Quality High Altitude Coffee Beans

by That's Coffee on May 16, 2011

Any coffee beans grown at altitudes above 3,900 feet and up to 5,200 feet are considered ‘high altitude’ coffee beans.

The high altitudes provide ideal growing conditions with the perfect combinations of temperature, light and lower oxygen levels. The specific combination causes the coffee plant and its cherries to ripen much slower than coffee plants at lower elevations, resulting in concentrated flavors packed into a much harder bean.

Dense Coffees Lock in Flavor

At first it may seem that the high altitudes hinder gourmet coffee bean growth as the coffee beans are much slower to mature. The coffee beans appear hard and dense. However, the slow maturity and dense attributes help lock in the rich flavors of the coffee bean.

Coffee bean farmers know that the higher-grown the coffee plant is, the denser the coffee bean is. Coffee connoisseurs recognize that the denser the coffee bean, the finer the coffee. The conclusion to be made is that the denser the coffee bean, the finer the coffee.

Classifications of Coffee Beans

Coffee bean experts classify the density of coffee beans by the altitude of growth. Fantasy beans rank the highest among densities and are the most desired. Strictly Hard Beans (SHBs) follow closely behind, trailed by HardBeans, Semi-HardBeans and so on.

Strictly Hard Beans (SHB)

Referred to as SHBs, strictly hard beans describe the best of Costa Rican coffee beans that are grown at altitudes above 3,900 feet.

To obtain only SHBs, the coffee beans are hand sorted. The soft beans are removed, designated as “Cataula” beans. The remaining SHBs can be sold for a price premium because of their dense nature and strong, highly sought after coffee flavors.

SHBs for Better Roasting

Because the beans are harder and denser, they do not break as easily as brittle and soft coffee beans grown at lower altitudes. The benefit is that SHBs are consistent in size when roasting, ensuring small pieces do not burn and large pieces do not go unroasted.

If the SHBs are also roasted in their high altitude place of original, they are likely to have a superior roasted taste. High altitudes are ideal for roasting as the roast develops quicker and at lower temperatures. This is an easy solution to overcoming the two most common mistakes made in roasting: baking and scorching.

To unlock the intense flavors capsulated in High Altitude Coffee Beans try some of the most highly sought after beans:

Costa Rica Reserve Gourmet Coffee Beans – robust acidity, highly sought after full body and light-medium roast that maintains the bean’s natural flavors.

Costa Rica Decaf Gourmet Coffee Beansmountain grown taste, full of body and aromatic sensations without the caffeine.

High Altitude Gourmet Coffee Frak Packs – includes pre-portioned packs of Decaf Kona Coffee Extra Fancy ‘Captain Cook Estate’, Jamaica Blue Mountain ‘Wallenford Estate’ and Kona Coffee Extra Fancy ‘Volcanic Estate’ coffee beans all grown in high altitude volcanic soil.

“High Altitude Coffee Beans”
courtesy of
your online coffee bean store;
Gourmet Coffee Beans

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