small properties that produce specialty coffees in specific areas. São Paulo is home to the Port of Santos - the outlet for 2/3 of the Brazilian coffee exports.

BAHIA:

The state of Bahia is in the Northeast region of Brazil and has a hot climate and higher temperatures. There are two regions in Bahia: Planalto da Bahia and Cerrado da Bahia, where Arabica is grown. Some areas in the south of the state grow the Robusta variety.

PARANÁ:

Paraná is a Brazilian coffee-growing state in the south of Brazil. Only Arabic coffee varieties suitable to the region‘s colder weather are grown. Even though in the past Paraná was the largest coffee-producing state in the country, it is now recovering its production with a strong emphasis on pulped naturals.

RONDÔNIA:

The state of Rondônia belongs to the north region of Brazil. With annual production of about 2 million bags, the state grows Robusta coffee exclusively. Coffee-growing, done on small farms, is traditional and family-based.

Harvest Season
May to August
Fun Fact

Brazil produced a postal stamp that smelled like coffee in December of 2001. It was designed to promote their coffee and the smell was supposed to last for up to 5 years.

Tasting Profile

Body: Medium
Flavors: Smooth
Acidity: Low

Tasting Notes

Finca: El Socorro
Varietal: Catura, Maran
Processing: washed
Flavor: rose, vanilla, chocolate, peach

Finca: El Injerto
Region: Huehuetenango
Varietal: Catuai, Bourbon
Processing: washed
Flavor: brown sugar, fig, tobacco

Finca: El Valle
Varietal: Catuai, Bourbonn
Processing: washed
Flavor: caramel, chocolate, apricot, citrus

Uganda

Uganda is one of the world's major Robusta producers. Some Arabica is also grown in different highland areas of the country, most notably on the slopes of Mount Elgon on the border with Kenya and on the slopes of the Mount Rwenzori, popularly known as the 'mountains of the moon', on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some Arabica coffee is also grown in the West Nile region in north western part of the country.
Whilst the economy as a whole has expanded and improved in recent years, coffee remains of vital importance, earning on average just short of 60% of annual export revenues during the period 1996 to 2000. It is estimated that as much as 20% of the entire population earn all or a large part of their cash income from coffee.

Following decades of total state control of the sector, the coffee industry was fully liberalized between 1991 and 1992 and is currently entirely in private hands. However, export quality control remains the responsibility of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) that grades, liquors and classifies all export shipments.

Production averaged almost 3.3 million bags in the six years from 1996 to 2001, with a peak of 4.2 million bags in 1996/7 (a total last seen in 1972) and a low of 2.0 million in 2005/6. The proportion of Arabica coffee fluctuates from around 8 to 10% of the total. Local consumption is limited at around 3% of production.

Most Robusta is sun-dried although in recent years there have been modest attempts to reintroduce wet-processing. These interventions are on-going today, under the aegis of the UCDA. In the early 1960's the Uganda coffee industry produced close to 25,000 tons of good quality pulped and washed Robusta but this segment vanished entirely during the monopoly years, together with the plantation sector that supported it. It is estimated that today there are about 500,000 small farms of varying sizes that grow at least some coffee.

Robusta is native to Uganda and two types are grown namely the'Nganda' and 'Erecta'. An extensive cloning replanting program combines high yielding clones of both varieties that are vegetative propagated and self sterile. The progenies are true to type and retain their parental characteristics - they are high yielding, mature faster and produce a bigger bean with improved liquor characteristics. They also tend to show resistance to Coffee Leaf Rust Disease.

The intrinsic quality of Uganda Robusta has always been excellent and the on-going replanting program using this locally developed cloned material is likely to result in a general revival of the country's ability to supply good, neutral liquoring coffee. Robusta in Uganda is grown at relatively high altitudes, some as high as 1,500 meters, making these coffees especially attractive for the fast growing espresso industry. The bulk of the Robusta is however used in the production of instant coffees and as inexpensive fillers for blends.

Most Arabica is processed with the use of hand pulpers. However, attempts are under way to upgrade processing through the introduction of eco-friendly integrated pulping systems that simultaneously remove both pulp and mucilage whilst using only small amounts of water, making them particularly suitable for use by smallholders.

