Have you ever wondered about which country comes the coffee you are drinking? It is most likely that the answer to your question is among the countries that we show you below.
Immerse yourself in the pleasures of an independent cafe is something that few enjoy and many others want to find out. The fondness for this drink is more than justified by its gastronomic, therapeutic and even social qualities. Moreover, the fact is that a coffee lover is obliged to know which country the coffee he is drinking comes from.
Although you do not believe it, all coffees have a different flavor, depending on their origin.
It is not in vain that Colombian soft coffee has a premium quality in the international market, unlike the other producing countries. The attributes of each cup of coffee depending on the cultivated variety, the climate, and the grain benefit process, which are different in each country where it is produced.
Do you want to know more about the coffee origin?
Well, keep reading.
Here, we want to show you which are the most significant countries in the cultivation and export of coffee and some curiosities.
The Ten Leading Coffee Producing Countries In The World
In this updated list, we show you from highest to lowest, the 10 leading coffee producing countries in the world.
The American continent can boast of supremacy as a coffee producer is something unusual but authentic. It is followed closely by Southeast Asia and Africa, these 3 regions concentrate 70% of the cultivated grains.
In these regions, the cultivation of coffee represents one of the main items on which they sustain their economy. Let’s discuss it one by one!
10 – Mexico
Coffee arrived in Mexico at the end of the 18th century, just as it was about to gain its independence. It entered through the port of Veracruz, finally establishing itself in this state and in that of Chiapas, the states with the best environmental offer for cultivation.
Later it would also reach the States of Oaxaca, Puebla, and Guerrero.
Since then, coffee has remained tattooed in the idiosyncrasies of the inhabitants of the Sierra Mexicana. So much so that many of them believe that coffee is an old product, like corn or chocolate.
However, the tenth place is new for Mexican producers, who have been implementing the cultivation technification plans for years that have allowed them to be on this list. During the nineteenth century, the expansion of crops occurred in large coffee plantations. There the peasants had to work in unworthy conditions, not to say almost slavery.
Upon achieving independence, the sharecroppers of the large haciendas became free peasants owners of their small plots. In this way, the commercial production in large plantations gave way to a subsistence crop that is maintained until today.
It was not until the early twentieth century that Mexico began to experience its greatest coffee boom. He was concerned to innovate in processes of plant improvement, crop plantation, and roasting. This condition allowed the emergence of autochthonous coffee brands of excellent quality.
However, during the second half of the same century, many foreign toasting houses arrived in the country and little by little, they have been displacing the national companies.Today these companies dominate the market, with the production of blends of low-quality coffees that do not do justice to the best Mexican coffee.
Unfortunately, Mexico is struggling to recover its coffee tradition and the quality of its coffee. Today, it has good varieties of coffee and coffee growers, together with agronomists, roasters, and baristas, are still struggling to position high-quality coffee.
Mexico produces 4 million bags annually (240 tons) that represent 1.6% of the world coffee production.
9 – Peru
Coffee arrived in Peru in 1850, introduced by European immigrants to the Chanchamayo Valley.
Until the end of the 19th century, coffee production in Peru was a small industry. The production was destined for national consumption and small exports to Chile.
The rise in international prices in 1887 was the trigger for Peru to become an exporter of coffee to Germany, England, and Chile. In 1930 English capitals consolidated the Chanchamayo region as the most important in coffee production in Peru.
Currently, coffee is the main export agricultural product of Peru along with asparagus. Today, coffee in Peru is grown in the inter-Andean valleys and the eastern cordillera of the Andes, on its border with the Amazon rain forest.
The main cultivated varieties are Typica, Bourbón, Pache, Caturra, and Catimor, that is, varieties of Arabica. Therefore, the coffee will have excellent quality when grown above 1600 meters above sea level.
90% of Peruvian coffee crops grow under shade. These characteristics have made Peru recognized for the quality of its high altitude coffees. It is a smallholding cultivated today by 150 thousand Peruvian producers in about 330 thousand hectares.
Peru produces 4.3 million bags annually (258 tons) and ranks second worldwide as a producer and exporter of organic coffee.
8 – Uganda
The influence of Lake Victoria makes the climate in Uganda favorable for the cultivation of coffee. The influence of the lake allows maintaining throughout the year, temperatures between 20 and 30 ° C.
They also have two rainy seasons that favor blooms and concentrated harvests. In Uganda, coffee was already cultivated before the arrival of the Arabs. The European explorers in the nineteenth century found plants of a robusta type coffee, semi-cultivated in a strip that ran from West Africa to Lake Victoria.
