Where Coffee Grows

There's no doubt that great coffee comes from Seattle, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t grow there.

Most of the world’s coffee is actually grown in “the Coffee Belt,” the equatorial band between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, in three main regions: Latin America, Asia/Pacific and Africa. What's so special about those areas? They offer the ideal combination of soil, climate and altitude that coffee trees need. Arabica coffee, the only type we source and grow, is particularly, well, particular. It thrives in altitudes between 3,000 and 6,000 feet, where hot days and cool nights slow the growth of coffee cherries. This gives the beans inside more time to develop, creating a more refined flavor.

We've expanded our presence in the Belt over the years, opening our own Global Agronomy Center at Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica and operating Farmer Support Centers in countries from Rwanda to Indonesia. As you might imagine, our coffee buyers are frequent flyers; they travel more than 500,000 miles per year.