You may have heard the term ‘bean belt’ being thrown around in your local coffee shop or read it on the packaging of your bean of choice, but what does it actually mean? Well, to help clarify this we have put together a handy infographic explaining what the Bean Belt is and highlighting the regions it features.
Growing coffee requires a very particular climate and the plants that coffee beans grow on rely heavily on soil that is rich in nutrients. This is why growing coffee is generally restricted to areas of the world that are bound by the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, in a band commonly referred to as the Bean Belt.In fact, the climate for coffee beans is so specific, that it’s almost entirely mutually exclusive from the wine belt, which is farther from the equator and therefore closer to the north and south poles.
Coffee beans love growing in the Bean Belt for one reason and one reason only: the climate promotes the best environment for healthy coffee plants. The climate in these regions bring moderately sunny days, sufficient amounts of rain, and year-round temperatures between 21° and 29°C (70° and 85°F). While the growing conditions are similar, the variations in a countries’ or continents’ soil, climate and altitude affect the flavour of the beans. Below we look at three key regions.
American coffees share the familiar traits of your usual morning cup and are known for their balance and even temperament. Depending on the country they are grown in, American coffee beans often possess deep berry, chocolate, nut, spice, or fruity notes. American coffees are often described as sweet and medium-bodied, making them the best choice for first-time and casual coffee drinkers.
The flavour traits of African coffee beans tend to present tastes reminiscent of blueberry, tomato, spice, and melon. Some beans smell and taste like fresh fruit while others, such as Kenyan coffee beans, have a sweeter, more juicy notes. African coffee beans provide an array of interesting flavours and are the perfect choice for anybody hoping to expand their coffee palate.
Asian coffees are known for having the most variety when it comes to flavour, but their most common characteristics are smooth, dense, and exotic textures with dark chocolate, nut, and subtle earthy tones. Coffee brewed from Asian beans tend to be fuller-bodied than other varieties and also a more dry after-taste.
Offering your palate a variety of beans will expand your awareness of the flavours living in your cup, giving you more information when you get ready to purchase.Hopefully, the information above helps you make a more informed choice from the wide range of beans out there.