The Geography of the Coffee Bean: The 3 Main Coffee-Growing Regions

the geography of coffee

Cabin Door Coffee

Coffee. It’s not just a simple plant in any old garden . . . coffee = landscape + climate + elevation.

Attention all Map-of-the-World Lovers!  Boots here, as promised, to talk more about the Geography of Coffee.   And to keep it interesting, I am going to keep it brief.  As our friend Bill Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”  Now I don’t know that my end goal today is Coffee Wit, but I am going to do my best to stir your interest in the geography of coffee.

Coffee is Geography . . . Geography is Coffee  

The 3 main coffee regions of the world:

  1. Latin America: well-balanced; crisp and bright acidity; more consistent quality
  2. Africa/Arabia: exotic; berry, citrusy/grapefruity, and spicy flavors; more unpredictable
  3. Asia/Pacific: full-bodied; spicy, herbally; depth; pairs well with savory
  4. These regions each have unique and distinct, geographically-inspired taste profiles.

All of this base-camp info will ultimately lead to me walking you through a coffee tasting at the end of all this fascinating Geography stuff.   Next?  We will look at how to “taste” coffee and identify the characteristics that help you to identify region.  But in the meantime, I am feeling some camp stories percolating to the surface.  I might have to explore some of those before looking at coffee tasting.

And if you are interested in this kind of stuff — I am! –then you will be surprised that you can not only taste but actually smell the geography of the bean before you even slurp.

So have some fun today just enjoying the flavor of your coffee.  Appreciate how very far those little beans in their burlap sacks had to travel to give you so much pleasure.

Who doesn’t want a map of the world on the wall? And it’s so inexpensive! I have two maps posted in my cabin: one in the kitchen and one in the little house with the crescent moon cut out of the door.

Rand McNally Signature Map of the World

http://amzn.to/2cu3Ih2

This paperback looks so awesome!  Who doesn’t want to know the secrets to happiness?  I am thinking: I must order this.

Happy: Secrets to Happiness from the Cultures of the World

http://amzn.to/2cu1UVw

Have you heard this music?  It is simply the best in collaboration, talent, creativity, and musicality . . . all from around the world.  

 Songs Around The World (CD + DVD)

http://amzn.to/2cyp4u3

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Seeking Higher Ground & Following Random and True Directions

IMG_3112. keep your heart pointing trueBoots here on this beautiful summer day . . . pointing my compass and seeking Higher Ground today . . . and keeping my heart pointed true.

It seems as if some days my compass gets swiveled around and I find myself turning around in circles.  I think we all experience this from time to time.  Not knowing which way our compass is pointing or from which direction the winds are blowing or how high the river is going to rise.   There are so many uncertainties in life.

It is when I am out in the wilderness and trying to figure out which way to go on a “gently-used” (read invisible) trail when I most have to rely on my compass.  And on my internal compass — my intuition — as well.  There is something about aligning my intuition with the jittering of the compass needle that makes me feel ultra-alive.  Add to this a tiny and disconcerting sliver of the great unknown that lies ahead . . . you have a pretty good recipe for being in the moment.

Well, I am here now clacking away on the keyboard, so that must mean that I chose the right and true directions out there in the woods.   Still, this is not to say that I haven’t arrived home or back in camp without some mean bruises, scrapes, blackberry scratches, and nettle stings to remind me that lucky as I am to feel “found” again, it wasn’t without some discomfort along the trail.

Like life, we don’t really ever know if we have chosen the perfect directions . . . those directions that lead us to a sense of home, unscathed and happy.  There are always going to be forks in the trail, creeks to be forded, blazes that are tricky to find.

I once asked an old-timer, this tough Bull of the Woods, why blazes were cut so high up on the trees?  He answered me with one word, “Snow.”  Blazes, the recognizable scars you see high up on trees, are marked to establish a true line.  This line is run by what is called a “random and true” line method, ensuring that the trail can be followed through the woods.  Blazes are cut high up on the tree to allow for them to read during the wintertime’s heavy snowfall.

If you have ever been on skis or snowshoes in the forest in the dead of winter, you know how amazingly well a trail can hide in the wintertime.  So, a resounding Yay! for those who have gone before us with the foresight of cutting those blazes high for us — no matter how high the snow gets, we are still able to follow that random and true line.  [And I sometimes wonder if this foresight was learned partially by some tough-love from Mother Nature.]

So, if you are going to be relying on blazes, you have to take your eyes off the ground and look up for that random and true line that will lead you back home.

All of this to say, the change-ability of life is inevitable.  But the compass, if I trust it, will point in the direction that will determine my new destiny. When I think on it, true directions aren’t always going to be the Easy Path in life.  Sometimes it means doing what I have to do, reminding myself on a daily basis that this current paradigm is temporary.  That sometimes life kind of sucks and I feel kind of lost . . . and it’s up to me to get out my compass, line up with true north, and head off on a new adventure that will lead me out of my current temporary into a whole new feeling of temporary.

I listen to this music and see all of the collaborative effort that went into its recording.  It takes a lot of energy to make stuff like this happen.  I respect it. And I also respect the effort that people put into reaching a higher level of consciousness.

Here is some great music for you to check out!  Click on the images/links below.  Have a fantastic day, listen to good music, follow the blazes, and head in your true directions.

Keep your heart pointed true.

Songs Around The World (CD + DVD)

http://amzn.to/2aPFLSX

PFC 2: Songs Around The World [CD/DVD Combo]

http://amzn.to/2aPFpvh

PFC3: Songs Around The World [CD/DVD Combo]

http://amzn.to/2aPFfUK

Playing For Change: Peace Through Music: DVD

http://amzn.to/2aSQf0E