When considering the best coffees in the world, I went to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) for research. They are the organization that sets the quality standards for specialty coffee, which the public calls “gourmet” coffee. All specialty coffees use arabica beans. The other category of is the robusta bean, which is of inferior taste quality to arabica. Within these categories, there are several varieties of bean. Arabica beans are grown at a higher altitude than robusta.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world and is graded in a similar manner as wine. This event is called a “cupping” and has a set of strict standards. Winning a cupping is very prestigious and has a direct effect on the prices a coffee grower can get for his crop.

History of these “cupping” winners has shown that three areas of the world produce the most winners. Interestingly, these regions have a very similar latitude when looking at the world map. The three regions are Ethiopia, Sumatra and Panama.

Ethiopian/Kenyan Coffee (Africa)

Ethiopian coffee is aromatic, highly flavorful, and also known to be some of the best coffees in the world. It is also the origin of all coffee. The Ethiopian people have a legend that says that a goat herder discovered Ethiopian coffee around 850 AD. This legend claims that the goat herder noticed that his sheep were very excited and nearly dancing after eating red berries from a tree. The legend of the founder goes on to say that the herder sampled the red berries for himself and took some of the berries home to his wife who insisted that he take them to the monks. The monks supposedly threw the berries into a fire and noticed the delicious smell that the berries produced. The monks are said to have removed the berries from the fire and boiled the berries in water to create the beverage that we now know as Ethiopian coffee.

Whether this legend is true, or in fact just a legend is forever a mystery. Regardless, Ethiopian coffee has been used for religious ceremonies. These ceremonies are still held today and if a guest is invited to participate in the ceremony, it is well known to be a very beautiful experience.

Locally, Ethiopian coffee is served with either sugar, or in some parts of Ethiopia, salt. Milk or any type of creamer is never used in traditionally brewing. The process of making the coffee varies by region. In some regions it is dry processed and in some other regions it is washed. The Ethiopian coffee found in stores today is dry processed.

The process is often grueling and coupled with with importing adds to the reason of why Ethiopian coffee can be expensive.

When consumers purchase Ethiopian coffee to be brewed at home, it is wise to consider fair trade Ethiopian coffee. The obvious reason to consider fair trade is so that the producers of this wonderful product can reap the benefits of their hard work. Ethiopian coffee has a rich, bold, and exciting history and a taste that has been favored by many people for a long time.

Sumatran Coffee (Indonesia)

Sumatran coffee comes from the island in Indonesia called Sumatra. The taste of Sumatran coffee is spicy, herbal, and very distinct. It is considered to be one of the best coffees in the world and was first introduced by the Dutch around 1699 when the Dutch wanted to keep up with the demand of coffee to Europe. The Dutch traders knew the difference between Sumatran coffee beans and other coffee beans by the appearance, which are irregularly shaped and bright green.

Sumatran coffee is one of the best coffees in the world and has a low acidity which makes it highly favored among other types of coffee. The beans are usually grown in full sunlight and with no chemicals. A highly popular type of Sumatran coffee, yet thoroughly disgusting in many peoples opinion, is the kopi luwak Sumatran coffee. The kopi luwak coffee is coffee beans that have been eaten by the small animal known as a luwak. After the luwak digests and excretes the coffee beans, local villagers collect the excreted beans and roast them. These excreted and roasted beans are said to cost about $300 a pound. Of course, not all of Sumatran coffee comes from the excrement of the luwak. There are many other varieties of Sumatran coffee as well.

Most of the Sumatran coffee beans are processed using the wet and dry processing method. This processing method is another reason why Sumatran coffee is so popular. Most other types of coffee beans are processed by using either a wet method or a dry method, hardly ever both.

When purchasing Sumatran coffee for use at home, a person should try to purchase fair trade Sumatran coffee. Fair trade beans can be found at various online retailers and also at gourmet coffee retailers. This insures that the growers benefit from all of the hard work that they put into growing this delicious coffee.

Growing Coffee- Explaining All About the Rearing Of Coffee Coffee is a favorite drink of millions of people around the globe. Many of us wake up to the invigorating taste of espresso at morning. Indeed, this is a great way to start the day. The ardent coffee lovers simply can’t miss their coffee drink at various times of the day- during breaks in between work. A cup of piping hot coffee not only awakens us but also helps keep us energetic throughout the day.

Coffee drinks of all types, be it plain coffee or espresso or latte or cappuccino or some other specialty coffee beverage, are prepared from the beans of the coffee plant. The coffee plants, the seeds (beans) of which yield coffee, are grown on a large scale in various parts of the world. Over seventy countries from Indonesia to Brazil cultivate coffee. Usually, the regions of the world that lie between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer are the suitable coffee growing areas. The coffee growing belt includes the region around the Equator- Central America, Northern South America, Africa, India, Indonesia, the Middle East and the Hawaii.

