The altitude in which coffee is grown has a direct impact on the final flavours in your cup. When you understand the cultivation of coffee it may help you understand your own likes and dislikes.

If you look at all of the world’s major coffee growing regions, these regions all have several climatic & terroir elements in common: Plenty of sunlight & warmth, rainfall, nutrient rich soils, and a certain level of elevation.


Altitude will affect the size, shape and flavours of the coffee bean - Arabica coffee prefers a higher altitude which results in cooler temperatures that in turn slows down the rate of growth - allowing more time for flavour development within the bean. 
There is also another benefit to the slower development which is a denser bean - denser coffee beans have more natural sweetness and complexity. The denser green coffee will also have a higher moisture content and therefore age better
Higher altitude coffee has less caffeine and therefore fewer bitter compounds, making for an all-round smoother coffee.



In contrast Robusta beans prefer lower altitudes and warmer climates. They grow quickly with high yields  Robusta plants generally thrive below 900m and for these reasons have a reputation for producing lower quality beans.


Coffee plants use caffeine to protect themselves against pests - these pests thrive in the warmer climates of the lowlands - however the higher you go, the less pests appear, which is good seeing as beans grown at higher climates have lower caffeine.