Uganda also produces excellent wet-processed Arabica, with virtually all grown by villagers on small plots. Coffees marketed as 'Wugar' (Washed Uganda Arabica) or 'Drugar' (Dry Uganda Arabica) are grown on mountains bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, along the Uganda's western border. The more demanded Bugisu is from the western slopes of Mount Elgon on the Kenya border. Bugisu is another typically winy, fruit-toned African coffee, usually a rougher version of Kenya but has excellent potential.

While Arabica was introduced at the beginning of the 1900's, Robusta coffee is indigenous to the country, and has been a part of Ugandan life for centuries. The variety of wild Robusta coffee still grows today in Uganda's rain forests and is thought to be one of the rarest examples of naturally occurring coffee trees anywhere in the world.

Harvest Season
September to December
Fun Fact

Uganda is one of the leaders in bringing together the internal community of coffee growers, possibly due to their reliance on their neighbors for exporting.

Tasting Profile

Body: Medium
Flavors: Complex & Balanced
Acidity: High

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Hawaii

The coffee industry of Hawaii is the only significant coffee industry in a member state of the United States of America (excluding territories). While Hawaii is a relatively small producer of coffee (6,600,000 pounds in 2006--ranking well in the bottom tier of coffee producing countries), it is well known for its Kona varieties and its coffee consistently sells for a higher than average price. Hawaiian coffee production is often small in scale, with 790 farms cultivating only 8000 acres of coffee.

The growing conditions on Hawaiian coffee farms vary depending on the region in which they are located. While farms in the Kona district are at a lower elevation than many arabica farms, farms in other coffee growing regions are often grown at even lower elevations. Most farms in the Kona district are of a relatively smaller size. While there are a number of small farms in other regions of Hawaii, larger farms are being to become more prevalent. Hawaii is further from the equator from many coffee growing regions. With the resulting cooler climate from its Northerly geographic location, little of Hawaii‘s coffee is shade grown.

Harvest Season
November to March
Fun Fact

Hawaii features an annual Kona Festival - a coffee picking contest. Each year the winner becomes a state celebrity.

Tasting Profile

Body: Medium
Flavors: Delicate
Acidity: Mild

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Ecuador

Ecuador is a new comer to the coffee world. Its first trees were planted in 1952. While new to the game, they grow Arabica beans and are now producing some quality coffees. Previously Ecuador was not known for good beans and java because they had poor harvesting techniques as well as bad processing practices. Most of the Ecuador Coffee is used for blends. They mainly ship low grade coffee even though you can find a good batch or two of higher grade coffee beans. Growing beans is not as important to the Ecuadorian economy as other countries such as Brazil and Costa Rica, this lack of primacy reduces the incentives for the Ecuadorian government and farmers to refine their farming and harvesting techniques to produce better coffee. Bananas and other crops bring in more hard currency in the world market than coffee right now. Ecuador has the perfect climate for java and few countries are blesses with better terrier for coffee growing.

Many connoisseurs note a difference in quality among their seasonal crop. Home buyers should be aware most of the good coffee is picked during the June harvest and there is a noticeable drop in quality with their later harvests.

Ecuadorian coffee is graded by size with beans classified as Galapagos and Gigante. Both classifications denote beans that are large and heavy. While they mainly grow Arabica beans, Ecuador is one of the few South American countries now growing Robusta coffee. Due to the lack of land suitable for growing the higher quality Arabica beans, most growth in the Ecuadorian coffee market is coming from Robusta plantations.

The best Arabica beans come from the Highland Andes. Look for coffees from farms in that area. The highest regarded Ecuadorian coffee comes from the Chanchamgo Valley.

Harvest Season
June to October
Fun Fact

About half a million people depend on coffee for their livelihood in Ecuador, which is about 1 out of every 8 farmers and their families.

Tasting Profile

Body: Medium
Flavors: Rich
Acidity: Fairly

Tasting Notes

Region: El Baton, Espindola, Loja
Processing: natural
Flavor: brown sugar, dark chocolate, grapes

Jamaica

The tropical island of Jamaica has ideal conditions for growing coffee. Much of the island is covered with mountainous regions, including the Blue Mountains which is the tallest range on the island. The Blue Mountains are a perfect blend of rich, hot climate, plenty of rainfall and high altitude. At nearly 7,500 feet above sea level, this is one of the highest coffee regions in the world. The constant mist covering gives the mountains a bluish cast, which is where the name comes from.