Cultivation of varieties of the coffee plant The coffee plant is a small and evergreen tree. Cultivation of coffee takes place in plantations. This involves a labor intensive process that depends more on farming. That is why the cultivation of coffee is more suited for the developing nations lying in and around the equatorial regions.

Important commercially grown varieties of coffee are the Arabica and the Robusta. The Arabica coffee beans approximately make up seventy percent of the total coffee produced while the Robusta coffee beans make up the rest. The Arabica is usually looked upon as the best coffee. However, there can be a range (from excellent to poor) with regards to the quality of the Arabica coffees. That is the reason why Robusta beans may be preferred over Arabica beans in some cases. Finally, of course, it is expert opinion that is needed to decide what would be the right beans that would go into your coffee makers and espresso machines to produce the perfect espresso, latte and cappuccino coffee beverages.

Some coffee growing facts

  • The equatorial climate best suits coffee cultivation. Temperature range of 15-24 degrees Celsius without severe fluctuations is ideal for coffee.
  • It is the well drained, well aerated and deep soils that are the right field soils for coffee growing. The coffee plants need a large supply of oxygen for their root systems. This is why aerated soils are especially suitable for coffee growing purpose.
  • Rainfall required is in the range of 1500mm to 2000 mm annually. If the annual rainfall of the coffee growing region lies below this then the deficit has to be taken care of by providing for irrigation means.
  • The superior coffee varieties are better cultivated at higher altitudes (over 3000 ft) where there is an abundance of mist and cloud. With oxygen content in the air at the higher altitudes being less the coffee plants take longer to mature thus helping in development of better flavor in the beans (seeds) lying within its fruits (cherries or berries). The diffuse light produced by mists and moderate winds blowing at the altitudes prove to be advantageous in promoting the desirable developments in the coffee.
  • The Robusta or Coffee Canephora that produces the majority of coffee grown at lower altitudes is also considered to be more resistant to diseases of the coffee crop. However, it is the Coffee Arabica growing at higher elevations that are valued for preparing a befitting gourmet coffee drink.

The coffee growing process It might be difficult to imagine that the espresso, latte, cappuccino or other special coffee drink that may be dispensed piping hot from coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com] or espresso machines have been sourced from the coffee plant that has gone throwing a number of stages of the coffee growing process. Indeed, the process of coffee growing involves an intensive farming process.

Propagation of the coffee plant is by using of seeds or cuttings. These are planted in special nursery beds. When the seedlings become between 8 and 12 months old they are transplanted to fields. Here, in the fields, the cuttings or seedlings are planted in wet, fertilized holes.

The coffee trees require constant special care especially the younger ones. The exact right amount of shaded sunlight (or diffuse light) needs to be ensured as also regular watering and fertilizing. Protection from pests and weeds also need to be provided.

Upon planting the coffee tree takes around five years to mature and produce the first crop. The trees with broad, dark green leaves bear flowers that resemble the jasmine. These coffee flowers blossom over a six to eight week period and the blossom to harvest period may extend to some nine months or so depending on a number of environmental and other factors. Ripening of the red coffee fruits (or cherries or berries, as they are also called) takes place within 6 to 8 months after the tree begins to bear fruit. Regular harvesting needs to be carried out since the coffee fruits become over ripe after some 10 to 14 days. Hand plucking is usually resorted to as it is convenient and best suited for plucking in the mountainous regions as opposed to mechanical harvesters.

Though it might seem astonishing yet it is true that a single tree upon cropping can produce sufficient beans only for about two pounds or a kilogram of coffee. This has been estimated to be produced making use of around 2000 coffee beans. These beans are hand picked by manual laborers. The harvesting of the coffee beans may also require quite a bit of skill as the picker needs to learn up to opt for only the best beans and discard the bad beans while picking. Attention needs to be provided to every individual bean in the bean by bean picking harvesting process.

Immediately after harvesting the processing of the selected coffee seeds or beans needs to be commenced. This is to ensure that the pulp does not get deteriorated. The coffee beans processing process involving drying and roasting finally makes ready the coffee that is to be freshly ground to be entered into your home coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com/index.html] or espresso maker. Thus is finally delivered for you the cupfuls of perfectly flavored, delectable espresso, latte, cappuccino or other favorite coffee drinks.

When considering the best coffees in the world, I went to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) for research. They are the organization that sets the quality standards for specialty coffee, which the public calls “gourmet” coffee. All specialty coffees use arabica beans. The other category of is the robusta bean, which is of inferior taste quality to arabica. Within these categories, there are several varieties of bean. Arabica beans are grown at a higher altitude than robusta.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world and is graded in a similar manner as wine. This event is called a “cupping” and has a set of strict standards. Winning a cupping is very prestigious and has a direct effect on the prices a coffee grower can get for his crop.

History of these “cupping” winners has shown that three areas of the world produce the most winners. Interestingly, these regions have a very similar latitude when looking at the world map. The three regions are Ethiopia, Sumatra and Panama.

