Interpreting the Info on your Coffee Bag (Part Seven - Elevation)

June 03, 2019

Is higher elevation coffee better?

This is Part Seven in a series about the information on your coffee bag and what the heck it all means.

Elevation

Simply defined, elevation tells you the distance above sea level that a coffee was grown.

What it practically means is a convoluted issue.

Some coffee professionals assign flavor characteristics to different altitude ranges.

Others insist that coffees grown at higher altitudes are generally better and of higher quality.

Higher elevations have lower air pressure and lower temperature, both factors that can have impacts on plant growth. In general, higher elevation coffees are more dense than coffees grown at lower altitudes, and grow slower.

However, it is difficult - if not impractical - to isolate the effects of a coffee’s elevation to make taste judgments.

Elevation at a glance

What it is: The distance above sea level that a coffee was grown. Usually given in feet or meters.

Why you might care: Many assert that higher elevation coffees are better quality than comparable lower elevation coffees. This belief is questionable as it is very difficult to isolate the effect of elevation without introducing other factors.

Sign up for Slow News and get new posts sent directly to your inbox!

Recommended Articles

July 08, 2019

Interpreting the Info on your Coffee Bag (Part Nine - Certifications)

Should I always buy certified coffees?

...

June 24, 2019

Interpreting the Info on your Coffee Bag (Part Eight - Tasting Notes)

Does it really taste like lemon?

...

June 03, 2019

Interpreting the Info on your Coffee Bag (Part Seven - Elevation)

Is higher elevation coffee better?

This...

Coffee orders placed by 12:00 PM noon (ET) on Saturday are shipped fresh on Tuesday.