Coffee producing countries and regions. Кофе regio

Our Coffee Regions | Café de Colombia

The 100% washed Arabica coffee produced in Colombia needs specific climatic conditions for its production. Arabica coffee is a product originated in the mountains of Eastern Africa, and its cultivation demands particular soil requirements, temperature conditions, atmospheric precipitation and certain altitude over sea level.

The ideal conditions for the cultivation of this species in Colombia are found between the 1.200 (4,000 ft) and 1.800 meters (6,000 ft) above the sea level, with temperatures between 17 and 23 degrees centigrade (62-75 fahrenheit) and with precipitations close to 2.000 millimeters (78 inch) per year, well distributed along the year. Although these conditions are very frequent, it is also possible to produce an outstanding coffee at altitudes of up to 2,300 meters (7,500 ft) or marginally lower than 1,200 m., and with different levels or frequency of precipitations.

The specific geographic location of each Colombian coffee growing region determines its particular conditions of availability of water, temperature, solar radiation, and wind regime for coffee cultivation. For example, the central coffee growing regions in the country present dry and rainy periods along different months, which allow harvesting fresh coffee regularly during the whole year. In most of the coffee growing regions in the country there is a period of flowering that goes from January to March, and another one that goes from July to September. The main harvest in these zones takes place between September and December, and there is a secondary harvest, denominated "mitaca", during the second quarter of the year. The main harvest and the mitaca could be alternated in other regions, in accordance with their latitude (see map).

Aside from the special conditions of altitude, latitude and climate, Colombian coffee growing has an essential attribute: the quality of its soil. The soil at coffee growing regions is characteristic for being in its majority derivative of volcanic ashes, which endows them with a high content of organic material and good physical characteristics for coffee production.

With those available natural elements, the people of coffee in Colombia carry out their hard work with different nuances, according with the conditions of the different regional environments. This variety of ecosystems does not only constitute a biodiversity paradise, but also determines the decisions of producers on the level of technification of their cultivation and the coffee varieties to be used.  Thus, in Colombia coffee plantations are developed under different systems of cultivation that include traditional plantations with lower productivity, on the one side, and those more advanced and technical, with sun exposure, partially-shaded or those considered shade grown, on the other side. In any of these systems of cultivation, Colombian coffee growers only cultivate coffee of the Arabica species, using varieties that adapt to their specific conditions of production, including the ones that are known as Típica, Borbón, Caturra, Castillo o Tabi.

In general, it could be said that Colombia's coffee growing regions are characterized by the differences between their rain patterns and their harvest cycles, and the altitude and temperature at which their coffee is produced on the other hand, in the southern zones of the country, close to the Equator, coffee is produced at a higher altitude and at temperatures that, not being extreme, are less elevated. These coffees produced in specific regions such as Nariño or Cauca, Huila or South of Tolima have different harvesting cycles. They have a higher acidity and other certain special attributes, on occasions very specific in terms of aroma, or sweetness, very demanded by sophisticated markets. Those regions are being developed as regional Denominations of Origin (see DO/IGP) and are developing specific programs of guarantee of origin.

 On the other hand, the coffees produced in the North of the country, at latitudes above 9° North, face conditions on occasions similar to the latitudes of the main Central American coffee producers.  They are produced at lower latitudes and in consequence, at higher temperatures. Also, certain regions such as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Perijá Mountains or the Colombian departments of Casanare, Santander and North of Santander, due to their climatic conditions and environment they tend to be more exposed to solar radiation and in consequence the cultivations are frequently protected by different levels of shade. Those coffees, highly requested by particular markets, have a lower acidity but a fuller body.  

In the center of the country is where most of the Colombian Coffee harvest  is produced. In these zones, known as the coffee belt (or zona cafetera), certain coffee growing areas of the departments of Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda, with others located in the North of the department Valle, conform the Cultural Coffee Landscape. One can find modern coffee cultivations that coexist with the smallest and more traditional producers. These zones, as the ones in Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Boyacá and the North of Tolima have several harvest cycles per year, and produce coffee basically year round with certain harvest peaks. On occasions, a same coffee tree gets up to 8 visits in one year in order to harvest its mature beans.