The local tribes chewed the grains as medicine but did not elaborate any infusion from them. The harvest of the grains was done as a social and spiritual rite. The harvested grains were offered as a sacrifice to some of their deities.Only at the beginning of the 20th century did the first seeds of Arabica coffee enter Uganda, through Entebbe, the region where the British government was based.
From 1912 to today, Uganda’s most significant production of Arabica coffee comes from the established crops on the slopes of Mount Elgon. This is the West part of the Nile and the Rwenzori Mountains.
The soft Arabica coffee washed from the slopes of Mount Elgon, is known as a high-quality coffee called Bugiso that has been described as the “Blue mountain” Uganda. The rest of the coffee producing areas of Uganda produce Robustas coffees of lower quality. Uganda is recognized as a producer of Robustas since its production volumes of Arabica are very low.
The Robusta coffee from Uganda is characterized by its neutral flavor and by having much body. This makes it ideal for making mixtures. Ugandan coffee crops are tiny. There are not more than a hundred trees per grower. However, this does not prevent Uganda from producing annually 5.1 million bags equivalent to 306 tons of grain.
In Uganda, coffee exports participates in 30% of the national exports.
Legend has it that in the 16th century a holy man named Baba Budam made a long journey to bring seven fertile coffee beans from Yemen. This adventure could have cost him his life since in Yemen it was forbidden to export coffee seeds. Baba Budam introduced these seeds in the State of Karnataka in the Southwest of the country. Specifically in Chikmagalur, where 65% of Indian coffee is produced to this day.
Today the coffee zone of India is concentrated in the States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, where the coffee plantations grow under the thick shade of the trees. The coffee industry in India falls to 250,000 small farmers who own plots of less than 2 hectares.
The most massive Indian coffee production corresponds to Robusta varieties. However, some producers today opt for high-quality coffees. Thus, they have established Arabica coffee crops and have managed to commercialize directly with the buyer Microlotes of high-quality specialty coffees.
These specialty coffees in the state of Karnataka are characterized by their subtle flavor, medium to full body and moderate characteristic acidity. They display spicy notes of cardamom, cloves, pepper, nutmeg and sometimes tropical fruits.
India produces 5.8 million bags annually, which corresponds to 3.6% of world production. 80% of this coffee is exported mainly to Europe, Japan, and the Middle East.
As a curious fact, in India, there is also a coffee called Café de Monzón. It is a coffee that after being washed and dried, stored in large silos left open in the upper part so that the winds of the monsoon season moisten it.
These coffees can remain in the silos for up to three years before going on sale. Thus they manage to obtain a sweeter coffee, with woody and earthy notes, of low acidity and substantial body. This coffee is desired by some roasters to add the depth of the mixes of espresso.
6 – Ethiopia
Just like Africa, Ethiopia is considered as the cradle of man, Ethiopia is also designated as the place of origin of the coffee tree. The legend says that in Abyssinia (Name given to Ethiopia), a goat herder named Kaldi observed that their animals had an exalted behavior after having consumed some red fruits from a small bush.
The shepherd collected a few fruits and took them to a monk from a nearby abbey to see if he could recognize them and know why their goats had gone mad when they consumed them. The abbot did not see anything particular about the fruits, but he tried to make an infusion by adding the whole cherries to the boiling water.
When he drank it, he noticed that its taste was not pleasant and threw the infusion with everything and cherries to the fathoms. Then, it was there when the miracle happened!
The cherries in contact with the flames let out all the aroma of toasted almonds. The abbot baptized these grains as Kaaba, which means brown colored gemstone. Since then, coffee almonds are roasted to make the delicious beverage we know today.
Ethiopia annually produces 7.6 million bags of coffee beans, which represents 4.46% of the world total.
To be precise, the regions of Harrar and Sidamo are recognized for the quality of their grains. This coffee exhibits many bodies, a strong earthy flavor and an intense/spicy aroma with a chocolate nuance
The taste of the different African varieties of coffee varies from one area to another. Moreover, its production obeys a centennial process passed from one generation to another.
In this culture, its consumption as a social ritual is linked to coexistence, hospitality, and respect for the visitor.
5 – Honduras
For the second consecutive year, Honduras remains the 5th largest producer in the world. Moving in the ranking to Ethiopia and India, countries that have traditionally occupied this position.
Honduran coffee stands out for its fruity aromas and light acidity. The high altitude at which the crops are located (the average elevation of the country is over 1000 m.) As for the type of coffee, the Honduran production is 100% Arabica, being the most known varieties of Burgos and Bourbon.
It should be noted that Honduran plantations are grown under shade, a type of crop much more respectful with the environment than sun cultivation, which has a more significant impact on soils and ecosystems.
Despite having increased its production since the 70s, during 2018, the revenues were much lower. This is due to the low price of coffee, which has negatively impacted a large number of coffee-growing families, not only in Honduras but in all the Arabica producing countries.
