Where do the best coffee beans come from?

800px-Coffee-BeansOur UK climate is suitable for growing a range of crops. In Britain, we’re particularly good at growing the hardier fruit and vegetable crops, such as apples, carrots and potatoes. One thing we’re never going to be able to grow very successfully on home soil, though, is coffee.

Coffee bushes grow best in subtropical regions that have distinctly separated wet and dry seasons, rather than a temperature climate such as the UK’s. There are two types of coffee bean, Arabica and Robusta, and each like slightly different growing conditions.

Arabica coffee beans

This variety is believed to have originated in Ethiopia, and grows best at altitudes of between 3,000 and 6,500 feet. For plants that grow in countries such as Mexico, Zimbabwe and Jamaica, where the rainy and dry seasons are separate, there’s one harvest of coffee beans a year. For equatorial counties – for example Columbia, Kenya and Ethiopia, the consistent rainfall allows two harvests a year.

 Robusta coffee beans

Robusta coffee bushes yield more beans than Arabica, and the coffee is considered to be of a lower grade. The beans are often used to make instant coffee, or bulk out lower quality packs. It grows at lower altitudes (under 3,000 feet), and tends to be easier to farm, cheaper to grow and generally more hardy, as Robusta can tolerate warmer climates and is less susceptible to disease.  The bulk of the world’s coffee is grown around the equator, with Robusta varieties being grown closest to the equator due to their greater heat tolerance.

It’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to replicate these growing conditions successfully enough in the UK to make homegrown coffee a commercial possibility, but online ordering has made it easier than every to buy fresh, exciting blends of coffee beans in the UK. To browse our wide range of varieties, please visit our website at www.wholesalecoffeecompany.co.uk.