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Altitude or temps?

So my understanding is that it is the temperature of a coffee farm that determines if a coffee ripens slower and therefore develops more complex sugars and acidity etc it therefore not the altitude that affects it?

Sure there is a very strong correlation but not necessarily causation.

So, if in our pivot to a more data driven accurate and culture towards roasting and coffee in general, why aren't we putting average farm temperatures on coffee bag descriptions or as green bean sellers instead of MASL?

If a coffee farm at say 2000 MASL had a a higher average farm tempreture than a farm in another part of the world at 1500 MASL wouldn't the lower temp farm be more desirable regardless of altitude?


  • No and largely not applicable. Consumers of coffee don’t buy raw coffees straight from the farm and using temp alone gives us nothing to relate for acidity.......there are about another 2 dozen variables that matter more than average temperatures and these are often human factors rather than acts of nature. Let’s not even talk about the destruction of fine acids by incompetent roasters, hence what’s the point of reference......the finished product and it’s acid profile. It’s important not to get too excited by descriptors prepared by creative writers.......after all, their job is to get people hooked on what they are flogging.
  • Great question and love the response Jeff!  Myths exist because it's good for business.  I processed the pitiful 2 kg my young coffee tree yielded in suburban Brisbane.  Why was the coffee so wonderful?  I don't even know the variety of tree/shrub/thing with leafy-sticks and cherries..... It was seriously lovely... Why? How long is a piece of string? 
  • Thanks for the context and response Jeff, absolutely makes sense when put into perspective regarding all the other interferences at play
  • I just use the suck and see type method where I look at typical characteristics from the region and then take these into consideration when constructing my roasting profile - then roast accordingly Then I try whats in the cup and if I like it its a keeper and if not I make changes to the profile accordingly! Pat
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