South African Coffee Beans

Region: South Africa
Profile: Citrus, fruity, blueberry
Production: 210,000 lbs (<0.1% global production)
Global Rank: 65
Varieties: 100% Arabica, 0% Robusta, 0% Liberica

South African Coffee Overview

You may be surprised to learn that South Africa does indeed grow coffee. It was originally introduced to the country in 1854 with significant growth coming over the next 15 years. But in 1874, coffee rust decimated the relatively little coffee that South Africa had, and it would be over 100 years until coffee plants returned.

When we talk about quality Arabica coffee, altitude is a major part of the conversation. But there isn’t anything special about growing coffee at 5,000 feet above sea level. Instead, what’s special about high elevations is both the climate and temperature. As far south as South Africa, below the traditional lower latitude of the Bean Belt, temperatures are naturally lower and high altitudes aren’t required. That’s why South Africa has been successful in growing Arabica coffee at elevations as low as 600 feet above sea level.

It’s hard to get your hands on South African coffee, but if you do it’s something to savor with notes of blueberry to complement a well-balanced cup with notable acidity and strong fruity notes.

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About The Coffee Maven
bryan de luca
Bryan De Luca

I'm Bryan but most people know me as The Coffee Maven. I grew up outside Boston, Massachusetts and received my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Providence College. My first introduction to coffee was during my college days, when I used it as a source of caffeine to fuel late-night study sessions, but soon I became obsessed with the chemistry of coffee. How did changes to water temperature or contact time affect its taste? Why do beans from Africa taste fruity while beans from Indonesia taste spicy? I launched The Coffee Maven in February 2017 to explore these questions and help others brew their perfect cup. Welcome to my site, and thanks for reading!