How To Choose Coffee 4/6

Coffee Origin Selection

With the ever-growing number of roasters and coffees available with a world of information to sort through for the discerning buyer, the question invariably is, ‘where do I start?’

In this third of a series of 4 How To Choose Coffee guides, I walk you through some key factors to take into consideration when you are next making that important choice.

Conrad at Woodhouse Coffee Co

Coffee Origin Selection

Growing conditions and economic factors vary greatly across the planet and so it’s no surprise that coffee grown in one country will be different from the next Coffee prefers to grow in the warmer latitudes between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. This band of latitudes is often referred to as the ‘coffee belt’. Within this band a vast array of variables exists including altitude, rainfall, soil conditions and sunlight, all of which will alter the outcome of how your coffee will taste.

So how do you narrow this down to make your selection easier? If you are seeking fruit driven flavours and floral aromas, looking at African coffees is a great option. Many coffee drinkers look forward to excitedly opening up a bag of Ethiopian beans to deeply inhale the complex berry and wine like aromas. Or salivate at the thought of drinking a juicy stone fruit influenced coffee from Kenya.

South and Central American coffee could be a great choice if you are looking for clean coffees exhibiting delicate sugar browning sweetness, like chocolate or buttery pastry, accompanied with a softer fruit character. Brazil is well known for producing coffees with a heavier body and peanut character. While further north in Colombia flavours are mellowed and typically present more so as caramels and toffees. 

If you prefer a coffee to be heavier bodied and earthy, selecting from the India and Indonesian region is certainly worth considering. Often exhibiting a luscious and syrupy body combined with herbal and savoury flavours, these tend to be the most dividing in personal preference.