Have you ever wondered where your morning cup of coffee comes from? Today, we look at the top 11 coffee-producing countries in the world.
In case you want a quick glance of these countries and the insane amounts of coffee they produce, I’ve made an easy-to-reference table for you at the end.
Brazil is the king of coffee production. It accounts for over one-third of the world’s coffee production. Expected to produce 3,858,000 metric tons of coffee in 2023, Brazil has been the world’s largest coffee producer for over 150 years.
Coffee was first brought to Brazil by the French. Ever since their coffee production has risen rapidly and still dominates today.
About 27,000 square kilometers in Brazil are dedicated to coffee plantations. These are mainly located in southeastern states like Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo, given their climate is perfect for coffee cultivation. Both Robusta and Arabica beans are grown in Brazil, with the environmental conditions determining which type of bean is grown where.
Brazilian coffee production is distinct as they are produced by a dry process, which means that the beans are not washed before they are dried. Most other nations wash their coffees, following a wet process.
Brazilian coffee is known for being clear, sweet, medium-bodied, and low-acid.
Vietnam is one of the more recent entries into global coffee production. Even still, it is the second-largest producer of coffee and is expected to produce 1,854,000 metric tons in 2023.
What is impressive is that coffee production in Vietnam only took off in the late 1900s. This was when the Communist Party went all in on coffee in the 1980s. Their efforts paid off when coffee production rose 20% to 30% annually during the 1990s, radically changing the country’s economy.
Vietnam found a place for itself in the global market by concentrating mostly on the less costly Robusta bean. Robusta beans are generally more bitter and are not as well-liked by people.
Vietnam accounts for 40% of the world’s Robusta coffee production, and only recently overtook Colombia to take the second spot for overall coffee production.
Vietnamese coffee has a mild body with little acidity. It is mostly used in coffee blends, as are most Robusta coffee.
Colombian coffee is known worldwide for its taste and especially quality. They are the third-largest coffee producer and are expected to produce 780,000 metric tons of coffee in 2023.
For those of you coffee geeks, you might know Juan Valdez. Juan Valdez, known as “the coffee guy with the donkey”, is a fictional character used in advertisements to create a brand for Colombian coffee.
The thousands of small family farms uphold a high degree of quality and place utmost attention and caution to maintain their high standards.
Despite setbacks in the form of climate change and plant diseases in recent times, Colombia has done well to perform in the coffee market.
Colombian coffee is regarded highly for its mild, well-balanced and fruity flavor profile.
Indonesia doesn’t really come to mind when many think of coffee. But, being expected to produce 681,000 metric tons of coffee in 2023, they are the fourth largest coffee producer in the world.
Indonesia’s climate is better suited for the cultivation of Robusta beans. First introduced to coffee by the Dutch, coffee farms cover over one million hectares of Indonesia.
Rather than large-scale plantations, a huge bulk of Indonesia’s coffee comes from small families working on their own farms. Like Brazil, most of the coffee in Indonesia is also dry-processed.
Indonesia is also recognized for its exquisite aged coffees, which farmers held for a while in order to sell them for a better price. Indonesia’s climate makes it ideal to store and age coffee which is appreciated for its deeper body and lower acidity. Even with current technology, this technique cannot be matched.
The home of coffee – Ethiopia – is expected to produce 495,000 metric tons of coffee in 2023. It is the largest coffee producer in Ethiopia.
Coffee plays a vital role in Ethiopia’s economy, with almost a third of its exports being due to coffee. In fact, over 15 million Ethiopians are dependent on the industry for their livelihood.
Ethiopian coffee mostly comes from 3 regions – Sidamo, Harrar, and Kaffa (where coffee was first found). The Ethiopian government has trademarked several varieties of coffee beans, such as the Harar and Yirgacheffe.
Ethiopian coffee is known for its rich, sweet, and fruity flavors.
Being the country’s most profitable export, Uganda’s economy is largely dependent on its coffee production. Uganda is expected to produce 399,000 metric tons of coffee in 2023 alone.
It has ramped up its coffee production in recent years, going past the likes of Mexico and Honduras. This is attributed to the favorable climate and an increase in the number of coffee plantations. Their coffee quality is also of high standards, being ranked 3rd globally in terms of taste.
Uganda grows Arabica beans as well as Robusta beans, which are indigenous to the Kibale woodland region.
Initially, the coffee industry of Uganda was a failing one. However, after the government privatization of the industry in the 1990s, coffee production in Uganda saw a massive 5100% surge.
Uganda coffee is known to have a dark berry jam flavor with low acidity.
Coming in at 7th place is Honduras, which is predicted to produce 360,000 metric tons of coffee in 2023. Coffee is one of Honduras’ leading agricultural exports and is one of Central America’s main producers. Experts predict that Honduras’ production quantity will surge in the near future given that it has the largest production per capita worldwide.
A majority of the coffee produced is by small farms, similar to Indonesia. The country specialized in commercial-grade coffee beans until recently. The specialty coffee output of Honduras has increased in recent times and is only going to continue to do so.
Compared to Colombian or Ethiopian coffee, Honduras coffee has a weaker brand and is less known. This is beginning to change, however, as Honduras also starts to focus on specialty coffee.
Honduras coffee has a sweet aroma, with fruity and chocolatey flavors.
Most people would tend to associate India with tea, not coffee. But it turns out India is the 8th largest coffee producer in the world. It is forecasted to produce 344,400 metric tons of coffee in 2023 alone. Given that tea is a much more preferred option in India, 75% of India’s coffee production is for export. There is widespread demand for coffee from India in Europe, as a result of the unique taste of Indian coffee. Indian coffee brand Tata has partnered with the likes of Starbucks and even acquired Eight O’clock Coffee in the United States.
The majority of coffee in India is grown in Southern states like Tamilnadu and Kerala by smallholders.
Indian coffee has a unique spicy taste to it, with aromas of wood and earth.
Peru is the world’s 9th largest coffee producer, which is impressive given a plant disease wiped out nearly half of the country’s plantations in 2014. It is expected to produce 252,000 metric tons of coffee in 2023.
Peru is one of the first countries in South America to start growing coffee. Interestingly, not much is known about how coffee came to Peru. Peruvian specialty coffee is becoming increasingly popular amongst local farmers who see it as more profitable. There are ten unique regions in which coffee is grown in Peru. It is not surprising that coffee beans from Peru boast a wide selection of flavor profiles.
Peruvian coffee generally has a medium body with lower acidity levels. The taste often contains fruity and nutty flavors, with notes of floral as well.
At An Quick Glance
Now that you know where your morning cup of coffee is grown from, why don’t you get to know more about how a little coffee bean came to conquer the whole world?