Ethiopian/Kenyan Coffee (Africa)

Ethiopian coffee is aromatic, highly flavorful, and also known to be some of the best coffees in the world. It is also the origin of all coffee. The Ethiopian people have a legend that says that a goat herder discovered Ethiopian coffee around 850 AD. This legend claims that the goat herder noticed that his sheep were very excited and nearly dancing after eating red berries from a tree. The legend of the founder goes on to say that the herder sampled the red berries for himself and took some of the berries home to his wife who insisted that he take them to the monks. The monks supposedly threw the berries into a fire and noticed the delicious smell that the berries produced. The monks are said to have removed the berries from the fire and boiled the berries in water to create the beverage that we now know as Ethiopian coffee.

Whether this legend is true, or in fact just a legend is forever a mystery. Regardless, Ethiopian coffee has been used for religious ceremonies. These ceremonies are still held today and if a guest is invited to participate in the ceremony, it is well known to be a very beautiful experience.

Locally, Ethiopian coffee is served with either sugar, or in some parts of Ethiopia, salt. Milk or any type of creamer is never used in traditionally brewing. The process of making the coffee varies by region. In some regions it is dry processed and in some other regions it is washed. The Ethiopian coffee found in stores today is dry processed.

The process is often grueling and coupled with with importing adds to the reason of why Ethiopian coffee can be expensive.

When consumers purchase Ethiopian coffee to be brewed at home, it is wise to consider fair trade Ethiopian coffee. The obvious reason to consider fair trade is so that the producers of this wonderful product can reap the benefits of their hard work. Ethiopian coffee has a rich, bold, and exciting history and a taste that has been favored by many people for a long time.

Sumatran Coffee (Indonesia)

Sumatran coffee comes from the island in Indonesia called Sumatra. The taste of Sumatran coffee is spicy, herbal, and very distinct. It is considered to be one of the best coffees in the world and was first introduced by the Dutch around 1699 when the Dutch wanted to keep up with the demand of coffee to Europe. The Dutch traders knew the difference between Sumatran coffee beans and other coffee beans by the appearance, which are irregularly shaped and bright green.

Sumatran coffee is one of the best coffees in the world and has a low acidity which makes it highly favored among other types of coffee. The beans are usually grown in full sunlight and with no chemicals. A highly popular type of Sumatran coffee, yet thoroughly disgusting in many peoples opinion, is the kopi luwak Sumatran coffee. The kopi luwak coffee is coffee beans that have been eaten by the small animal known as a luwak. After the luwak digests and excretes the coffee beans, local villagers collect the excreted beans and roast them. These excreted and roasted beans are said to cost about $300 a pound. Of course, not all of Sumatran coffee comes from the excrement of the luwak. There are many other varieties of Sumatran coffee as well.

Most of the Sumatran coffee beans are processed using the wet and dry processing method. This processing method is another reason why Sumatran coffee is so popular. Most other types of coffee beans are processed by using either a wet method or a dry method, hardly ever both.

When purchasing Sumatran coffee for use at home, a person should try to purchase fair trade Sumatran coffee. Fair trade beans can be found at various online retailers and also at gourmet coffee retailers. This insures that the growers benefit from all of the hard work that they put into growing this delicious coffee.

Sumatran coffee has a taste unlike any other and once you try it for yourself, you may find that it will quickly replace your current brand or at least be a coffee that becomes one of your favorites.

Panamanian Coffee (Central America)

Although Panama is the smallest of all coffee producing countries, they grow most of the best rated coffees every year. The coffee region surrounds the town of Boquete in the western province of Chiriqui close to the Costa Rican border. Some say Panama has the ideal micro climate to grow coffee receiving winds from the north along with a light mist and cool breeze. Most of the coffee is grown on farms and is called an Estate coffee which signifies the farm it is from.

The process includes hand picking, washing and sun drying. The farms work closely with the indigenous people enhancing the community with social, medical and educational services. Because of this, fair trade is not a concern. It is a harmonious relationship between farm and worker.

For years, coffee from Panama was not well known amongst the public but the quality was apparent to the traders. So much so, that one trader was caught selling the lower cost Panamanian coffee beans as Hawaiian Kona beans, a much well known high end arabica bean.

Currently, Panamanian coffee has come of age winning numerous cuppings to the point in 2003 when the competition was changed. Previously, each entry was individual and Panamanian entrants would win up to five of ten awards. Now, they have groupings and each group can produce up to two winners that move up to the next level.

It should be noted that although Panamanian coffee has been established as the best in the region, wonderful coffees do come from Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Columbia.

Even though most of the world favors the western coffees, a true coffee lover should be adventurous and taste the best coffees of the world. Try Ethiopian and Sumatran coffees along with those that are in close proximity to those regions. You may be surprised at what you have been missing.