Coffee: a Worldwide Love Affair

In the area between the tropics, conditions are consistent all year round, with temperatures ranging from 15–24°C/59–75°F. 


A world map made from coffee

This is the ideal growing condition to encourage photosynthesis, the way plants use sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into the energy they need for proper growth. Photosynthesis is slower above these temperatures, and coffee plants can be damaged by frost when temperatures approach freezing.

Even changes throughout the day can make a difference. Experimental evidence has indicated that a large gap between day and nighttime temperatures is beneficial to the flavor of fruits. Since a coffee cherry is a fruit and the seed is in contact with the fruit, these benefits will be passed on to the seed and therefore into the cup.
  • Coffee grows in around 80 countries in South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.
  • Arabica coffee accounts for about three-quarters of coffee cultivated worldwide. It is grown throughout Latin America, Central and East Africa, India and, to some extent, Indonesia.
  • Robusta coffee is grown in West and Central Africa, throughout Southeast Asia and, to some extent, Brazil.
  • Brazil is the largest coffee exporting nation, but Vietnam tripled its exports between 1995 and 1999, becoming a major producer of Robusta beans. 
  • Indonesia is the third-largest exporter and the largest producer of washed Arabica coffee.1


Coffee conquers the world

14th Century15th Century16th Century17501855
Coffee beans are first roasted, ground and made into a beverage in YemenThe coffee tree is taken to India.The French refine the coffee making process by filtering off the finely ground beans through a cloth bag.The French design the drip pot for making a better tasting cup of coffee.Italian espresso made with forced water under pressure is launched at the Paris Exhibition.2 3


Nectar from a red fruit

Those aromatic dark brown beans we know and love begin their life on a coffee tree. These shrub-like plants are grown all around the world, from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. They bear round red fruits called coffee cherries, and the “beans” are actually the seeds of these cherries. After these soft green seeds are removed, they are roasted to bring out certain aromas and flavors, then ground, brewed, and—ahhh, enjoyed, one cup at a time.



  1. The British Coffee Association (2017)  Coffee Facts. Available at: Accessed 26/04/2017