Coffee is not native to Jamaica. Beans were brought to the island in 1728 by the governor at that time, Sir Nicholas Lawes. The arabica beans flourished and now coffee is a major export.

Traditionally, only coffee grown at elevations between 3,000+ and 5,500 feet (1,700 metres) could be offically called Jamaica Blue Mountain on the Island. Coffee grown at elevations between 1,500 and 3,000 feet (910 metres) is called Jamaica High Mountain, and coffee beans grown below the 1,500 foot (460 m) level is called Jamaica Supreme or Jamaica Low Mountain coffee grades. (All land in Jamaica above 5,500 feet (1,700 metres) is a forest preserve or National Park, so no coffee is grown there.)

As with most other varieties of coffee, there are several grades assigned to different lots, based on factors such as size, appearance, and defects allowed. The Coffee Industry Regulations Act allows for five classifications [2]: Blue Mountain Number One - 96% of beans must have a screen size of 17/20. No more than 2% of the beans may have major defects. Blue Mountain Number Two - 96% of beans must have a screen size of 16/17. No more than 2% of the beans may have major defects. Blue Mountain Number Three - 96% of beans must have a screen size of 15/16. No more than 2% of the beans may have major defects. Blue Mountain Peaberry grade - 96% of beans must be peaberry. No more than 2% of the beans may have major defects. Blue Mountain Triage grade - Contains bean sizes from all previous classifications. No more than 4% of the beans may have major defects.

Harvest Season
January to March
Fun Fact

Jamaica’s Blue Mountains produce the country’s famous coffee and gets its name from the mist that covers them.

Tasting Profile

Body: Full
Flavors: Very Rich
Acidity: Smooth

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Kenya

All Kenya coffee grown is Arabica coffee grown on the rich volcanic soil that is found in the highlands of the country. Today around 250,000 Kenyans are employed in the production of coffee. Most is produced by small land holders that are members of cooperatives that process their own coffee.

Recently Kenya farmers have introduced the Ruiru 11 hybrid plant and it is causing concern amongst true Kenya coffee lovers. This is because it may lack the traditional Kenya coffee attributes that coffee aficionados love. The Kenya Coffee Board is trying to promote Ruiru 11 as an alternative to the farmers but their efforts are overshadowed by the rumors that it tastes like a low grade coffee from a different country. History will have to be the judge to see who is correct.

Kenya coffee has a bright acidity and a wonderful sweetness with a dry winy aftertaste. A really good Kenya coffee will also have a black-current flavor and aroma. Some of the worldÆs finest coffees come from Kenya and as a single origin coffee it wins praise at the cupping table. Kenya has this level of quality through a government-run system that offers rewards to farmers for producing better quality coffee. This policy has lead to steady improvements and consistent improvements in the cups quality. Each lot of Kenya coffee, if it is from a large farm or a small co-op has to undergo rigorous testing for quality by the Coffee Board of Kenya.

Harvest Season
October to December
Fun Fact

Coffee from Kenya is of the 'mild Arabica' type and is well known for its intense flavor, full body, and pleasant aroma.

Tasting Profile

Body: Medium
Flavors: Complex & Balanced
Acidity: High

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Colombia

The ideal conditions for the cultivation of coffee in Colombia are found between the 1.200 (4,000 ft) and 1.800 meters (6,000 ft) above the sea level, with temperatures between 17 and 23 degrees centigrade (62-75 fahrenheit) and with precipitations close to 2.000 millimeters (78 inch) per year, well distributed along the year. Although these conditions are very frequent, it is also possible to produce an outstanding coffee at altitudes of up to 2,300 meters (7,500 ft) or marginally lower than 1,200 m., and with different levels or frequency of precipitations.

The specific geographic location of each Colombian coffee growing region determines its particular conditions of availability of water, temperature, solar radiation, and wind regime for coffee cultivation. For example, the central coffee growing regions in the country present dry and rainy periods along different months, which allow harvesting fresh coffee regularly during the whole year. In most of the coffee growing regions in the country there is a period of flowering that goes from January to March, and another one that goes from July to September. The main harvest in these zones takes place between September and December, and there is a secondary harvest, denominated “mitaca”, during the second quarter of the year. The main harvest and the mitaca could be alternated in other regions, in accordance with their latitude.

