A contribution from Sinje und Max in the category #Coffee Knowledge from 17 August 2020
Ethiopia is the fifth largest coffee exporter in the world. Who’s left in the top 10 of coffee countries? Are more Robusta or Arabica beans exported? What is the difference between the cultivators? Find out more about the world market share, growing and processing techniques right here.
Here we have some interesting information about cultivation and harvest which just might come as a surprise:
Ethiopia is the origin of coffee. Over 15 million people work in the coffee harvest that continues in Ethiopia from October to December. Although Ethiopia is the fifth-largest coffee exporter, people here consume more coffee than they export. This shows the role coffee plays in the lives of Ethiopians.
Brazil is the world’s largest coffee exporter. Around the world, there are approximately 300,000 coffee farms ranging in size from one to 25,000 hectares. The Brazilians consume half of their entire coffee production by themselves.
In Guatemala, approximately 270,000 hectares of land are used for coffee cultivation. For the most part, small farmers cultivate the coffee on one to two hectares of land. The microclimate in Guatemala is very different from region to region, producing coffees with a wide range of flavours.
Coffee is harvested from November to April in Honduras. Most of this comes from only three large coffee regions. The Copán region in the north-west, Montecillos in the south-west and Agalta in the middle of the country. Typical for the coffee from Honduras is the balanced, fruity-chocolate taste.
In the past, Indian coffee developed a very peculiar, spicy taste on account of the long-lasting monsoon rains, the warm winds and the week-long ship voyages. Today, conditions for coffee farmers are much better – the special taste of the coffee they produce is through the Monsooned method where half-processed coffee beans are stored in the monsoon for a little longer than necessary causing the beans to swell somewhat and lose acidity.
Even if Indonesia is considered a coffee cultivation area, there are some peculiarities in the individual regions. The coffee in Sumatra is treated, for example, with the Giling Basah method practiced only there and the coffee cherries are peeled.
In Colombia Arabica beans are cultivated almost exclusively. A special feature of the Colombian coffee is that it is harvested twice a year. The first harvest season lasts from March to June and the second from September to December. It’s mainly small farmers who grow coffee in Colombia.
In Mexico, mainly Arabica beans are cultivated. The harvest begins in November in the lower regions and ends in March in the higher regions. Low yields, a poor infrastructure and little financial and technical support create constant obstacles. Nevertheless, the country is the eighth largest coffee exporter.
Approximately 90% of the Peruvian coffee comes from 120,000 small farms with sizes of as low as 2 hectares. Most of the Arabica beans are harvested from May to September. Most of the coffee is grown in the north of the country.
In Vietnam there is an area of roughly 630,000 hectares limited by the government for growing coffee. Cultivation is restricted because the country is repeatedly accused of price dumping. Robust beans are mainly grown which are then exported and further processed into instant products.