Geography: The Coffee Belt
The Coffee Belt, also known as the Bean
Belt, is the area in which all coffee is
grown. Coffee is cultivated in over 70
countries, mainly in Southeast Asia,
Africa, and Latin America between the
Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Activity: Roast Your Own Coffee
You might be surprised to find out that
it is fairly easy to roast your own coffee.
There are a few different techniques, but
the most economical method I’ve discovered is using an air popcorn popper.
These poppers can be found inexpensively at thrift stores or yard sales.
Sweet Maria’s has a video that demonstrates how to roast beans using this
method; they highly recommend this
technique because it produces an even
roast. You can buy green coffee beans
through this site as well.
Field Trip: Mariposa Coffee
Company, Mariposa, CA
In Central California, if you’re heading
east on CA-140 E towards Yosemite Na-
tional Park, in the tiny town of Mariposa,
you will find Mariposa Coffee Company
on the side of the highway. Our family
discovered this tiny coffee shop last year
while traveling to Bass Lake for a day
trip. We glanced at the sign on the side of
the road as it slipped out of our view and,
on a whim, turned the car around.
We discovered a rustic, but quaint
coffee shop. Greeted by the barefooted
friendly owner, Gerry, he allowed us to
wander the property and offered us a
seat in his garden and a freshly brewed
cup of coffee. After our complimentary
cup of the delicious, steaming liquid,
he asked if the eight of us would like to
watch him roast a batch of coffee beans.
Of course we took him up on the offer—
another homeschooling opportunity!
As he poured the beans into the roaster,
he shared a little of his story and told us
about his unique coffee roasting method.
The incredible aroma of the coffee alone
was worth the slight setback in our schedule. We came home with two bags of the
batch we “helped” roast, more knowledge of the coffee roasting process, and
a great example of customer service.
Marla Schultz is a homeschooling mother
of six children, ages five to sixteen. Marla
graduated from a Christian college in Missouri with a B. A. in Bible and Communications Arts and an emphasis in Literature.
Her mother’s love of books and their family’s
missionary experiences in other countries
has motivated her to learn more about different countries, cultures, and time periods
through fiction, and to share that love of
discovery with her children. In addition to
homeschooling, she stays busy as the managing editor for Molly Green Magazine. She
also enjoys writing fiction, creating art, and
quilting, when she can find the time.
• Interesting coffee facts
• History of coffee
• The Roasterie in Kansas City, MO
offers free tours.
The Coffee Belt - key: 100% Robusta 100% Arabica 100% Robusta and Arabica