The Tropic of Cancer, latitude approximately 23°27′ N of the terrestrial Equator, is commonly held to be the incubator for the perfect cup of coffee. It’s here that coffee berries ripen into coffee beans. Between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (known as Robusta) thrive at altitudes ranging from about 650 to 6,500 feet to mature and be selectively picked and processed for shipping.
There’s something both satisfying and alluring in knowing that the depth and aroma of your morning espresso began in the dark mysterious tropics in a region that receives a higher dose of the Sun’s energy than anywhere else on the planet. It’s no wonder that coffee is considered to be a drink of well –being in Italy and the inspirational muse of musicians, writers, artists and just about everybody else in the world.
Most coffee aficionados agree that the best coffees in the world are grown mainly on mountainsides between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Here the climate, altitude and soil combine to create the optimum environment for the beans to grow and thrive. These are coffees of substance and quality with attributes that rival a fine wine. Complex with a superb finish and a sensory memory that lingers, they are the among the most esteemed coffees in the world. It’s no wonder coffees born within this latitude have an attitude, some commanding retail prices well over $100.00 a pound.
Who are these fashionistas of the coffee world? According to Forbes.com they include the citrus honey flavored Hacienda la Esmeralda Geisha from Panama, Fazenda Santa Ines from Brazil and a coffee made from coffee cherries that have been eaten by the common palm civet, a small cat-like carnivore that lives in Southeast Asia. The outer pulp of the fruit is digested and the coffee beans are supposedly excreted unscathed. Said to be sweeter as a result, the beans pass onto the jungle floor where they are hand collected, processed and roasted to make kopi luwak (civet coffee), reputedly the best of all coffees because the palm civets “pluck and eat only the most perfectly ripe cherries”. I think this might just qualify for Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods vending machine.
Since the perfect spot for growing the little green berries that ripen into coffee beans is between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, it only seems logical that coffee drinkers have a special position on the astrological charts somewhere between Cancer and Capricorn. Java junkies can buy their own horoscope inspired coffee mug and birth date aside, choice can now be made on their love of coffee.
Coffee lovers first began peering into the future in the 16th century coffee-house interpreting the patterns formed by the residue after the coffee was drunk . These coffee horoscope readings still exist, in fact the tradition of Tasseography, tea leaf and Turkish coffee reading is available on your iPhone and iPod touch. According to the publishers description “touch the leftover leaves or grounds and you will learn about the future of your life”.
So what particular traits are shared by those born under the bean. Capricans (Capricorn/Cancer) tend to order the same coffee beverage without exception and can’t seem to decide between a single or double shot. They’re highly influenced by the position of Starbucks and their sign is an overturned cup. As far as predictions for the future; it’s bound to be a daily grind.
It’s cold and snowy in Indiana and rainy in Florida and California but somewhere in the world it’s warm and sunny and the perfect spot for growing the little green berries that ripen into coffee beans. According to Lavazza, Italy’s number one coffee company, that spot is between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, where Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (known as Robusta) grow at altitudes ranging from about 650 to 6,500 feet.
These two imaginary lines that circle the planet are the roadmap to what many consider to be the perfect cup of coffee. A climate controlled chamber where the soil, humidity, and altitude coax the sensitive coffee plant to produce at its best.