Aside from the special conditions of altitude, latitude and climate, Colombian coffee growing has an essential attribute: the quality of its soil. The soil at coffee growing regions is characteristic for being in its majority derivative of volcanic ashes, which endows them with a high content of organic material and good physical characteristics for coffee production.

With those available natural elements, the people of coffee in Colombia carry out their hard work with different nuances, according with the conditions of the different regional environments. This variety of ecosystems does not only constitute a biodiversity paradise, but also determines the decisions of producers on the level of technification of their cultivation and the coffee varieties to be used. Thus, in Colombia coffee plantations are developed under different systems of cultivation that include traditional plantations with lower productivity, on the one side, and those more advanced and technical, with sun exposure, partially-shaded or those considered shade grown, on the other side. In any of these systems of cultivation, Colombian coffee growers only cultivate coffee of the Arabica species, using varieties that adapt to their specific conditions of production, including the ones that are known as Típica, Borbón, Caturra, Castillo o Tabi.

In general, it could be said that Colombia’s coffee growing regions are characterized by the differences between their rain patterns and their harvest cycles, and the altitude and temperature at which their coffee is produced on the other hand, in the southern zones of the country, close to the Equator, coffee is produced at a higher altitude and at temperatures that, not being extreme, are less elevated. These coffees produced in specific regions such as Nariño or Cauca, Huila or South of Tolima have different harvesting cycles. They have a higher acidity and other certain special attributes, on occasions very specific in terms of aroma, or sweetness, very demanded by sophisticated markets. Those regions are being developed as regional Denominations of Origin (see DO/IGP) and are developing specific programs of guarantee of origin.

Harvest Season
March to June
Fun Fact

Farmers in Columbia belong to and are controlled by the Columbia Coffee Federation (FNC), which was responsible for the creation of the fictional character Juan Valdez.

Tasting Profile

Body: Heavy
Flavors: Rich
Acidity: Bright

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Trinidad and Tobago

Coffee is grown in the hilly areas of Trinidad and Tobago by both estates and small farmers. The industry has declined in recent years due to coffee diseases and pests, inefficient farming practices and uncertain economic conditions.

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is located in the southern Caribbean south of Grenada and just off the northeast coast of Venezuela. Coffee production in Trinidad and Tobago in 1985 was 2,361 tons, and this declined to lower than one thousand tons in 1999.

In 1961 the Cocoa and Coffee Industry Board of Trinidad and Tobago was created with a mandated to ensure the best arrangements were made regarding the handling and grading as well as the purchases, sales, exportation and marketing of Trinidad and Tobago coffee as well as cocoa with the goal of helping out the cocoa and coffee industries to the benefit of entrepreneurial individuals and the national economy.

A series of criteria are laid out to delineate the procedures to follow in buying coffee beans and these criteria include: Grade 1 which specifies a moisture content not above twelve percent, no more than two percent commercial defects (and not more than one percent of these can be black beans), and the Trinidad and Tobago coffee beans must be clean and with a good aroma.

Grade 11 is also a clean coffee with a nice aroma and overall appearance, and must have no more than six percent total commercial imperfections or defects as well as a moisture level that is not above twelve percent. Grade 111 has the same moisture requirement but allows eight percent commercial defects of which not in excess of five percent can be black beans.

Harvest Season
November to February
Fun Fact

All coffee produced in Trinidad and Tobago is processed locally.

Tasting Profile

Body: Full
Flavors: Rich
Acidity: Moderate to Light

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has seven coffee-growing regions and over 130,000 large and small coffee farms. The diverse topography and soil throughout the country gives a distinct flavor to coffee beans grown in each region. The most productive of these regions are the following:

Tarrazu:

Tarrazu is located in the south central region of Costa Rica. The region‘s high altitude (3950 – 5590 feet) and volcanic soil help to produce hearty and superior coffee plants. Tarrazu coffee farms account for more than half of the country‘s coffee production.

Tres Rios:

Another high altitude region in the southern part of Costa Rica. Coffee grown here is noted for its smooth finish.

Orosi:

A middle altitude region with fertile soil and an exceptional climate.

