The Geographic Seasonality of Coffee
June 03, 2022
Did you know that coffee actually has seasonality? Much like fruits and vegetables, there are certain times of year when particular types of coffee are ‘in season’ or ‘out of season.’ This might affect availability as well as overall quality of the coffee.
Why does coffee have seasonality?
As touched on, the reason different types of coffee are better at different types of year is because coffee is made from the seed of a fruit. As coffee comes from a fruit, this means that climatic conditions around the world dictate which times of year are best for harvesting and therefore consuming each type of coffee.
As a general rule, coffee produced in the northern hemisphere tastes better from early summer into fall, while coffee made in the southern hemisphere is richer from early winter into spring.
The good news is that there is great coffee being produced somewhere in the world at all times of the year!
How can you taste if coffee is past its peak?
Unroasted coffee tends to taste woody or vegetal (like vegetables) when it has started to get old. If coffee is consumed too long after harvest, sweetness and acidity will get reduced in favor of this woody taste.
Which times of year are best for coffee?
It would take far too much time to list the seasonality of every type of coffee, which is why we are sharing this popular infographic with you. With this, you can check the approximate seasonality for coffee in every part of the world, and also check when coffee from different parts of the world gets imported by the US.
The availability of coffee from different regions is not set in stone. There are many factors such as shipping delays or weak harvests which can affect availability. However, here’s a general schedule for when you might expect coffees from these regions to become available and ‘in season’ in the US:
Winter: Central Africa, South America, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Spring: Brazil, Mexico
Summer: Central America, East Africa
Fall: Brazil, Yemen
In addition to this, there are areas such as Colombia, Ecuador, Sumatra and Kenya which are able to harvest for much of the year. These are often located near the equator.
Jack Vale is a writer in partnership with Werever™ outdoor kitchen cabinets.