Coffee shops at high altitude


New member
Aug 17, 2021
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I am new to the forum I work in a hotel in the French Alps the altitude is 1000m and we are opening a restaurant at 1500m altitude. I am looking into the feasibility of starting to roast our own coffee and serve speciality coffee but I was told that expresso can be complicated at this altitude? Does anyone work at or own a coffee shop at this altitude who can give me some advice?


New member
Jun 8, 2022
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You can start with the brave. Because the primary reason for the popularity of higher elevation coffee is its taste. High-elevation coffee produces that acidic, aromatic, and flavorful cup of coffee we love, while lower-elevation coffee tends to have lower acidity and little character in the cup. The real reason your barista is telling you about the elevation of the coffee you are about to drink is this. By saying that the coffee was grown at 5,200', it means the coffee should have a pleasant taste because higher elevation coffee usually tastes better.


Well-known member
May 11, 2014
Kansas City
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That shouldn't be an issue - Denver, CO is at 1600m and there are tons of roasters. In fact, one of the best cups of coffee I've had in Colorado was in Leadville, CO which sits just below 3100m. They roasted all of their coffees in-house. When I spoke to the roaster he said it was trickier at altitude and takes a bit long simply because they lack O2 for combustion. But that's almost twice the elevation you are thinking about... I wouldn't be over concerned.

Good luck... and FYI - espresso vs expresso


May 30, 2022
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Part of the difference is the boiling point of water goes down as altitude goes up. Most people have a target temperature of water, when they brew. If your altitude gets high enough, you may be knocking on the door of the boiling point of water. I live at over 1500 Meters of altitude, water boils at about 201 degrees F here. As an example, I would normally want to do a pour-over coffee at 205, but this is not possible.

On the plus side, roasted beans tend to de-gas a bit quicker at higher elevations.. due to the lower external air pressure.