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Coffee Growing Climates

There are two climates that are conducive to the growth of Arabica coffee and they are found between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, a section of the world we refer to as "The Coffee Belt." These climates are discussed below.

Equatorial regions: In these regions, there is continuous rainfall which encourages the coffee trees to flower repeatedly and yield two harvests. The ideal altitudes range between 3,600 to 6,300ft; this range of altitudes encourages the coffee trees to mature slowly, thus locking in flavor and essence as they do so. Since the trees are grown at high altitudes, they experience lower temperatures from about 60–75°F. Countries like Colombia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are known for their ideal coffee growing conditions.

Subtropical regions: Countries such as Brazil, Mexico, and Zimbabwe are coffee producing countries in the subtropical regions. These regions have distinguishable wet and dry seasons, and their ideal altitudes are around 1,800–3,600ft. There is only one harvesting season which is usually in the colder part of the fall season.

Attempting to grow coffee in regions that do not fall within the above mentioned climates will generally result in lower quality and lower yields of coffee. For instance, lower elevations are conducive to hot and humid environments which will result in the coffee trees flowering too quickly. This will result in bitter or harsh tasting coffee. On the other hand, Robusta coffee can withstand warmer temperatures. They can be grown at lower altitudes no higher than 3,000ft above sea level, and at no more than 10° North or South of the equator.

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