Our beans' quality matter to us at Hug In A Cup. We have selected to offer you beans from the High Altitude regions of Mexico, Honduras, and Peru, giving you the best coffee flavor and most sustainable coffee.
The influence of geography on a coffee bean's flavor is profound. All our coffee grows in the tropics, where the altitude at which it is grown contributes significantly to a coffee's flavor profile. Mountainous regions of the Coffee Belt, a tropical band extending approximately 30 degrees north and south of the equator, produce the world's truly great Arabica coffees. Central and South America, southern Asia, some Pacific Islands, and mid to southern Africa represents the world's foremost coffee-growing regions.
HIGH ALTITUDE ENHANCES COFFEE FLAVOR
High altitudes above 900 to 500 meters and beyond provide ideal growing conditions for the coffee tree:
- A frost-free climate averaging 60-70°F year-round
- Moderate rainfall of roughly 80 inches
- Abundant sunshine
Cooler mountain temperatures provide a slower growth cycle for the coffee tree, which prolongs bean development. This longer maturation process imbues the coffee bean with more complex sugars, yielding deeper and more compelling flavors. Better drainage at high elevations also reduces the amount of water in the fruit resulting in a further concentration of flavors. The soil in which the finest Arabica coffees are grown is extremely fertile and often volcanic. These rich soils surrender hard, dense coffee beans highly prized for their potential to provide exceptional flavor.
The world's truly stunning coffees are grown between 1200m and 1800m. They are produced from fruit that is picked only when ripe and prepared with care following harvest. Generally, as growing altitude increases, a coffee's flavor profile becomes more pronounced and distinctive.
Our strictly high-grown beans include:
Mexico- 900-1000 meters
Honduras- 1300-1700 meters
Peru- 1100-1700 meters
HIGH ALTITUDE PROMOTES DISTINCT VARIETAL CHARACTER
Higher altitudes promote increasingly favorable taste qualities in a coffee bean. However, these flavor traits describe a green (unroasted) bean's potential to reveal its inherent flavors, known as "varietal character," that a coffee tree transfers to its fruit, which is then absorbed by its seed (coffee bean).
As noted earlier, a coffee bean's flavor is influenced by its microclimate that includes but is not limited to altitude, soil quality, temperature, rainfall, and access to sunlight. The varietal character also serves as a primary factor in a coffee's taste profile.
GRADING COFFEE QUALITY BASED ON ALTITUDE
Central America grades the quality of its coffee based on the altitude at which it is grown. Mexico applies the term Altura, meaning "high" in Spanish, to identify its high-altitude coffees. The designations reflect the value placed on coffee nurtured in cooler climates that a high-elevation growing region offers.
THE MARKET VALUE OF HIGH-ALTITUDE COFFEE
On the other hand, high-altitude specialty coffees generally command a far better market price due to their exceptional flavor and vibrancy, lower yield per coffee tree, and challenge to coffee farmers in remote mountainous areas who must produce and market their crops. High-altitude coffee farming offers truly superb coffees that represent one of the world's most affordable luxuries. Yet, altitude is but one factor that shapes a coffee's overall flavor profile.
SHOP our high-altitude collection here.