The Origins of Coffee
Where does coffee come from? What is the history of coffee? And why do different coffees taste different?
The humble coffee bean is capable of truly amazing stuff. Starting off nestled in the centre of the cherries found on the coffee plant, the beans are a hidden treasure cherished by people all over the world. In fact, according to the British Coffee Association the UK on the whole drinks around 95 million cups of coffee per day! But despite this world-renowned love, people rarely stop to consider ‘what are the origins of the beans I’m drinking’ and ‘why do different coffees taste so different?’
At NESCAFÉ, we’ve put together a guide to tell you all about where coffee comes from, the fascinating history of coffee, the difference between beans such as Arabica coffee beans and Robusta coffee beans and the all-important roasting process.
Where does coffee come from?
If you’re wondering “where does coffee come from?” It’s important to know that it’s not from just one place. In fact, coffee is grown in more than 50 countries around “the coffee belt”, including locations such as Africa, Latin America and Asia. These areas have just the right combination of altitude, soil and weather, providing the perfect climate for growing the most delicious beans.
African coffee is thought to be some of the best in the world due to its wonderfully distinctive flavour. Traditionally African coffee boasts the following characteristics:.
- Medium acidity
- Medium to dark roast
Latin American coffee
Considered one of the coffee capitals of the world, coffee from Latin America makes up most of the blends found on supermarket shelves today. The flavour is universally enjoyed which is mostly attributed to its well-rounded taste. A few of the key characteristics Latin American coffee possesses are:.
- Low acidity
- Light or medium roast
Our NESCAFÉ GOLD BLEND Origins Alta Rica blend is Latin American coffee at its finest. Grown at high altitudes, the subtle fruity notes and caramel flavours make this coffee a wonderfully rounded blend that’s perfect for savouring.
Asia is home to some of the most unique coffee blends with bold, unique flavourings unlike any other. Typically, you can expect Asian coffee to be:
- Gentle acidity
- Dark roast
Not sure which region you want to send your taste buds off to? Explore our NESCAFÉ GOLD BLEND Origins range. With unique blends from coffee hotspots around the world including Colombia and Indonesia, you’re bound to find a blend that captivates your coffee tastes.
Discover more about the world of coffee
Get to know your coffee beans
Another stop on the journey to discover where does coffee come from, is to learn about the beans responsible for creating the brews you know and love. It may surprise you to learn that coffee beans actually come from the fruit (called “cherries”) of the coffee plant. The cherries are edible but taste absolutely nothing like coffee, in fact, they possess a mild and slightly sweet flavouring – a far cry from the rich and flavoursome coffee beans inside.
There are over 120 varieties of coffee plants and each variety has its own distinct flavour. Most of the coffee we drink comes from either Arabica or Robusta coffee beans, or a blend of the two.
Why is coffee roasted?
Coffee roasting is the process of heating coffee beans to bring out the rich and aromatic flavour that we know and love. Fresh off the plant, coffee beans are actually green in colour and possess a grassy smell, then when they’re roasted, chemical changes occur as a result of the beans being brought to a high temperature very quickly. This change also causes them to turn into a deep brown colour with a wonderfully earthy smell. Once they’re roasted, they’re ready to be ground and brewed into your favourite blends.