The coffee belt: The world three coffee growing regions

Coffee is grown in many parts of the world and is the primary export for at least a dozen countries. Most of the world’s coffee farming occurs in developing countries located almost exclusively near the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.

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Coffee producing countries along this belt include Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil in the Americas; Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania in Africa; and Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia in Asia.

It is from here that almost all of the world’s commercially grown coffee originates.

The coffee plant requieres a lot of conditions to grow and there is when this “imaginary” coffee belt comes in, because:

  • There is sufficient rain with distinct dry seasons.
  • The climate has moderately sunny days with cool and stable temperatures.
  • There are high enough altitudes for the coffee plants to thrive.
  • The soil is fertile for coffee plants.

While the growing conditions are similars within the countries inside the coffee belt, the little differences in soil, temperature, altitude, is what create differences in flavor and body of the coffee.

The importance of the coffee belt is the good characteristics that the countries within can offer to help to grow and optimize coffee bean, like for example, altitudes are above 3,300-6,600 ft above sea level, helping to maintain temperatures in a range without big differences in its highs and lows.

Other good characteristic is soil. A lot of the countries inside this belt, has richness in their soil due the high volcanic activity of it, providing more richness and complexity to the soil.