Growing Coffee in Central America

Posted on Mar 19, 2012

Growing Coffee in Central America

As far as coffee-producing regions go, Central America is almost the opposite of Africa. Sure, they share some important characteristics – proximity to the sun along the equator, for example – but the similarities basically end there.

First, Central American climate is more heavily influenced by the oceans than is Africa simply because Central America is a comparatively tiny swath of land. In addition, Central America’s lack of size is a reason there is more focus on growing coffees that have high yield and short branch-to-branch distance…it’s simply more profitable to grow that kind of coffee in Central America.

Second, Central America focuses mostly on Arabica coffee. Its elevation is much more suited to this kind of coffee, with many mountainous regions dominating the landscape even on the narrow strips of land that connect North America to South America. This rich environment has also led to a number of Arabica varieties being cultivated across Central America, the most central of which include Bourbon, Geisha, and Caturra.

The soil of Central America is well-suited to growing coffee in general, especially in the higher-elevation areas. The consistent temperatures in these areas makes for good, hearty coffee growing, and offer a general “cooling off” from the rest of the warmer areas of Central America.