U.S.A. Coffee - You Think Importing Oil is Bad?

Posted by Woodshed Roast on 8/8/2014 to General
The United States is one of the largest consumers of coffee and oil in the world. But while the U.S. can actually produce its own domestic oil, it does have major challenges in terms of coffee production simply because the coffee plants have very particular needs in terms of soil and climate. Most of the U.S. doesn't fit into those needs.

The "Coffee Belt" is the tropics - a pretty narrow stretch of the globe between the the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, where the soil is rich, the climate is tropical and elevations can reach from sea level up to about 6,000 feet. The only place in the U.S. that fit into those criteria is Hawai'i, which is the home for Kona coffee - now considered one of the priciest in the world due to its increasing popularity. 

The U.S. is considered a mighty superpower when it comes to manufacturing and production of various products, but coffee? If coffee production was it's own World Cup, the U.S. would not be close to even making the tournament as a top-32 country. Hawai'i represents the U.S. as 39th in the world in coffee production at about 6 million pounds per year. To reach the top-32, Hawai'i (the U.S.) would have to produce 400 percent more coffee - the current No. 32, Togo, produces more than 22 million pounds in a year.

This U.S. number does not count the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, which also has some coffee production.

America's North American neighbor, Mexico, ranks seventh in the world with 594 million pounds per year, but even that pales in comparison with the coffee World Cup champion, Brazil, at more than 5.5 billion pounds.