Today is national coffee day, which is ironic since it's likely that your morning cup of joe wasn't even grown in America. The world's biggest coffee producers are located in the "Bean Belt" -- basically the tropics -- with Brazil ranked as the biggest coffee producing country in the world.
Good coffee growing conditions require high altitudes, tropical climates, and rich soil, and there is only one state in the good ol' USA that fits the mold. Hawaii has been producing coffee since the mid-nineteenth century -- before it was even a state. The British warship H.M.S. Blonde brought coffee trees to the islands from Brazil in 1825.
Although coffee is produced on all the Hawaiian islands, it is Kona coffee, which is grown on the Big Island, that is revered as the state's best. Kona coffee is grown in the rich volcanic soil on the slopes of the active Mauna Loa volcano where frequent island showers keep the plants nourished and protected from intense sunlight. Kona coffee produces such a deliciously rich, aromatic cup of medium body that coffee buyers have pushed Kona prices up in recent years, making it one of most expensive coffees in the world.
So, wake up and smell the American-made coffee:
Editor's Note: While Hawaii is the only state of the 50 that grows coffee, the crop does grow in the American territory of Puerto Rico.
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