Sophisticated consumers from the whole world are increasingly aware of the importance of  origin  to select their coffee, and are continuously demanding 100% Colombian coffee Brands. However, some of them also want to know and to see the specific regions within Colombia where their coffee is produced in order to be able to fully appreciate the quality attributes of their coffee as well as the specific programs of Sustainability That Matters developed in those regions. In some cases consumers and clients are also demanding more sophisticated programs of guarantee of origin, which are also carried out by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation and its Departmental Committees of coffee growers in these regions.

Most Colombian coffee growing areas are located at certain altitudes in the Colombian departments of Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cauca, Cesar, Caquetá, Casanare, Cundinamarca, Guajira, Huila, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Quindío, Risaralda, Santander, Tolima and Valle. Growers in these provinces have created their departmental and municipal coffee committees of producers, which also belong to their Federation. These committees of coffee producers are in charge of looking after the interests of coffee growers of each zone. If you wish to visit the programs and priorities of each Committee please visit the respective Committee in the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation site.

Coffee Growing Regions

Every morning, millions of people around the world enjoy a cup of coffee to get a jump start on their day. In doing so, they may not be aware of the specific locations that produced the beans used in their latte or "black" coffee.

Top Coffee Growing and Exporting Regions of the World

Generally, there are three primary coffee growing and exporting areas throughout the world and all are in the equatorial region.

The specific areas are Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. National Geographic calls this area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn the "Bean Belt" as nearly all of the commercially grown coffee in the world comes out of these regions.

These are the supreme growing areas because the best beans produced are those grown at high altitudes, in a moist, tropical climate, with rich soils and temperatures around 70°F (21°C) -- all of which the tropics have to offer.

Similar to fine wine growing regions, however, there are variations on each of the three different coffee growing regions as well, which affects the overall flavor of the coffee. This makes each type of coffee distinct to its particular region and explains why Starbucks says, "Geography is a flavor," when describing the different growing regions around the world.

Central and South America

Central and South America produce the most coffee out of the three growing locations, with Brazil and Colombia leading the way.

Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama also play a role here. In terms of flavor, these coffees are considered mild, medium bodied, and aromatic.

Colombia is the most well-known coffee producing country and is unique because of its exceptionally rugged landscape. However, this allows small family farms to produce the coffee and, as a result, it is consistently ranked well.

Colombian Supremo is the highest grade.

Africa and the Middle East

The most famous coffees from Africa and the Middle East originate in Kenya and the Arabian Peninsula. Kenyan coffee is generally grown in the foothills of Mount Kenya and is full bodied and very fragrant, while the Arabian version tends to have a fruity flavor.

Ethiopia is also a famous place for coffee in this region and is where coffee originated around 800 C.E. Even today, though, coffee is harvested there off of wild coffee trees. It mainly comes from Sidamo, Harer, or Kaffa -- the three growing regions within the country. Ethiopian coffee is both full flavored and full bodied.

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is particularly popular for coffees from Indonesia and Vietnam. The Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi are famous around the world for their rich, full-bodied coffees with "earthy flavors," whereas Vietnamese coffee is known for its medium bodied light flavor.

Additionally, Indonesia is known for its warehouse aged coffees that originated when farmers wanted to store the coffee and sell it at a later date for a higher profit. It has since become highly valued for its unique flavor.

After being grown and harvested in each of these different locations, the coffee beans are then shipped to countries around the world where they are roasted and then distributed to consumers and cafes.

Some of the top coffee importing countries are the United States, Germany, Japan, France, and Italy.

Each of the aforementioned coffee exporting areas produce coffee that is distinctive of its climate, topography and even its growing practices. All of them, however, grow coffees that are famous around the world for their individual tastes and millions of people enjoy them every day.

The Coffee Region

Colombia’s coffee region spans across several of the country’s provinces and comprises an area of nearly 350,000 hectares. The region is home to picturesque landscapes, diverse plant and animal life, as well as a number of cultural and educational attractions. The beautiful scenery of lush, mountainous landscapes and coffee plantations, coupled with the traditional architecture of terracotta-roofed farm houses, led UNESCO to add the area to its list of World Heritage Sites in 2011.