Turialba:

Nestled amidst the larger south central Costa Rica growing regions, coffee from this medium-altitude area is noted for its smooth acidity and good aroma.

Harvest Season
November to March
Fun Fact

Costa Rica is the only country in the world where a presidential decree orders only Arabica varieties of coffee may be planted.

Tasting Profile

Body: Medium
Flavors: Balanced
Acidity: High

Tasting Notes

Finca: Barantas Family
Varietal: Villa Sarachi
Processing: washed
Flavor: raspberry, meyer lemon, honey

Region: Santa Lucia
Varietal: Catura, Catuari, Villa Lobos
Processing: washed
Flavor: fruit, cocoa

Finca: La Candelilla Estate
Varietal: Catura
Processing: washed
Flavor: caramel, cedar, melon, almond

Guatemala

This relatively small country boasts one of the most climatically diverse regions in the world. The soil, rainfall, humidity, altitude, and temperature are varied enough to produce seven distinct types of Guatemala Arabica coffee:

Antigua:

Antigua is internationally renowned for its high-quality coffees. This region is located between three volcanoes in a valley with a climate perfect for cultivating coffee. The soils are young and optimal for coffee. The wet and dry seasons are defined for uniform maturation. The temperature ranges from 19-22 C (66.2-71.6°F) and the altitude is between 4,600 and 5,600 feet. Annual rainfall is between 800-1,200 mm and the humidity is constant at 65%. Guatemalan Antigua coffee is described as having a full and velvety body, a rich and lively aroma, and a fine acidity. Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai coffee beans are grown in this region and harvested between January and mid-March.

Fraijanes Plateau:

The region of Fraijanes is located north of Lake Amatitlan in the mountains surrounding the Valley of Ermita where Guatemala City is located. The soil is volcanic and high potassium levels lend body to the cup. Recent volcanic activity from Volcan de Pacaya has deposited ashes rich in minerals in this area. The altitude where coffee is cultivated is between 4,000-5,000 feet with moderate temperatures year round 22 C (71.6°F). The summit of these mountains has a relative humidity of 60% and an annual rainfall of 1,500 mm. The combination of these factors gives a strictly hard Guatemala coffee bean (the highest rating in Guatemala) and is similar to a genuine Guatemala Antigua coffee. These coffees are described as having a soft aroma, full body, and a marked acidity.

Rainforest Cobán:

This zone is defined as the very humid, subtropical forest in the northern part of the country. In fact, the name Cobán comes from the Maya Keckchi word "cob" which means the place of clouds. The temperature varies depending on the winds from the North and oscillates between 15-23 C (59-73°F). The region receives between 3,000-3,500 mm of rain per year and the rain is distributed throughout the 12 months of the year. The climate is cloudy with few hours of sunlight and a high relative humidity (85-95%). The soil is mostly limestone and clay. The microclimate is created from the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. The altitude is between 4,300 and 5,000 feet above sea level resulting in hard and strictly hard coffees. Coffees from Cobán have a medium body, light acidity, and fruit like flavors. The aroma is fragrant and has light wine notes. Bourbon, Maragogype, Catuai, Caturra, and Pache coffee beans are grown in Cobán and harvested from December to March.

Highland Huehuetenango:

This region crosses the Cardillera de Los Cuchamatanes with regions higher than 11,800 feet. It is located on the border with Mexico and coffee is planted in the regions between 5,000-6,000 feet. Rainfall is around 1,800 mm with a relative humidity of 70-80%. Dry and hot winds from the Tehuantepec plain in Mexico protect the region from frost and create its unique microclimate. The average temperature is 23 C (73°F). The subtropical and humid climate contributes to the coffee beans beautiful appearance and uniform maturation. The flowering is homogeneous which results in a winey, high-quality cup. In Huehue, Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai coffee beans are grown. Harvesting takes place from January to April.

Atitlan:

This area encompasses all of the lands surrounding Lake Atitlan. Coffee is mainly harvested on the side of the Pacific in a region of three volcanic mountains with a high precipitation. There is no month when Atitlan will have less than 50 mm of rain. Most producers in this region will use water from the lake for wet processing. Instead of chemicals, organic matter is often used as a fertilizer. The high altitude (4,000-5,900 feet) results in a low occurrence of pests and diseases. The humidity in this area is high hovering around 70-80%. Drying takes place almost totally in the sun, and almost 95% of the coffee is cultivated by small producers who have an average of 12 hectares. The majority of coffee harvested in these regions is Bourbon, but Typica, Caturra, and Catuai coffee beans are also grown. Harvest occurs between December and March. Atitlan coffees are aromatic. They have a crisp and pronounced acidity and full body.

