Coffee Bean Growing Conditions Affect Flavor

Coffee is a beautiful medium for expression — that’s why we’re such nerds about the whole process. While many coffee beans look similar, their flavor profiles can vary widely. Some of those flavor differences are a product of how the beans are roasted. More of those differences can be expressed as you brew the coffee. However, the main flavor profile differentiator comes from how and where the beans are grown. Coffee bean growing conditions affect flavor, and finding your ideal coffee bean origin is a matter of knowing your personal taste.

Altitude Plays a Key Role in the Flavor of Coffee

If you take a look at the largest by volume coffee producers in the world, you’ll notice that many of those countries have vast regions of high elevation. Coffee trees thrive in these conditions. They need plenty of sunlight with a temperate climate that is frost-free. Guatemala, Colombia, Kenya, and Ethiopia all have huge, elevated regions that produce coffee. Coffee grown at high altitudes is often characterized by notes of fruit, spice, and wine. As the elevation lowers, the acidity softens a bit, and gives way to notes of citrus, vanilla, and chocolate. In regions like Brazil, and even low elevations like Hawaii, the flavor profile is smooth and mild.

The Microclimate Where Coffee Is Grown Produces Differences

While you may associate broad climate characteristics with certain regions — rainforests in Brazil for example — there are still microclimates within these regions. Microclimate differences can contribute directly to the subtle flavor profile differences you notice between different coffee varieties. For instance, a microclimate that receives a higher annual rainfall, or one with a different soil composition can change the flavor notes you notice. In Hawaii, it’s too cold for coffee trees to grow at an elevation comparable to that of Colombia or Kenya, so the growing elevation is lower, and that creates a different flavor.

Finding the Right Flavor Profile for You Is All About Understanding Your Personal Taste

If you spend years drinking the same coffee roast or brand every morning, you may not be aware of all the subtle differences that brewed coffee can produce. Do you like more acidity in your coffee? Are you a dark chocolate person? Do you prefer a mild, smooth finish to your drink? Tasting different bean origins and different roast styles can help you determine what flavor profile you prefer in coffee. At Dunn Brothers Coffee, we’d be happy to help you determine the best coffee bean and roast combination for you.

Find Your Coffee Match at Dunn Brothers

We love discussing coffee and experimenting with roast and bean combinations. We’re always excited to talk coffee with our patrons. If you’d like to find your ideal coffee match, visit us at Dunn Brothers Coffee in Coralville. To learn about all of our coffee roasts, using our event space, or our catering menu, contact Dunn Brothers Coffee in Coralville, IA at 319-665-2020.