What to see and do in the coffee region

The area is slightly cooler than the coastal region, for example, with temperatures ranging between 10°C and 25°C. This, coupled with the higher altitude and better soil quality, has provided optimal conditions for growing Colombia’s internationally renowned coffee. All of the principal destinations within the region offer tours of coffee plantations, which generally involve an explanation of the coffee-making process and some free samples of the local produce.

All of the principal destinations within the region offer tours of coffee plantations

The most impressive part of the coffee region lies between the three main cities of Pereira, Armenia and Manizales. It is here where much of the most striking scenery and the popular tours and activities are located. However, in and around each of the main towns there are also a host of attractions to explore.

In Pereira there is the Matecaña zoo which houses more than 800 animals from 150 different species. In the area are also: the Botanical Gardens at the Technological University of Pereira, a national park and nature reserve at Santa Emilia, and thermal baths at Santa Rosa de Cabal. Tourist operators here offer a variety of water-based activities on the Rio Barragan, including kayaking and extreme sports.

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Armenia’s Otun-Quimbaya reserve is home to howler monkeys and over 300 species of birds

In Armenia, there is an archaeological museum exhibiting cultural artefacts relating to the Quimbaya tribe who lived in the area before the arrival of the Spanish. The building is impressive in itself - it has been awarded prizes for its architecture - and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and water features. The nearby Otun-Quimbaya reserve, created in 1996 and covering 489 hectares, is a relatively small but highly biodiverse park, which is home to howler monkeys and over 300 species of birds.

The city of Manizales offers several sights for visitors. Highlights are the Governor’s Palace, a baroque-style building constructed in the early 1900s; the central square with its large Bolivar Condor monument; a restored railway station used around the turn of the 20th century; several lookout points offering panoramic views of the region; the Basilica de Manizales Cathedral and several other historic churches and; the ecological park Los Yarumos.

Outside of these three cities, the coffee region boasts a number of other draws. One of the most popular of these is Salento a small town notable for its colorful architecture dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many features of these buildings, such as ornate carved wooden doors, brightly colored design and huge balconies, are remarkably well preserved to date. Salento also has a great lookout point, situated at the top of 253 stairs, just on the edge of the main town. The area is particularly popular with budget travelers and a wide range of low-priced accommodation is available.

Salento is particularly popular with budget travelers and a wide range of low-priced accommodation is available

Salento offers easy access to the Cocora Valley, a camping spot with great views of the coffee region. The park is made up of contrasting scenery of mountains, valleys and foothills. It is also known for the prevalence of wax palms, the national tree, which can grow up to 70 meters in height. Finally, Montenegro hosts a Coffee Culture ‘Museum’, a kitsch replica colonial city, where visitors learn about the whole coffee-making process, from seeds to cup. There is also a cable car and other rides, as well as musical shows. In the nearby Bosque del Saman visitors can zip line through coffee plantations.

Getting to, from and around the coffee region

Pereira, Armenia and Manizales are all a fairly short distance apart and connected by a good road network, allowing for easy travel between the three. If travelling by taxi between sites, ensure to agree on a price first as taximeters are rarely used for trips between the cities.

Each of these cities has an airport served by direct domestic flights from Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin. Long-distance buses also arrive to these cities from all over Colombia, with Medellin (about 7 hours away) being the closest major urban destination. Getting to the capital takes slightly longer; taking about 9.5 hours from Bogota to Periera.> Coffee producing countries and regions> Products > Coffee

Coffee is produced in over 70 countries worldwide. Many of these countries have different regions with distinct types of coffee.

The following list shows the main coffee producing countries, the main type of coffee grown and some well known local blends. Coffee is normally traded in bags of 60 kilo. Figures are approximate numbers.

Regions where arabica coffee is grown (Source)

Regions where robusta coffee is grown (Source)


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 150.000 bags

With a landscape of snowy mountains, wide plateaus and tropical rain forests, Bolivia has ideal coffee-producing conditions. More than 90 percent of the coffee grown in Bolivia is produced in the Yungas area, a tropical region in La Paz with altitudes between 500 and 1,600 meters. Other important growing regions are Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and Tarija. The coffee has a fruity full flavour.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 35.000.000 bags

Vast plantations of millions of trees cover the hills of south-central Brazil. For the commercial coffee industry, Brazil is of supreme importance, a giant in every respect. Despite all the coffee produced in Brazil, none ranks close to the world's best. The Brazilian coffee industry has concentrated from the beginning on producing "price" coffees: cheap, fairly palatable, but hardly distinguished.

