Written by Sofia Moore
Last Updated

Coffee is, indeed, a rich-flavored beverage almost all of us love to indulge in. However, not many of us are completely aware about its history and where those delicious magic beans come from.

If the first country that comes to mind when you’re thinking about good coffee is Italy, you’d be surprised of how wrong you are! Italians sure know how to brew a perfect espresso shot; however, the roots of coffee are much further than the birth country of pizza.

By introducing you to some geography, history, and some mind-blowing stats, CoffeeBitz is here to reveal a list of the countries that produce the best coffee beans in the world! Scroll down to reveal them!

Ethiopia

As you will notice throughout this article, we owe some of the best coffee beans to Third World countries. Most of you would be surprised to know that the very first coffee plant was found on the territories of Ethiopia as early as the 9th century! Legend says that it was discovered by a goat herder, after he discovered how energized his herd was after grazing there.

To date, Ethiopia remains one of the top coffee producing countries in the world. Just last year, nearly 393,000 metric tons of coffee were produced there! The two most famous types are Yirgacheffe and Sidama; both of which have a slightly sweet flavor to them. The first, however, is known to be more delicate, thanks to its subtle fruit notes and floral aroma.

Kenya

The second country on our list is also located in Eastern Africa, boasting nothing less than incredible coffee beans itself. Even though these countries are geographically close to each-other, there are plenty of differences when it comes to their coffee production potential.

On average, Kenya produces nine times less coffee than Ethiopia. The reason? The not-so-mild weather conditions. For instance, last year, farms were struggling to recover from droughts, and the year before they were facing the challenges of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. Nevertheless, Kenyan coffee beans are as good as it gets! The most famous variety is SL-28. Contrary to their strange name, these beans have a sweet flavour of red berries and black currants. SL-28 doesn’t sound that bad, after all.

Colombia

Moving across the Atlantic to the west coast of South America, lies a country famous for a variety of things, and coffee is one of them. There are many different legends surrounding how coffee came to be in today’s Colombia. However, if there is one thing that’s certain, it is the fact that Colombian coffee beans are delicious! What makes them so special? The climate which, in some areas, allows for two annual harvest seasons!

There is a multitude of Colombian coffee varieties. However, the majority of them have a flavor of fresh fruit. When it comes to production stats, on the other hand, Colombia produced nearly 15 million coffee bags last year, and is one of the biggest exporters of coffee in the world! I guess that’s what you get when you combine two harvest seasons and an international marketing campaign that last since the 1950s.

Guatemala

Heading north, there is a country significantly smaller than Colombia, but also one that produces coffee beans of incredible quality as well! The people of Guatemala started producing coffee as late as the 1800s, right after Europe’s invention of chemical dyes that tanked Guatemala’s indigo market.

The production stats have been increasing ever since, and this country produced around 3 million coffee bags last year. However, that number might drop in 2018, as there is a reduction of planted area. When it comes to the taste of the beans, on the other hand, Guatemalan coffee has a rich, sweet flavor similar to chocolate. The tastes is a result of the volcanic soil below the crops.

 

Costa Rica

In the center between Colombia and Guatemala, between the Caribbean sea and the Pacific ocean, lies a small country that produces coffee beans with rich flavor. Coffee production in Costa Rica began in the late 1700s, when authorities recognized the potential of their soil. Coffee was a major source of revenue for this country, reaching its peak in the 1920s.

A total of around 1.3 million Costa Rican coffee bags we produced last year. This number is estimated to decrease in upcoming years, mainly as an effect of the urban sprawl, which often forces poor owners to sell their plantations. The flavor of Costa Rican coffee is anything but poor! These beans have a very clean taste, enriched with brown-sugary sweetness, as well as citrus and sweet fruit flavors.

Brazil

No coffee list goes without Brazil being mentioned on it. Brazil’s first coffee plantation appeared in the early 1700s. According to the legend, the seeds were actually smuggled in Brazil, after a diplomat seduced the Portuguese governor’s wife who secretly gave him a bouquet topped with coffee seeds.

Away from the legends and back to the facts, Brazil produced an incredible 45 million coffee bags last year, and is one of the greatest exporters of coffee worldwide. What makes these beans so sought-after is their soft and nutty flavor, with a hint of bittersweet chocolate.

Honorable Mentions
Honduras

This coffee has one of the most delicate aromas out there. More similar to African rather than Centar American coffee, it boasts a delicate flavor of golden raisins, apricot, and raspberry.

 

Rwanda

This was rarely ever a country recognized for supreme coffee. However, they were the first African country to host a Cup of Excellence competition and are now producing some excellent coffee beans!

Indonesia

The islands of this southeastern Asian country produce some of today’s best coffee in the world. What makes these beans special is their heavy body, enriched with a delicate nutty flavor and a taste of chocolate, with just the right amount of acidity.

Summary

According to coffee-lovers and experts alike, the greatest-tasting coffee comes from Africa. However, countries from South and Central America are in no way behind! Although the taste of a cup cup of coffee does, indeed, depend on where the beans come from, choosing the right coffee machine to brew it is also key! That said, choose both wisely to enjoy a delicious brew every time!

If you’re specifically looking for organic coffee, check out our guide to the best organic coffee.

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