South Africa is not a coffee producing mainstay and as such, beans used at Strictly Coffee are imported from around the world. We select only the finest harvests, which ultimately come together to produce a symphony of taste when masterfully roasted by our resident experts.
The history of coffee is almost as dark as the bean and as fascinating as the plethora of flavours that can be produced from a single aromatic bean.
Although archaeological findings have produced evidence of roasted beans as early as the 12th Century, those in the know agree that coffee originated in Africa (Ethiopia) and then migrated to Arabia.
The slave routes passed the island of St. Helena and later resulted in the colonisation of the Americas, bringing with it the labour intensive cultivation of coffee to a country that is the largest importer of beans today.
The migration of coffee thus formed a 'belt', stretching across the continents, banded by the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. The regions within this belt offer the ideal conditions for bean production: an almost steady 20ºC temperature, moderate balance between sunshine & rain and of course, rich, porous soil.
At last count, over 100 million people depended on the coffee industry as their economic lifeline. Fascinating to note that among natural commodities, coffee is only surpassed by oil in production capacity and economic value.
There are two main varietals of coffee trees. Firstly the Arabica, which produce the better quality beans and account for over 70% of the harvest. The second is the harsher Robusta, which accounts for only 30% of the worldwide harvest.
The current 'Coffee Country' count stands at ten top producers, which include:
- Brazil (responsible for about a third of all bean production) Notable Beans: Bahia, Bourbon Santos
- Colombia Notable Beans: Medellin, Supremo, Bogotá
- Indonesia Notable Beans: Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi (Celebes)
- Vietnam Notable Beans: Vietnam specializes in robusta production.
- Mexico Notable Beans: Altura, Liquidambar MS, Pluma Coixtepec
- Ethiopia Notable Beans: Harrar, Sidamo, Yirgacheffe
- India Notable Beans: Mysore, Monsooned Malabar
- Guatemala Notable Beans: Atitlan, Huehuetenango
- Côte d'Ivoire Notable Bean: Côte d'Ivoire specializes in robusta production.
- Uganda Notable Bean: Bugisu