Volcan San Marcos:

This is the warmest of Guatemalas coffee growing regions and also has the highest rainfall. It has the most intense rainy season and the earliest flowing of any area. The altitude ranges from 4,600-6,000 feet with volcanic soil and a microclimate influence from the Pacific Ocean. The annual rainfall is 4,000-5,000 mm and the humidity is between 70-80%. Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai coffee beans are grown in this region and are harvested from December to March.

Oriente:

The New Oriente is in the Esquipulas municipal. Its weather is similar to Cobán, but is less intense. It is located over a volcanic range and the soil consists of metamorphic rock and clay. The altitude where coffee is grown ranges from 4,300-5,500 feet, and the temperature ranges from 18-25 C (64-77°F). This area has relatively little rainfall compared to Cobán or San Marcos being only 1,800-2,000 mm per year. Coffees from Nuevo Oriente are aromatic, have a marked acidity, and a good body. Bourbon, Catuai, Caturra, and Pache coffee beans are all grown in the Nuevo Oriente region and coffees are harvested from December to March.

Harvest Season
November to March
Fun Fact

Guatemalans burn rubbish near the plantations during severe weather and the dense smoke protects the trees from frost and produces a smoky flavor in the beans.

Tasting Profile

Body: Medium
Flavors: Deep
Acidity: Sharp

Tasting Notes

Finca: El Socorro
Varietal: Catura, Maran
Processing: washed
Flavor: rose, vanilla, chocolate, peach

Finca: El Injerto
Region: Huehuetenango
Varietal: Catuai, Bourbon
Processing: washed
Flavor: brown sugar, fig, tobacco

Finca: El Valle
Varietal: Catuai, Bourbonn
Processing: washed
Flavor: caramel, chocolate, apricot, citrus

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic produces between 350,000-500,000 bags per year, however, only about 20% (70,000 to 80,000 bags) is exported. Since coffee consumption inside the Dominican Republic is so high, relatively little raw unroasted coffee is exported. The high internal consumption means that the quality parameters tend to be set by mediocre internal standards, rather than by today’s higher specialty expectations. Nevertheless, the potential for finding more fine coffees and learning more about the growers and regions led us to explore the two thirds of the beautiful Caribbean island that is the Dominican Republic.

The farms are spread throughout the country’s six growing regions. These were officially denominated by the government to better promote the individual profiles of the coffees from these distinct microclimates. The regions are Cibao, Bani, Azua, Ocoa, Barahona and Juncalito. Each region creates beans with distinct physical and chemical characteristics. However, there may be as many as 25 distinct production zones around the island centred amongst the four mountain ranges. The main coffee varieties cultivated are are Típica, Caturra, Catuaí, Bourbon and Mundo Novo.

Coffee here grows at between 600m and 1450m. Given the extreme diversity of the island’s microclimates and topography, coffee is being harvested almost all year round at one place or another on the island although the peak harvest period takes place from November to May, peaking in April around the Semana Santa (Holy Week) festival.

The farms are typically small – less than eight acres on average – and much of the coffee production in the Dominican Republic is organic, though many farms are not officially certified. The majority is also shade-grown, often under a canopy of native pine, macadamia and guava trees.

Most Dominican producers process their coffee themselves, in small wet mills called ‘beneficios humedos’. All coffee is wet-processed, cherries are de-pulped within 24 hours, naturally fermented, washed and pre-dried in the sun. The beans in parchment are then transported to large dry mills where the coffee is prepared for export or for sale in the domestic market.

The new crop generally ships from the Dominican Republic in July/August.

Harvest Season
November to May
Fun Fact

Coffee is the Dominican national non-alcoholic drink. To refuse an offer of a “cafecito” is seen as ungracious at best, and sometimes downright unpatriotic!

