Coffee Growing Regions

There are many coffee growing regions throughout the world, producing two types of coffee:  Robusta and Arabica.  The much higher quality Arabica coffees are all we use at Lakota, so that’s what we’ll focus on here.  Most of the Arabica coffee supplied to the world is hand-picked on family farms (fincas) of 12-15 acres. Each coffee growing region produces distinct flavors and characteristics that they have become known for over the years.

Arabicas are high-grown (usually 3000 feet and up) with a much wider range of taste and, depending on the handling, are considered to have outstanding quality.  Most specialty coffee shops use exclusively Arabica coffee beans.  The higher a coffee is grown, the harder the coffee bean is.  The harder the coffee bean is, the better its flavor profile.  We carry a very wide selection of world-class Arabica coffees for your drinking pleasure.

A mountain set against a blue sky with rocks and grass growing around it


Arabica coffee is mountain-grown at altitudes of 3000 feet and up. You may ask why mountain grown coffee is better?  It’s kind of mysterious you know but the cool mountain air slows maturation of high-grown coffee and gives the trees more time to pull all of that rich yumminess out of the soil and it’s often shade grown and organically cultivated too!

Close up of dirt on the ground with little green leaves sprouting out


Our high-grown coffee beans come from volcanic soil at 3000 feet and up.  The correct moisture and soil nutrient profile are vital to the quality of these superb growing regions.

Coffee growing on lush green trees in a forest


Is your coffee shade grown?  Coffee grown in part shade protects the coffee plants from the hot afternoon sun.  The trees and foliage that provide this shade are also home to songbirds that eat many of the insects responsible for damaging the bark of coffee trees.

Coffee beans being hand picked from a green bush

Hand Picked

Large commercial coffee farms  (Robusta) use machines to harvest all of the coffee cherries simultaneously. In the small coffee farms (where we get our Arabica coffee), everything is picked by hand, one perfectly ripened bean at a time.

Below you find some of the growing regions throughout the world that are well known in the coffee industry.

South and Central American Coffees:  Home to many different coffees; Central and South America offer a variety of growing regions that produce a wide range of coffee for enthusiasts to sample and enjoy.  Guatemalan coffees are considered among the world’s best, as the different growing regions produce coffees rich in flavor, reflecting the landscape around them. For instance, coffees from the rich volcanic soil of Lake Atitlan offer hints of chocolate and cinnamon set against deep body with intense flavor.

  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru

African Coffees:  Africa is famous for coffee and Ethiopia is thought to be THE origin of all coffee.  The African continent is home to many varieties .  Kenya is famous for big, bold, intense characteristics.  Tanzania offers a milder coffee that has “all day drinkability” and their “peaberry” is a house favorite here at the shop. Ethiopia offers a variety of coffees based on regions within the country. Here at Lakota, we favor the unique and enjoyable Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, for its fruit and flower notes, and softness in the cup.  Zambia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe coffee is not as well known, but have delighted those who have taken the opportunity to sample them.  It’s certainly well worth your while to tour these fine coffees.

  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Indonesian Coffees:  Indonesia offers some well known choices, such as Sumatra and Java, as well as lesser known selections like Timor, Papua New Guinea, and Celebes Kalossi, from the island of Sulawesi.  Sumatra truly reflects the tropical environment it’s grown in, offering exceptional, thick earthiness, and body.  In comparison, Celebes is known as Sumatra’s cultured cousin – offering a brighter, cleaner cup without sacrificing the rich, complex flavor.  Indonesian coffees are also known for being naturally lower in acidity, making them an excellent choice for people who have stomach sensitivities.

  • Celebes
  • Java
  • Sumatra
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Timor

Island Coffees:  Coffee from exotic tropical islands are very expensive, due to their limited supply and high demand.  As a result, most companies don’t offer them.  These island coffees are beautifully balanced and famously rich, while also being delicate and mild.  Since these coffees are in short supply, many people  have only experienced blended versions.  Some companies will blend a small portion of JBM or Kona with a lesser coffee and increase the price accordingly.  Here at Lakota, we make a point of offering these exclusive, rare coffees… but here, you’ll find only the true uncut versions for the amazing experience they offer!

We offer only 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain and Hawaii Kona Extra Fancy.  We offer the Puerto Rican Yauco Selecto on rare occasion.

  • Jamaican Blue Mountain
  • Hawaii Kona Extra Fancy
  • Puerto Rican Coffee

Other Great Coffee from around the World:

  • Indian Coffee
  • Organics and Fair Trades
  • Peaberries
  • Specialty Blends
  • Decafs
  • Flavors

Coffee Origins

Often you will hear the term “Single Origin” (also known as a varietal) when discussing coffee.  Single Origin refers to the country where the coffee is grown.  The name of the country will often be followed by the growing region and sometimes the farm as well.  For instance, among Guatemalan coffees, there are three regions.  Coffee from each region is referred to as single origin due to the unique characteristics of each region, despite the fact that it comes from the same country. In Guatemala, Lake Atitlan, Antigua, and Hue Hue Tenango, are the three primary growing regions, each producing distinct and unique coffees.

Similarly, when you hear about African Coffee, this refers to the coffee that originates from several different countries that are home to multiple coffee-producing regions. For instance, it can refer to Ethiopian Coffee, which includes coffee from origins such as Sidamo and Harrar. Or it could refer to Kenyan coffee, which includes coffees from the Mount Kenya and Nyanza regions.

Ultimately though, single origin coffee will be identified (on each burlap bag!) by the individual country of origin, followed by information pertaining to the growing region and/or specific farm.

Such as these single origins:  Guatemala Antigua * Hawaii Kona, Greenwell Farms * San Jose Estate Nicaragua Jinotega

Lakota’s specialty BLENDS, incorporate two or more single-origin coffees to create a unique coffee blend that may be even better than the sum of its parts!

Check out  our coffee description pages at Specialty Coffee Advisor.com for more information about Coffee Regions and Coffee Origins.