Bourbon Santos.  Also known as Santos. A market name for a category of high-quality coffee from Brazil, usually shipped through the port of Santos, and usually grown in the state of São Paulo or the southern part of Minas Gerais State. The term Bourbon Santos is sometimes used to refer to any high-quality Santos coffee, but it properly describes Santos coffee from the Bourbon variety of arabica, which tends to produce a fruitier, more acidy cup than other varieties grown in Brazil.

Rio.  A class of dry-processed coffees from Brazil with a characteristic medicinal, iodine-like flavour deriving from invasion of a micro-organism during drying. The term Rioy or Rio-y has come to be applied to any coffee with similar taste characteristics. The Rio taste is considered a defect by North American buyers, but is sought after by buyers from Balkan and Middle-Eastern countries.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 500.000 bags

Burundi possesses a tropical climate very convenient to the arabica coffee farming. Hills and mountains separating the waters of the two main rivers constitute an ideal environment for the cultivation of the arabica mild coffee. Grown throughout the country at altitudes ranging from 1,250 to 2,000 meters above the sea level, the coffee of Burundi is classified among the Eastern Africa quality mild arabica variety. Specialty coffee is marketed under the Ngoma brand name.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 1.000.000 bags

Rich volcanic soil, high altitude, adequate rainfallall of these things make Cameroon an ideal place for growing great coffee. Most of Cameroon 's coffee is grown by small landowners on plots of two to 10 hectares, and nearly all of it is grown in mixed-cropped farms.

Cameroon coffee has a full-bodied, earthy, chocolaty flavour profile, along with a well-rounded finish with hints of red berries.

Central African Republic

Coffee types : Robusta

Production : 100.000 bags

The Central African Republic only produces small amounts of coffee, which is a top-quality robusta, mainly exported to France and Italy for espresso.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 11.000.000 bags

Central Colombia is trisected from north to south by three cordilleras, or mountain ranges. The central and eastern cordilleras produce the best coffees. The standard Colombia coffee is a wet-processed coffee produced by small holders, and collected, milled and exported by the Colombian Coffee Federation. It is sold by grade (Supremo highest) rather than by market name or region. It can range from superb high-grown, classic, mildly fruity Latin-America coffee to rather ordinary, edge-of-fermented fruity coffee. Coffees from some estates and cooperatives and from privately operated mills are sold by region as well as by botanical variety (Bourbon is best). Nariño State in southern Colombia is currently producing the most respected Colombia coffee. Mixed Medellin, Armenia, and Manizales Columbia coffees are often sold together as MAMs.

Bogotá. Market name from the region surrounding Colombia 's capital city

Bucaramanga. Named after the town with the same name, this coffee is a soft-bean coffee, with some of the character of fine Sumatran coffees: heavy body, low acidity, and rich flavour tones.

Cúcuta.  Market name for a coffee grown in northeastern Colombia, but often shipped through Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Excelso.  A grade of Colombia coffee, combining the best, or supremo, and the second-best, or extra, grades.

Extra.  Second-best grade of Colombia coffee.

Nariño.  Department in southern Colombia that produces certain particularly admired specialty coffees.

Supremo. Highest grade of Colombian coffee.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 600.000 bags

Congolese coffee has a full-bodied, earthy flavour profile, similar to Cameroon. Mainly exported to France.

Costa Rica

Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 2.000.000 bags

The best Costa Rica coffees display a full body and clean, robust acidity that make them among the most admired of Central American coffees. Costa Rican coffee is grown primarily in the countryside surrounding the capital, San Jose. Four of the most famous coffees by district are San Marcos de Tarrazu, Tres Rios, Heredia, and Alajuela. Altitude may be a more important factor in determining flavour than district. Unlike many coffees of the world, Costa Rican coffees generally are identified either by the estate or farm (finca) on which they were grown, or by cooperative or processing facility (beneficio) where they were processed. This piece of information, which is usually available to the roaster or importer, is seldom passed on to the consumer except in the case of well-known estates like Bella Vista or La Minita.

Alajuela.  Market name for one of the better coffees of Costa Rica.

