How does growing altitude affect coffee?
As we reported in our November blog Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is tightly regulated by the Jamaica Commodities Regulatory Authority with the and the best Blue Mountain coffee grown above 3,000 feet.
But why, to coin a phrase, does altitude matter?
High altitudes above 900m to 1500m and beyond provide ideal growing conditions for the coffee tree: a frost-free climate averaging 60-70 degrees F year-round and the cooler temperatures prolong the growing cycle.
This prolongs the development of the beans, leading to a greater concentration of flavour.
The beans are usually harder once ripe and the longer time to maturation also means that once picked they preserve their flavour longer when in storage.
When well-cared for, high elevation coffee will produce the more acidic, aromatic and flavourful coffee.
Arabica beans particularly benefit from extremely fertile high-level soils.
As you would expect, depending on the country where it is grown there are some distinct regional flavours.
If you are a coffee lover, how about planning a “taste travel holiday taking in some of the coffee-growing areas around the world.