Coffee is grown in over eighty distinct regions in the tropical areas of the world. Different climate, soil types, elevation and horticultural, picking, processing, and roasting methods contribute to the distinct coffee flavors associated with each region.  The top ten coffee producing countries in the world in 2008 in order are Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Mexico, India, Peru, Guatemala, and Honduras with the majority of all coffee growing countries being located within one thousand miles of the Earth’s equator.

Over 25 million people are employed world-wide in the coffee industry with an estimated 400 billion cups consumed annually.   Next to oil, coffee is the second largest global- commodity, with approximately 140 60 kg bags produced in 2008. The United States is cited as the largest consumer of coffee in the world, importing over four billion dollars worth of coffee annually in recent years.  Over 50% of the U.S. population drinks coffee with average daily consumption totaling over 400,000,000 cups.

There are two major types of coffee beans used for the beverage we know and love: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canphora known as Arabica and Robusta respectively. The Arabicas are grown at higher elevations, optimally between 900 meters (3000 feet) and 2000 meters (6500 feet), and as high as 2700 meters (9000 feet), and are generally more carefully tended than the Robustas.   It takes four to five years for the Arabica trees to produce their first harvest and they will continue to produce for another fifteen to twenty years. The Arabica berries are often hand-picked at the optimum ripeness for each berry.   They produce the finer grades of coffees enjoyed by the discerning coffee drinker.

Because higher altitudes tend to be sparser in rainfall, cooler in temperatures, and lower in oxygen, the Arabica coffee plants grown in these areas take much longer to develop.  The beans mature much more gradually and the resulting flavors in turn are much richer, deep bodied, well balanced, and aromatic.  Although the growing conditions are often very rugged in these altitudes, the beans, though less abundant in quantity, are prized for their superior quality, and hence are more expensive.

The Robustas are a hardier tree and can be grown at much lower elevations, generally between sea level and 3000 feet. They are often machine harvested with the trees producing their first crop within two to three years. They produce a coffee with a harsher and stronger flavor, as well as a higher caffeine content. The Robustas are valuable in blends, and are used in solubles and extracts to provide a strong flavor punch for flavoring food products. They are also much more affordable than the Arabicas, although the Arabicas still constitute approximately 75- 80% of all coffee grown in the world.

Coffee is grown in over eighty distinct regions in the tropical areas of the world. Different climate, soil types, elevation and horticultural, picking, processing, and roasting methods contribute to the distinct coffee flavors associated with each region.  The top ten coffee producing countries in the world in 2008 in order are Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Mexico, India, Peru, Guatemala, and Honduras with the majority of all coffee growing countries being located within one thousand miles of the Earth’s equator.
Over 25 million people are employed world-wide in the coffee industry with an estimated 400 billion cups consumed annually.   Next to oil, coffee is the second largest global- commodity, with approximately 140 60 kg bags produced in 2008. The United States is cited as the largest consumer of coffee in the world, importing over four billion dollars worth of coffee annually in recent years.  Over 50% of the U.S. population drinks coffee with average daily consumption totaling over 400,000,000 cups.
There are two major types of coffee beans used for the beverage we know and love: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canphora known as Arabica and Robusta respectively. The Arabicas are grown at higher elevations, optimally between 900 meters (3000 feet) and 2000 meters (6500 feet), and as high as 2700 meters (9000 feet), and are generally more carefully tended than the Robustas.   It takes four to five years for the Arabica trees to produce their first harvest and they will continue to produce for another fifteen to twenty years. The Arabica berries are often hand-picked at the optimum ripeness for each berry.   They produce the finer grades of coffees enjoyed by the discerning coffee drinker.
Because higher altitudes tend to be sparser in rainfall, cooler in temperatures, and lower in oxygen, the Arabica coffee plants grown in these areas take much longer to develop.  The beans mature much more gradually and the resulting flavors in turn are much richer, deep bodied, well balanced, and aromatic.  Although the growing conditions are often very rugged in these altitudes, the beans, though less abundant in quantity, are prized for their superior quality, and hence are more expensive.
The Robustas are a hardier tree and can be grown at much lower elevations, generally between sea level and 3000 feet. They are often machine harvested with the trees producing their first crop within two to three years. They produce a coffee with a harsher and stronger flavor, as well as a higher caffeine content. The Robustas are valuable in blends, and are used in solubles and extracts to provide a strong flavor punch for flavoring food products. They are also much more affordable than the Arabicas, although the Arabicas still constitute approximately 75- 80% of all coffee grown in the world.
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