Tasting Profile

Body: Creamy
Flavors: Sweet
Acidity: Moderate

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Java

This type of coffee is originally grown and produced on the island of Java, Indonesia which is the significant part of the Dutch East Indies. This type of coffee is definitely one of the oldest and perennially loved coffee types which were part of the beverage culture as early as the 17th century.

Since then, it has been highly preferred and developed worldwide recognition. Java coffee has been globally exported which made it a worldwide hit among coffee aficionados.

In the early 17th century, the Dutch began growing and cultivating the coffee trees in the remarkable regions of Java. It has been recorded that the agricultural system of coffee on Java has been considerably changed ever since. However, in the later years of 1880, there has been a rust plague which significantly affected and killed off a salient quantity of the coffee plantation stocks located in Sukabumi. This plague has struck the nearby regions before it began to spread and proliferate in the parts of East Java along with Central Java areas.

Due to this agricultural mayhem, the Dutch came up with another agricultural system for coffees. They basically replaced Arabica coffee trees with Liberica types. This coffee type is actually much tougher than Arabica but is also unpalatable to the taste. In the latter part, the Dutch came up with growing and producing Robusta coffee in Java. In the previous years, the old colonial era of coffee plantation and production has been cut to just a fraction of coffee grown exactly on the Java island. This very minimal quantity of coffee produced in Java is mostly composed of the higher valued and high grade variety of Arabica coffee.

The coffee production of Java Arabica coffee is primarily centered on the region called the Ijen Plateau which is located at the eastern end of the Java Island. The location is actually at an altitude measuring more than 1,400 meters. In the 18th century, the Dutch built large estates where they could actually grow coffee with high grade quality. Five of the largest estates where Java coffee was produced include Blawan, Pancoer, Jampit, Tugosari and Kayumas.

The production process is undergone with the step-by-step method of transporting the ripe cherries straight to the mills after they are being harvested. The cherries undergo the fermentation process where the pulp is fermented and primarily washed off utilizing the wet process. This method results to heavy-bodied, good and sweet coffee and the finest characterized with the supple and smooth textures.

Harvest Season
June to October
Fun Fact

In the United States, the term 'java' is actually a slang which is used to call coffee.

Tasting Profile

Body: Heavy
Flavors: Sweet
Acidity: Moderate

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Sumatra

Sumatra is one of the great romance coffees of the world. When it is at its best the coffee itself suggests intrigue, with its complexity, its weight without heaviness, and an acidity that resonates deep inside the heart of the coffee, enveloped in richness, rather than confronting the palate the moment the cup is lifted.

This praise applies mainly to the finest of the traditional arabica coffees of northern Sumatra, the best of those sold under the market names Lintong and Mandheling. Lintong properly describes only coffees grown in a relatively small region just southwest of Lake Toba in the kecamatan or district of Lintongnihuta. Small plots of coffee are scattered over a high, undulating plateau of fern-covered clay. The coffee is grown without shade, but also without chemicals of any kind, and almost entirely by small holders.

Mandheling is a more comprehensive designation, referring both to Lintong coffees and to coffees grown under similar conditions in the regency of Diari, north of Lake Toba.

Earthy Sumatras, which pick up the taste of fresh clay from having been dried directly on the earth, are popular among some coffee drinkers. Musty Sumatras, which acquire the rather hard, mildewy taste of old shoes in a damp closet, are also attractive to some palates.

Less famous than Lintong and Mandheling are arabicas from Aceh, the province at the northernmost tip of Sumatra. Aceh coffees are grown in the lovely mountain basin surrounding Lake Tawar and the town of Takengon. All are grown in shade and almost all without chemicals.

Processing methods vary widely with Aceh coffees, however, as do flavor profiles. Some are processed by small farmers using the traditional Sumatran backyard washed method. These coffees resemble Lintong/Mandheling coffees, and probably often are sold as such by the Medan exporters.

Luak coffee is a gourmet blend which consists (ostensibly) of coffee beans that have been excreted by a smallish animal called a luak or palm civet after the luak has consumed (and digested) the coffee fruit that previously enveloped those beans. Apparently villagers in parts of Sumatra both gather the beans from wild luak excrement as well as feed coffee fruit to luaks kept in cages.

