Coffee Destinations: Why different regions around the world produce different coffee flavours

2018-10-05 09:58 - Anina Visser - PARTNER CONTENT
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Ever wondered if it really makes a difference whether your coffee comes from Ecuador or Ethiopia? Turns out there are a whole bunch of things that can affect the taste of your morning fix, including its home base. 

Around the world, coffee trees mostly thrive along the Equatorial zone between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Destinations along “The Coffee Belt”, as it’s often referred to by coffee connoisseurs, are popular for producing the best coffee beans in the world because of the ideal climate in these regions.  Still, each country's coffees boast a unique flavour and aroma. 

We set out to find the x-factor in different coffees from around the world and this is what we found:   

Ethiopia, Africa

Ethiopia is often coined as the birthplace of coffee because the first Arabica coffee plant was found in Kaffa, an area in the South Western Ethiopian highlands. The word “coffee” was also derived from the name of this region which is home to close to 5 000 wild varieties of the Arabica plant, according to UNESCO.   

Along with being the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia is currently on the International Coffee Organisation’s books as the largest exporter of coffee in Africa because the soil and climate create the perfect environment for growing the Coffea arabica plant. 

But the madness is in the method for Ethiopian coffee’s bursting flavours. “Processing techniques play a hugely important role in the final coffee profile,” Karsten Ranitzsch, Head of Coffee at Nespresso, explains. The floral and citrusy notes in Nespresso’s Master Origin Ethiopian coffee are a result of dry processing, a type of coffee processing that involves drying the freshly-picked coffee cherry (fruit) in the sun for longer periods of time. 


Colombia, South America 

Colombia is the world’s largest producer of washed arabica and the industry represents around 550 000 families, making coffee a matter of the heart for the South American nation. “Coffee is our culture. Without coffee, there is no other life for us,” Colombian coffee farmer Juan Carlos, previously told Nespresso. 

South American coffees grow in mountainous regions that stretches from the north (Colombia and Ecuador) down to the high plateaus of Brazil, according to National Geographic. “Our coffee landscape is healthy and holds a lot of life. The coffee we grow is organised around other crops such as banana, yucca, tangerines and oranges,” Carlos said. 

The silky and flavourful taste of a classic Nespresso Master Origin Colombian cup is largely a product of its late harvest. This process generally produces a clean, silkier taste as the coffee cherry – becoming a deep purple colour – is left to wait longer before being harvested. Colombian coffees therefore have milder flavours and are best suited for those who like a smooth drinking coffee, especially with milk. 


India, South Asia

There are basically two types of coffee beans used most commonly worldwide: Arabica and Robusta. Unlike Ethiopia and Colombia that largely only produce Arabica beans, India is known for also using Robusta beans. It is generally known that a Robusta bean has twice as much caffeine as an Arabica bean making it much more bitter.

The Nespresso Master Origin India also has a unique processing technique called “monsooning”. This age-old technique was once a natural occurrence when coffee, transported by ship, took on a high level of moisture from the ocean, making the beans swell and reveal a unique new flavour. To recreate that flavour, coffee beans were left out during the monsoon season on the Indian Malabar Coast to be exposed to the moisture-laden winds. 

Master Origin India coffee is therefore characterised as an intense, aromatic cup because of the Robusta beans and has spicy, woody notes from this monsooning technique.


Experience the unique flavours of Ethiopia, Colombia, India, Indonesia and Nicaragua with Nespresso’s new Master Origin collection. Five landscapes, five specialised processes and local coffee farming experts have come together to create five distinct coffee sensations all inspired by these renowned coffee destinations. 


This post is sponsored by Nespresso produced by Brandstudio24 for Traveller24.