How altitude affects the taste of coffee


Altitude has a direct impact on the size, shape and taste of the coffee you drink. Understanding why altitude is important when growing coffee will help you find a coffee that you like, and in turn learn a little more about your favourite beverage.

Arabica coffee generally prefers higher altitudes of 1,800 to 6,300 m above sea level and prefers cooler climates. You will find arabica coffee in a selection of coffees. It is better quality and usually tastier than robusta coffee. While robusta coffee prefers lower altitudes of around 600 to 2400 m above sea level with a warmer climate. In these ranges, altitude significantly affects the coffee.


Altitude affects the physical aspect of the coffee beans. If you ever get the chance and get your hands on a green coffee that hasn't been roasted yet, look carefully at the beans. Are they small and densely packed? Is the fracture line closed, open, straight or zigzag? What are the colours - dark green, light green or blue? All these characteristics are influenced by the altitude at which the coffee is grown.

The most sought-after coffee beans are the most hardy (altitude 4500 and above). They are very dense, due in part to the slow growth that occurs in a high altitude environment. They should have a closed fracture line, which could be zigzag or slightly bevelled. On the other hand, coffee beans at lower altitudes will generally be less dense, with a semi-open fracture. It will vary in colour, as the variety of coffee and process used also affects the colour.

In the end, the same coffee from the same farm may have a different colour even in its green original form. It also depends on how the coffee is processed. For example, it may be processed using the honey method, the full washed method or the dry method. Therefore, it is better to use the density of the beans to determine at what altitude the coffee was grown.


The main reason why coffee that grows at higher altitudes is highly sought after is because of the resulting taste. When grown correctly, coffee with a higher altitude will produce a more acidic, aromatic and varied cup of coffee. Coffee grown at lower altitudes tends to have lower acidity and not as full and varied flavours. And that's the main reason why baristas mention this factor in the first place. In general, coffee grown at a higher altitude will have a better flavor.


If you are wondering what coffee from higher altitudes tastes like, youwill find coffee from 1700 - 2000 m above sea level inour shop . In the taste you can smell orange and black tea. It was processed using the dry method, so you don't have to worry about high acidity.

You can also try coffee from Colombia, which was grown at 2100 m.a.s.l. You will notice apple, hazelnut and milk chocolate in the taste.

In contrast, you can try the coffee of Brazil - Campo Alegre. This coffee is from the Sul de Minas region and from an altitude of 950 - 1150 m above sea level.


Altitude is just one of dozens of factors that affect the taste of the coffee you are about to drink. But it's still one of the most important factors. Don't be shy and ask the barista at the café for more information about the coffee you are about to drink. And experiment with coffees from different altitudes and from different parts of the world - only then can you become a true coffee expert. So go for it with gusto.