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The Optimal Coffee Environment:

Best Climate Conditions for Growing Coffee Beans

For growing Arabica coffee beans, there are two optimal growing climates:

  1. The subtropical regions, at high altitudes of 16-24 (Illy, 21).  Rainy and dry seasons must be well defined, and altitude must be between 1800-3600 feet.  These conditions result in one coffee growing season and one maturation season, usually in the coldest part of autumn.  Mexico, Jamaica, the S. Paulo and Minas Gerais regions in Brazil, and Zimbabwe are examples of areas with these climate conditions (Illy, 21).

  2. The equatorial regions at latitudes lower than 10 and altitudes of 3600-6300 feet (Illy, 21).  Frequent rainfall causes almost continuous flowering, which results in two coffee harvesting seasons.  The period of highest rainfall determines the main harvesting period, while the period of least rainfall determines the second harvest season. Because rainfall is too frequent for patio drying to occur,  artificial drying with mechanical dryers is performed in this type of coffee growing environment. Examples of countries that have this climate are Kenya, Colombia, and Ethiopia (Illy, 21).

Robusta coffee is grown at much lower altitudes (sea level-3000 feet) in an area 10 North and South of the equator (Illy, 22).  It is much more tolerant to warm conditions than Arabica coffee.

For more information about coffee growing regions, ecology, and the best climate for coffee trees, visit the National Coffee Association or the International Coffee Organization.

Related Articles:

Planting Coffee



Coffee Cultivars

Harvesting Coffee



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