Environmental factors leave a great impact on the flavor a coffee bean may express. The topography, altitude and soil composition all determine the flavor profile of coffee beans belonging to that region.
Every coffee cultivar has its specific taste and aroma, but same cultivar if grown in different regions of world, begins to demonstrate variety in flavor. So not only it’s about the variety of the plant, rainfall, sunshine, and altitude and soil composition all together play important role in the final flavor the beans give off.
When producers are well aware of combinations of all factors that may affect the coffee flavor, they can make better decisions while cultivating new coffee trees and harvesting even better coffee. A coffee tree takes almost four years before it shows flowering. One additional year is required to obtain final coffee cherries.
Planting an extravagant variety cannot guarantee success for a producer. More delicate the variety chosen, higher is its maintenance demand. Furthermore if the climatic conditions of a region aren’t right for a variety, the yield will be disastrous no matter what. For example any Arabica varietal grows best between the altitude of 1,800 and 6,300 feet. The region must not present very warm temperature range; 15 – 24 degrees Celsius works best for Arabica. Moreover 1,500-2,500mm of annual rainfall must be available to the Arabica plants.
Robusta variety can however survive higher temperature and less rainfall. It also shows better resistance to diseases. A producer must also decide which processing method suits best which variety. Climatic factor once again play key role when this decision is made. Regions with scarce water supply cannot support wet processing, while regions with plenty of rainfall make natural processing too risky to be done. Many producers keep experimenting with different combination of factors to get better scores out of their coffee and to do so, being informed is the key.
Depending upon the location a producer must carefully calibrate all factors before entering the coffee planting business if he or she wishes to get a good return on investment and produce quality coffee.