The Ultimate Coffee Glossary

Coffee Terroir

What is Coffee Terroir?

Coffee terroir refers to the specific environmental conditions and factors that influence the unique flavour and aroma profile of coffee beans grown in different regions. These factors include the altitude, soil type, temperature, rainfall, and the amount of sunlight a coffee plant receives. The terroir of a coffee growing region can have a significant impact on the taste and quality of the coffee produced, as well as its market value.
Altitude is one of the most important factors in determining the terroir of coffee. High-altitude regions tend to produce coffee beans with brighter acidity and more complex flavours, while lower altitude regions produce beans with a heavier body and more straightforward flavours. Soil type also plays a role in coffee terroir, as certain minerals and nutrients present in the soil can affect the taste and aroma of the coffee.
Temperature and rainfall also contribute to coffee terroir, as these factors affect the rate of coffee plant growth and development, as well as the ripening process of the coffee cherries. The amount of sunlight a coffee plant receives can also influence its terroir, as plants grown in shady areas tend to produce beans with more subtle flavours and lower acidity.
Overall, the unique combination of environmental factors that make up a coffee growing region's terroir plays a crucial role in the taste and quality of the coffee beans produced. As a result, coffee growers and roasters often pay close attention to the terroir of the coffee they source in order to select beans with the desired flavour profile for their products.
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