Kopi Luak is a rare coffee that demands by far the highest price of any coffee on the world market. The luak-assisted method of picking and processing coffee is not as outlandish as it may sound. Presumably the luak, like any good coffee picker, chooses only ripe coffee cherries to eat. Although the odor kopi luak produces while roasting dramatically reminds of its intestinal journey from fruit to bean, the taste in the cup does not.

Harvest Season
November to February
Fun Fact

Mandheling is a trade name, used for Arabica coffee from northern Sumatra. It was derived from the name of the Mandailing people, who produce coffee in the Tapanuli region of Sumatra.

Tasting Profile

Body: Full
Flavors: Complex & Sweet
Acidity: Bright

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Papua New Guinea

Source: www.specialty-coffee-advisor.com

 

Papua New Guinea, the country that occupies half of the enormous island of New Guinea just north of Australia has an extraordinary history of the New Guinea highlands, a region of hugely rugged mountains and steep valleys densely populated by ancient peoples who for thousands of years tended richly productive garden plots in their isolated valleys, along the way developing a complex matrix of subtly differing cultures and distinct languages (over 800 at latest count).

Most Papua New Guinea coffee today is grown by villagers in their garden plots, although some coffee continues to be grown on larger farms. Regardless of who grows Papua New Guinea coffees, all are very high grown, at altitudes usually exceeding 5,000 feet and they tend to be more delicate in profile and softer in acidity than similarly high-grown coffees from Central America.

Their fruit notes are complex and various. The most distinctive note that many (though certainly not all) Papua New Guinea coffees display is a subtle, sweetly acidy fruit note that often resembles grapefruit, sometimes a chocolaty grapefruit, or a grapefruit with a whiff of fresh-cut cedar.

There is a subtle difference in the typical Papua New Guinea profile, however, depending on where and how the fruit has been removed and the coffee dried. True village coffees have the skin and pulp removed by hand in the village and is dried there. Owing to irregularities in fruit removal and processing, these coffees often add a softly musty or mildew note to the basic Papua New Guinea profile, a flavor overlay that reads as earth (think moist fallen leaves) or perhaps smoke or spice. When inserted into the gently fruity matrix of the Papua New Guinea profile, this overlay promotes a sweet, earth-muted fruit, a variation on the often more aggressively earthy character of traditionally processed Sumatra and Sulawesi coffees.

Papua New Guinea, with its high altitudes and lush growing conditions, has tremendous potential as a source of refined and beautiful coffee. It is also a coffee origin in transition, from domination by Australian and European operated farms and mills to domination by village growers organized into cooperatives and other collective entities. The latest development is the emergence of the powerful 100,000-member Papua New Guinea Coffee Growers Federation and its U.S. export-import arm, Coffee Pacifica, which aims at vertical integration, from cooperative farmer through export and import to roasting and retailing.

Harvest Season
May to August
Fun Fact

Papua New Guinea is a distinct coffee among the Indonesians, even though it doesn't even have an entire island to call its own.

Tasting Profile

Body: Medium
Flavors: Delicate
Acidity: Moderate

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for this region will be posted as soon as our professionals finish their evaluation...

Welcome to the BUNN Tour of Coffee Origin!

Using the interactive map above, you can select a coffee-producing country and learn more about that region. Just select a region then click on one of the shaded countries in the map and information about that producer will appear that includes dates of the harvest season, description of the region, fun facts, a typical tasting profile for coffees from that region and then individual tasting notes of specific coffees direct from evaluators in our BUNN Beverage Lab.

Just click on the button below to learn more information about the coffee-producing countries, including dates of the harvest season, description of the region, fun facts, a typical tasting profile for coffees from that region, and then individual tasting notes of specific coffees direct from evaluators in our BUNN Beverage Lab.

Explore Now

Either use the arrows on the right and left side of the country pages to advance to the next country or use the link in the lower right corner to return to the main page.  Look back to this section often as more country profiles will be added when available. Have fun exploring!

What is the tasting profile?

Found on the lower left tile of every regional page, this section is a general description of the coffee flavor profile from that country.

What are the tasting notes?

Every day in the BUNN Beverage Lab, our evaluators develop recipes for coffees used in our equipment. As part of that process, the evaluators keep individual Tasting Notes of specific coffees in order to make recommendations to our engineers during research and development or to our customers in the effort to help offer the highest quality in the cup. We are making these Notes available for you. You can find this continually updated list in the lower center tile of every regional page.