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North America

When you think of the most prominent coffee growing regions in the world, you would be hard pressed to count the North American countries among them.  Considering that coffee plants require specific environmental conditions to thrive in, most parts of North America are able to successfully produce coffee.  This is because coffee plants need to be in a tropical or sub-tropical climate in order to thrive.  As a result, the North American nations are among the biggest exporters of coffee.  America is the largest coffee importer in the world, but ironically, America also features the only noteworthy coffee growing region in North America.

The island of Hawaii is renowned for a number of things.  From its beautiful beaches, gorgeous natural surroundings, and laid-back atmosphere, Hawaii is considered America's tropical paradise.  It is this tropical climate that allows Hawaii to be North America's primary coffee growing region.  Hawaii is most well known for producing Kona coffee, a specialty coffee that is constantly in high demand.  To learn more about Kona coffee, you should check out the article titled Kona Coffee.

Hawaii enjoys an excellent climate that is well suited for coffee production.  Coffee trees grow on the slopes of the active Mauna Loa volcano and the Hualalai Mountains of Hawaii.  The coffee plants that are used in Hawaii tend to be exclusively of the coffea arabica variety and the coffee produced in Hawaii is renowned for its unique taste.  The rich volcanic soil greatly influences the characteristics of Hawaiian grown coffee and the afternoon shade from tropical clouds forms a natural canopy that protects the coffee plants from intense sun.  The Hawaiian coffee plants also benefits from the frequent island showers, which nourishes the plants with just the right amount of rain.

Coffee production is an art form in Hawaii.  Young trees are planted in black, volcanic soil that is very new.  Observers often remark that they think that the farmers are planting coffee seedlings into rock instead of soil.  Coffee farmers in Hawaii benefits from the unique climate of the island that makes the coffee growing season predictable.  Hawaiian coffee trees tend to bloom after the dry winters and are harvested in the fall.

However, the Kona coffee that is produced in Hawaii is among the most popular specialty coffee beans in the whole world.  It is important to note that not all of Hawaii's coffee is of the high quality of Kona.  The only coffee produced in Hawaii that can truly be called Kona coffee have been harvested in the North and South districts of Kona.  Additionally, it is important to remember that many coffee manufacturers advertise their coffee as Kona coffee, when it is actually a blend of inferior coffee beans that contains a small proportion of Kona coffee beans.  Hawaii employs a vigorous grading process and elite Kona coffee beans make up between 5% and 10% of the total Hawaiian coffee harvests.