Coffee Origins (and the ‘Bean Belt’ explained)

Coffee Origins

If the ‘bean belt’ doesn’t mean anything to you; but you still have doubts about origins and their specific flavors, you have to read this asap.

While you drink your cup of coffee each and every day, you may sometimes think, that you have no idea what a coffee tree looks like, unless you’ve lived in a coffee-producing country.


A coffee tree is a woody perennial evergreen, covered with dark-green, waxy leaves growing opposite each other in pairs.

They can grow 30 feet (9 m) high, but in cultivation, coffee trees are kept short for easier harvesting. It takes three or four years after planting for the tree to become productive.

The tree produces fragrant white blossoms (some say the blossoms smell like jasmine), and then, nearly a year later, the coffee cherries mature.

A coffee tree produces continuously: One plant can be flowering, have immature beans and mature cherries all at the same time.

Each tree can produce beans that make between 1 and 1.5 pounds (0.45 and 0.68 kg) of roasted coffee every season.

And more:

A coffee plant prefers rich soil and mild temperatures, with lots of rain and shaded sun. It grows best in a band around the middle of the world, bounded by the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, known as the Bean Belt. Soil, climate and altitude affect the flavor of the beans.


While many coffee blends are made up of a combination of beans from numerous countries (or origins) across “the bean belt”, there is a nonstop demand for single origin coffee.

This means that specialty roasters are beginning to offer more and more assortments of single origin beans to their customers.

Coffee Origins

From: National Geographic

Though, as the roasting of single origin beans grows, it becomes even harder for coffee fans to make a choice based on flavor and roast.

If you want to understand that, check this Adams & Russell Wholesale Coffee Roasters infographic, and you’ll be able to compare the most prominent flavors from the various origins along the bean belt.

Coffee Origins


Are you a coffee origin specialist now? Tell us what you think about the subject!