There are various subtle flavors that can be tasted in an organic coffee bean. One of the factors that affect the coffee beans’ flavor is the land where it is grown. Coffee grown in higher altitudes and elevations produce harder and denser beans which are more rich and flavorful.
Growing ideal coffee at higher elevations ranges between 3,000 to 6,000 feet. The ideal climate to grow coffee is sunny, frost-free, around 60 to 70°F year-round, and with moderate rainfall of 80 inches.
The Higher the Elevation, the More Distinctive the Flavor
In some regions and countries, there are technical terms in order to identify a high elevation lot. Like in Central America, coffees grown above 3,000 feet can be called “Hard Bean”, while coffees grown at 4,500 feet or more can be called “Strictly Hard Bean”. This allows the customer, retailer, and roaster to identify what altitude the coffee was grown at and what flavor to expect from the coffee.
Here is the effect of elevation on coffee beans:About 3,000 feet – coffee contains a smooth and sweet flavorAt 4,000 feet – coffee has nutty or chocolate overtonesAt 5,000 feet – coffee has hints of fruit and spice
High elevation coffees may have a lower yield per plant, however, they have a higher market value. That is why most coffee products often note the elevation on the bag.