Although Latin America was slow to enter the tremendously profitable coffee production business, South American countries now produce most of the coffee consumed worldwide. The origins of South American coffee are legendary, but the fashion spread from Africa and Arabia to Europe, the Far East, and then to the Americas.
By requiring specialized climatic conditions to grow well and produce the tastiest beans, the coffee plant takes on local characteristics due to soil, altitude, climate, and other factors, only the best South American Coffee Beans are used.
Drinking coffee, in Latin America, is not just a quick caffeine solution. It is a rite that is part of the identity. People teach their children the family recipe, knowing that they will teach it to their children. And over time, they have become specific local customs. Colombia has its red wine, Costa Rica its dripping coffee, Mexico its olla coffee, Peru its past coffee, Brazil is coffee ...
Coffee production in South America
With its mix of high mountains and humid forests, South America has the perfect climate for growing coffee beans.
There are different types of coffee beans that grow in South America and both flourish in different conditions.
The South America Coffee Beans or Arabica beans, which are the most consumed, grow best in humid climates between 1200-1800 meters above sea level.
Robusta beans flourish at sea level and up to 750 m in height.
Since much of South America is at higher altitudes, it tends to be the Arabica bean that is grown most frequently across the continent.
Those interested in learning more about the South American coffee scene during their travels should not miss the following countries in their route plans!
Is South American coffee cheap?
Not really. A cappuccino is often the same price as a local 2-course lunch (menu of the day). The raw product is cheap, but you will pay a similar price for drinking specialty coffee as you would in the United States or Australia, which can really break the budget for backpackers.
How to make South American coffee?
- When it comes down to it, you just need clean boiled water and some decent coffee to make it better than what they serve in your hostel! Tour the kitchens and you'll always find a kettle, saucepan, or something more fun to make.
- Boil only the amount of water you need in the metal jug with a spout for a few minutes (use bottled water if you are not sure whether to use tap water)
- Take it off the heat once it is boiled, as you want to add the coffee when it is a little below the boiling temperature (around 95 degrees Celsius)
- Keeping the sock dry, add one heaping tablespoon (per cup) of coarse ground coffee
- Hold the metal handle, soak the sock in hot water, and let it sit for 3-5 minutes.
- Take off your sock and voila, you have a jug of fresh coffee
HOT TIP: Don't forget to wash the sock and let it dry after each use. You should avoid storing it in your backpack for a long time as it will get moldy. And don't do what I did and leave it in a hostel kitchen!