What is the Coffee Bean Belt?

The coffee bean belt lies between the tropic of Cancer & Capricorn and indicates which parts of the world coffee grows in. The coffee belt passes through 70 countries, comprising  three continents ~ being Asia, Africa & South America. The main exception to this being Mexico and some parts of Oceania. As over two billion cups of coffee are consumed each day these countries need to work extremely hard to fulfil this quota! If the coffee belt was a literal line it would cover around 3200 miles across 5 continents. Read on below to find out more about the importance and factors within the coffee belt.

Why is it Important?

Despite there being 70 countries in total only around 44 of them are producing significant amounts of coffee, further stretching the finite resources that are needed to produce the coffee. In order for coffee to properly grow it needs to have the right conditions otherwise the coffee bean will not grow properly and a lot of hard work could go to waste. Below are a few examples of the major variables that are necessary in order for coffee to grow and the coffee belt to function.

Temperature

Temperature is probably the most important factor. If temperature wasn’t a priority then coffee could be grown almost anywhere and we would not have any struggle producing enough coffee since North America and Europe would also be part of the coffee belt. However, this of course is not the case. Coffee plants cannot handle huge fluctuations in temperature so that would rule the UK out for sure! Coffee plants need a constant temperature between 15-30 degrees.

Soil

Soil is also a big factor in sustaining the coffee belt. If the nutrients are not in the soil then this could potentially even kill your coffee plant! The ideal soil for growing coffee is fertile volcanic red earth or sandy loam. A lot of the countries included in the coffee belt also lie within the ring of fire as coffee thrives in these climates. In order to produce maximum coffee growth it is important that the soil is well-draining, meaning heavy clay or sand soils are not suitable.

Rain

in Addition to having the right soil and temperature you are going to need rainfall. Tropical climates often have ‘rain seasons’ these are vital as coffee is best when it can grow in moist climates. The majority of coffee farmers rely on rain as their only water source, so it is important that there is a good enough rain season to ensure the coffee plants have enough moisture to grow.

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