The Role of Altitude in Coffee Farming: How Elevation Affects Bean Quality

The Role of Altitude in Coffee Farming: How Elevation Affects Bean Quality

The altitude at which a coffee is grown affects coffee in several ways. Higher altitudes generally produce higher quality coffee due to the cooler temperatures at altitude, which slow the coffee cherry's maturation, resulting in more concentrated flavors. The higher altitude also means that the coffee tree will produce less fruit giving all of its nutrients to a smaller number of coffee cherries again accentuating its flavors. 
Additionally, higher altitudes often have a richer more volcanic soil, contributing to the coffee's complexity. Coffees grown at higher altitudes tend to be denser and have higher acidity, which enhances the coffee's flavor profile. This increased density helps us to manipulate the coffee during the roasting process so that we as roasters can extract and accentuate different flavor notes from the coffees. 

However, farming at high altitudes presents challenges to the farmers, such as increased susceptibility to pests and diseases, as well as the need for specialized cultivation techniques to manage the steep terrain, This includes, picking and pruning by hand with increased danger to the pickers as the terrain tends to be very steep. 
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