Everyone who has fallen in love with coffee will sooner or later start exploring origins. We have dedicated a series of articles making your journey easier.
In our first article we will introduce into origins in general and how they actually matter.
Why are coffee origins important for us?
Origins are an easy way to categorise the - literally - origin of a coffee. Yeah, not very creative naming here. Anyway, what’s the fuzz all about?
Each country (and each region within a country) has unique conditions to grow coffee. Climate zones, altitude and soil characteristics make the main determinants of how our coffee is going to taste. Besides that, each region has different coffee plant species that are traditionally grown there that also make a difference.
The basics of coffee origins
To keep things simple, let’s start by separating origins into three main groups.
Coffee flavours in South America
South America is the world’s largest coffee producing continent. Even though we don’t do the huge continent justice… South American coffee is known for its full body and low acidity. Colombian or Brazilian coffees are often ‘crowd pleasers’. They are bold, sweet and chocolatey and goes well with anything.
Flavour patterns in Central American Coffee
Despite its relatively small size, Central America has an amazingly diverse environment thanks to active large-scale motion in the Earth's lithosphere (to be less scientific: those plate thingies that make volcanoes and earthquakes). Volcanoes have soil packed with minerals which result in a variety of flavours. How good is that? This variety in minerals and the different micro climates due to these mountains, create a variety in flavours. So much to explore! Flavours will be much more fruity and floral than South American coffees, and slightly more acidic.
African Coffee Highlights
African coffees are also grown on mineral rich soils, mainly in Ethiopia. On its own, Ethiopian coffees can appear sour, but in blends they create amazing punch to cut through milk. They usually make coffee much more interesting and are therefore essential components in many blends. Don’t be shy though - give it a go!
We hope this guide will help you along your journey. We will add origin comparisons in the future, one bit at a time. Happy brewing :)