Coffee, unlike money, grows on a tree. In fact, coffee “beans” are the seeds of a fruit that grows on a coffee tree. These trees are finicky. They need altitudes over 3000 feet (1000 meters, AKA, a mountain side), but can’t handle freezing (or scorching!) temperatures. In other words, to get great coffee, you need to grow your trees on a mountain in the tropics.
We have grouped these areas into 3 regions as coffees from one region typically taste distinct from the other two growing regions: Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This distinction is somewhat arbitrary; a lot of factors influence the taste of coffee. Major factors include: country, region, micro-region, which side of the mountain a farmer picks from/has a field on, elevation, rainfall, tree type (varietal), ripeness level, processing method (getting the cherry off the bean), and drying times. You’ll find all this information and (often) more in the store.