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Coffee Growing Regions

Over the last twenty years, coffee has enjoyed a spike in popularity.  Due to the rise of sophisticated coffee chains like Starbucks, coffee lovers are becoming more and more knowledgeable about all of the various facets of coffee.  As one of the three most commonly traded commodities, coffee is big business.  In 1998, the world's coffee production equaled approximately 100 million sacks of coffee.  It is a drink that is loved around the world and the availability of specialty coffee drinks and flavored coffee drinks speaks to coffee's promising future.

However, with the rise of coffee's popularity has come an important new movement designed to shed some light in the whole coffee production industry.  The rise of the free trade coffee movement has been born out of unfortunate circumstances.  While coffee demand continues to be high, a global market slump has led to low prices for coffee.  Although this is great news for the coffee consumer, it is the farmers that grow the coffee plants that end up in fancy cafes that are getting the rough end of the deal.  Coffee farmers have been forced to sell their coffee beans for substantially low prices and are in danger of living in impoverished condition.  The inequities in the coffee trade has forced many small farmers to adopt an open sun-dried method to growing coffee that increases their profit but produces a number of serious environmental problems.  This has led to the rise of the organic coffee movement.  You can read more about these movements in the article Fair Trade Coffee and Organic Coffee.

A positive aspect of these political movements has been the fact that it has made coffee lovers more aware about the larger coffee trade around them.  Despite being one of the most valued commodities in the world, coffee is only produced in certain areas of the world.  This is because coffee plants need to be grown in tropical or sub-tropical environments at high altitudes.  As a result certain regions in the world dominate coffee production.  The top coffee-producing countries in the world are Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Vietnam.  However, there are over 70 countries in the world that produce coffee and smaller coffee-producing countries may produce gourmet coffee, which is highly valued by coffee lovers in the world.

The top importers of coffee include such countries that lack the environmental conditions or the agricultural space to successfully grow coffee includes: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United States.  From a per-capita perspective, the top consumers of coffee are: Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Austria.

While it's interesting to learn more about the different coffee growing regions in the world from a financial perspective, it is also important to know where your coffee has come from if you really love your coffee.  This is because most gourmet coffee that is produced obtains its name from its place of origin.  Famous gourmet coffee beans like Java, Mocha, or Kona have unique flavor and aroma that makes it so popular among coffee lovers.  However, a large reason why they obtain such unique characteristics is due to the area that they are grown from.  While most coffee beans produced in the world tend to be from the coffea Arabica plant, there are many factors that will influence the characteristics of the coffee bean.  Soil, altitude, and climate of a coffee growing area will impact the body of the coffee bean, as well as its flavor and aroma.  So read about the main coffee growing regions in the world.  You just might want to brew up a pot of coffee before you start reading, though.