The annual production of coffee in Honduras for the 2018/2109 season is estimated at 8.3 million bags.
4 – Indonesia
Considered the 4th world producer of coffee, its annual production reaches 660,000 tons (7.46%).
Here, the coffee tree was introduced in Jakarta (old Batavia) by the Dutch during the seventeenth century.
The consolidation of this product occurred after the Second World War, in the 17,508 islands of the largest archipelago known until today. Beyond the prohibitive Kopi Luwak or civet coffee, the Indonesian grains are divided into robusta, libalan and arabica.
The areas of Java, Sumatra, and Sulawesi, despite having an irregular production due to climatic phenomena, concentrate 80% of the crops. The best-known methods for processing here are Washing (PTP coffees) and Semi-washed (Giling Basah), something similar to the so-called Honey coffee.
Indonesian coffee is characterized by its enormous body, herbal aroma, delicious flavor, and low acidity. Depending on the area you may have smoked, chocolate and spice touches. While in Java you get the famous “Old Coffee,” a variety aged with more sweetness than acidity.
It is reported that Indonesia annually produces 11.5 million bags of coffee beans.
3 – Colombia
Recognized for its soft washed Arabica coffee, this South American country has very favorable climatic conditions and a long tradition in the production of high-quality coffee.
The annual harvest of Colombian coffee growers stands at 840 thousand tons per year. One of its most significant marketing advantages is that it has ports in both oceans.
Colombia is the largest producer of washed soft arabica coffee. The Andean zone in its three mountain ranges, eastern, central and western is considered the most favorable for cultivation, due to its volcanic soils, its temperate climate, and heights ranging from 1300 to 2800 meters above sea level.
The exquisiteness of its best varieties and specialty coffees is indisputable, being qualified in quality grades. The supreme represents the coffee with larger grains and is distinguished by its strong aroma and delicate sweetness. Follow the extra and the exalted (softer and acid).
In addition to their denominations of origin registered in the EU, the most recognized Colombian brands bear the names of the regions, farms or communities that produce them. These coffees are of high quality, and some of them are classified as origin coffees.
Thus, you can taste a Sierra Nevada coffee, a Nariño coffee and many others full of flavor, aroma, and tradition. Colombia is the third coffee producer in terms of volume, but it still holds the first place worldwide as a producer of soft washed Arabica coffee.
2 – Vietnam
Known as the 2nd most crucial coffee producer, it is impressive to think that this achievement was barely conceived in 30 years.
The coveted drink arrived in Vietnam through the French, when this area was called French Indochina. After the Second World War and under a communist regime, the coffee tree would play a fundamental role in the recovery of this nation.
The installation of a large number of cooperatives led to annual production growth of 30% since 1990. While in 1994, 60% of the population was below the poverty line, in 2014 it was only 10%. Although efforts are being made to introduce Arabica beans, most plantations here still grow robusta.
Interestingly, Vietnam is a significant operations center for Starbucks. Here, you can enjoy coffee with egg, with condensed milk or ice.
1 – Brazil
Brazilians can boast of being the largest coffee producers, with an annual production of 2,594,100 tons. Although this represents 30% of the total worldwide, its varieties do not stand out because of the quality they display.
In this country, only 20% of the crops are of Arabic varieties, and the remaining 80% corresponds to Robusta coffee. Arabica coffee is grown in the State of Minas Gerais while the Conilones (Robustas) are cultivated in the State of Espírito Santo.
Among its export products include, the ” Bourbon Santos del Puerto” homonymous in Sao Paulo. This coffee has a fruity flavor and higher acidity than other presentations.
It also highlights Rio coffee, produced in dry and whose distinctive bouquet is generated by a microorganism.
Today the coffee growers of Minas Gerais have managed to position coffee brands such as “Sur de Minas”, “Cerrado Mineiro”, “Mogiana” and “Zona de Mata,” of excellent quality.
For 150 years, Brazil has been the king of coffee exports and, given its climate and the size of its country, it is very likely that it will continue for many years to come. Challenges of the countries that produce more coffee.
These are the ten most important coffee producing countries worldwide. However, in addition to its characteristics, export volume and cultivated varieties, there are some other data that you should know about the coffee market.
The coffee industry is supported by 125 million people who work hard 7 days a week. However, it would help if you understood that the average salary for coffee growers does not usually exceed the average of € 255 per month.
The producers generate a total trade of 170 billion euros per year but earn less than 10%. The struggle for fairer trade is difficult, but we can all contribute to improving the conditions of those most affected.
Have you been surprised to see one of these countries on the list? Do not hesitate to leave your comments below!