Is highland coffee a mark of quality for coffee?

Highland coffee may be called a coffee that has been grown in an area at an altitude of more than 1000 m above sea level. From an altitude of 1500 m above sea level, the designation "pure highland coffee" can be given. In Germany, however, it is sufficient for 40% of the coffee to have been grown at this altitude.

Highland coffee is generally considered to be a sign of quality, as the coffee cherries ripen more slowly from a certain altitude and thus develop a particularly mild and complex aroma. The cultivation altitude alone does not constitute a quality coffee. It is merely an indication that, together with other characteristics, can make a good coffee. Above 1000 m above sea level, only Arabica coffee plants are cultivated. However, this alone says nothing about the quality of the coffee, since Arabica coffee is not fundamentally good and Robusta coffee, on the other hand, is not fundamentally bad. But what should you look out for? Since there are basically not many labeling requirements for coffee, the customer does not have it very easy here. Therefore, it is best to buy your coffee from a specialized coffee retailer.

Indications for good coffee can be the following information:

Indication of origin

The exact origin, not only the country but the exact region and coffee farm, so that one can understand that the coffee has really grown under the best conditions.

Roasting date and roasting method

Not only the best before date but the exact roasting date on the packaging. The fresher the coffee, that is, the younger the roasting date, the better the aromas of this coffee are preserved. You may also find an indication of whether it was roasted using the gentle drum roasting method or the industrial hot air method.

Harvesting and processing methods

How was the coffee harvested? Harvesting by hand is of particularly high quality. This is because only perfectly evenly ripened cherries can be harvested here. Unripe or overripe cherries impair the taste of the coffee. An indication of a good coffee, it usually represents, if one finds exact descriptions to the processing method, whether these were processed wet, half-dry or dry.

Indication of the grade

If there is additional information about the exact grade of the coffee, such as SHB (strictly hard bean) the highest quality grade for coffee from Central or South America so you can assume a top class coffee.

Coffee type and aroma description

In good coffees, in addition to the classification into Arabica or Robusta, you will also find the exact variety, such as Bourbon, Caturra or Catuai, and a detailed description of the aromas present. Click here for our single-origin filter coffees and single-origin espressos of the highest quality.


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