Though coffee has its origin in Ethiopia, where still now the main source of coffee production is the wild coffee tree forests, coffee consumption has gradually spread worldwide. The fact that the coffee beans grow profusely in tropical or sub-tropical regions is only because it requires ample sunshine and rain to cultivate the beans.
Majority of the world’s source of the liquid that a Turkish maxim calls ‘black as hell, and strong as death, and sweet as love’ comes from a narrow strip that is centered on the equator of around 23 degrees North to 25 degrees South. Globally, the coffee beans are grown in over 70 countries, only with an output to make it the world’s second largest commodity in dollar volume only after oil.
Till date, Brazil bags the title of the largest producer of coffee bean with a standard output of 28 percent of the total production. With a pretty distant margin, world-renowned Columbia claims the second place at only 16 percent; while Indonesia and Mexico are placed at the third and fourth respectively with 7% and 4%, almost half than the previous.
Though high altitudes are great for the coffee trees to produce the best beans, the trees have adapted to a variety of climatic regions.
Brazil has a huge amount of land as plantations and to look after the plants hundred of laborers are employed. However, in Columbia the rugged mountains including poor economic conditions and inconvenient transportation, facilities to processing centers are carried out by Jeep or mule.
Though Columbia has the tree-lined mountains for coffee production, the Hawaiian producers prefer the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano for ideal coffee cultivation. The volcanic ash is black and rocky, still plants can grow well where the tropical clouds protect the plants from the intense heat of the afternoon sun and the required water is amply provided by the frequent island showers.
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Indonesia may be technologically a little backward, but it surpasses the other countries with its helpful warm, damp microclimates. The combining effort of the largest islands of Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi with hundreds of one or two acres firms on each of them contribute largely to secure the third place position for the country.
Mexico as contrasted to Brazil, has primarily small farms for plantations, however the total number of over 100,000 of them has helped the country to make a mark on the global chart. Almost all of them are located in the south, in Chiapas, Veracruz and Oaxaca but the high altitude is necessary to produce the special Altura beans.
However in recent years, after the recovery of the Tonkin area from decades of stagnation, Vietnam has been rapidly challenging Indonesia’s position. Initially planted along with Arabica trees by French missionaries in the middle of 19th century, the plantations that are small in size now produce robusta, which is one of the two major species.
Be it the Costa Rican La Fuente, the Tanzanian Peaberry, the Brazilian Liberdade or the Indian Monsoon Malabar – coffees are attracting an eclectic increasing demand throughout the world.