August 9, 2016

Why Does Altitude Matter? Part II – A VIDEO Guide


Altitude: it’s a magic word in the specialty coffee scene. You’ll often hear people tell you that higher altitudes means better coffee – but why? Is it always true? And what other impact does it have on the production on the coffee?

We went some way to answering that in our previous video guide to altitude, and today we’re going to take a more in-depth look at the matter.

SEE ALSO: How Does Altitude Affect Coffee’s Flavour Profile? 2 Must-See Videos

Our first video, from Whole Latte Love, looks at the different cup profiles that emerge at different altitudes. Marc and Morgan examine a range between 2,000’/600 m and 5,000’/1,500 m. Yet they’re quick to remind us that it’s not just altitude that affects a coffee’s profile: you also have to consider cultivation, processing, climate, roasting, and more. Just because one coffee is from a higher elevation that another, doesn’t always mean it’s a better coffee.

SEE ALSO: Exploring Processing Methods on an 8-Times COE-Winning Farm

In this second video, courtesy of Seattle Coffee Gear, Amber takes a more detailed look at why and how altitude affects coffee profiles and the coffee production – from rainfall bloating the cherries to the lower risk of disease spreading. Intrigued? Watch the clip to find out more.

SEE ALSO: How Ugandan Coffee Farmers Prepare Their Land: A VIDEO Introduction

In short, altitude won’t guarantee you a better cup. But it will indicate that there’s a higher chance that the coffees were sweeter and more complex; that the farmer had to do more work; and that, if they were processed and roasted well, they’ll making one very satisfying drink.

Feature photo credit: Dirk van der Made via Wikipedia

Please note: Perfect Daily Grind does not own the rights to these videos and cannot be held accountable for their content.