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  • Coffee- How Do You Like Yours
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  • Simple Gourmet Coffee
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  • How To Choose A Coffee Maker
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    To get to the great flavour of Espresso that is enjoyed the world over it all starts with a top quality bean.When you settle back with an espresso coffee in ......... Read More

Coffee requires very special climatic conditions to thrive, and it only grows in
tropical areas with a steady supply of rain and sunshine. Even so, from its
origins in Ethiopia, where most of the beans are still harvested from wild
plants, coffee production has spread around the globe. The main producing areas
are centered on the equator, in a slim band twenty five degrees to the north and
south. Over seventy nations produce the beans, and the commercial value of
coffee today is astonishing. Almost a third of global production occurs in
Brazil. Columbia is the second largest producer, although it is perhaps the
better known for producing fine roasts. Coming in third is Indonesia, followed
closely by Mexico, where a smaller bean produces a very distinctive taste.
Although coffee beans can thrive at any altitude, the best quality beans are
often produced in higher areas. Brazilian coffee production is characterized
by large, highly ordered plantations that provide work for thousands of workers.
Coffee growing in Columbia, on the other hand, tends to be done at higher
altitude, in smaller areas located in rugged mountainous terrain. Poor economic
conditions mean that getting the beans from their point of origin to the
processing plants often makes use of mules, or possibly jeeps for richer coffee
farmers. Although only a small amount of coffee is produced there, Hawaii has
ideal conditions for coffee production. The plants flourish in the dark
volcanic ash of the Mauna Loa volcano, where hot sun and regular showers ensure
the perfect environment for producing high quality coffee. Colonization of
Indonesia by the Dutch in the seventeenth century introduced coffee plants to
the country that is really a collection of thousands of small islands. The
humid, balmy micro-climates of this area more than make up for the lack of high
tech coffee producing equipment, and farms on three of the largest islands
Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi produce most of the country's exported coffee. A
challenge to Indonesia's supremacy in that part of the world is Vietnam, who are
beginning to produce a large volume of quality coffee after years of standing
still economically. Initially Arabica trees were introduced to Vietnam by
missionaries from France, but the main plant grown there now is Robusta. Robusta
is also produced in large quantities in Africa, particularly the Ivory Coast
area. Africa is a relatively small coffee producer in terms of volume, but the
quality of certain roasts, particularly a fruity blend from Kenya, cannot be
rivaled. The overall flavour of African coffee comes from the large, dark beans
produced there and makes these coffees stand out from South American or Asian
brews. So next time you go to the kitchen to make yourself a cup of coffee,
take a moment to consider the origins of the coffee grinds in your espresso
machines or coffee makers, and the sort of conditions that were necessary to
bring you the perfect cup.