Heredia.  Market name for a respected coffee of Costa Rica.

La Minita, La Minita Farm.  Well-publicized estate in the Tarrazu district of Costa Rica that produces an excellent, meticulously prepared coffee.

Tarrazu, San Marcos de Tarrazu.  Market name for one of the better coffees of Costa Rica.

Tres Rios.  Market name for one of the more respected coffees of Costa Rica.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 275.000 bags

Cuba produces a typical Caribbean coffee, mainly grown on lower altitudes as in neighbouring Dominican Republic and with similar flavour profile.

Dominican Republic

Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 500.000 bags

High-grown Dominican coffee is a fairly rich, acidy coffee with classic Caribbean characteristics. Lower grown Dominican coffees tend to be softer and less acidy.

Bani. Market name for a good, low-acid coffee of the Dominican Republic.

Barahona. Market name for coffee from the southwest of the Dominican Republic. Barahona is considered by many to be the best coffee of the Dominican Republic.

Cibao. Market name for a good, generally low-acid coffee from the Dominican Republic.

Ocoa. Market name for one of the better-respected coffees of the Dominican Republic.


Coffee types :Arabica, Robusta

Production : 700.000 bags

Ecuador coffees are medium-bodied and fairly acidy, with a straightforward flavour typical of Central and South American coffees.

El Salvador

Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 1.300.000 bags

El Salvador coffees tend toward softer, less acidy versions of the classic Central America flavour profile. The best high-grown El Salvadors from trees of the bourbon and pacamara varieties can be fragrant, complex, lively, and pleasingly gentle.

Strictly High-Grown. Highest grade of El Salvador coffee.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 4.500.000 bags

Ethiopia is a very complex coffee origin. The best Ethiopia dry-processed coffee (Harrar or Harar) tends to be medium-bodied and brilliantly acidy with rough, fruity or winy tones. The best washed Ethiopian coffee (Yirgacheffe, Sidamo) is light-bodied but explosive with complex floral and citrus notes.

Djimah, Djimma, Jimma. Washed Djimah can be an excellent low-acid coffee. Dry-processed Djimah is a lesser coffee often exhibiting wild or medicinal taste characteristics and is not often traded as a speciality coffee.

Ghimbi, Gimbi. A wet-processed coffee from western Ethiopia.

Limu. Market name for a respected fragrant, floral- and fruit-toned wet-processed coffee from south-central Ethiopia.

Sidamo, Washed Sidamo. Market name for a distinguished light-to-medium bodied, fragrantly floral or fruity wet-processed coffee from southern Ethiopia.

Yirgacheffe, Yirga Cheffe, Yrgacheffe. Market name for one of the most admired washed coffees of Ethiopia, distinguished by its fruit-like or floral acidity and high-toned, complex flavour.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 3.700.000 bags

The best Guatemalan coffees have a very distinct, spicy or, better yet, smoky flavour that sets them apart from all other coffees. They are very acidy, and the spiciness or smokiness comes across as a twist to the acidy tones. The finest Guatemalan coffees are medium to full in body and rich in flavour. Strictly Hard Bean grade coffees from the central highlands (Antigua, Atitlan,) tend to exhibit a rich, spicy or floral acidity and excellent body. Coffees from mountainous areas exposed to either Pacific (San Marcos) or Caribbean (Cobán, Huehuetenango) weather tend to display a bit less acidity and more fruit. Well-known Guatemalan estates include San Miguel, Capitillo, San Sebastian, and Los Volcanos.

Antigua. Market name for one of the most distinguished coffees of Guatemala, from the valley surrounding the old capital of Guatemala Antigua.

Cobán. Market name for a respected high-grown coffee from north-central Guatemala.

Huehuetenango. One of the better coffees of Guatemala.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 4.500.000 bags


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 370.000 bags

The best Haiti coffees are low-acid, medium-bodied, and pleasantly soft and rich. Haiti 's heavy rainfall and deep volcanic soil combined with low growing altitudes may account for the mellow sweetness that distinguishes the best Haitian coffee.

Strictly High-Grown Washed. Highest grade of Haiti coffee.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 3.000.000 bags

Honduran coffee is wet-processed and mainly used as a rather cheap blending coffee. Some excellent coffees are grown in the country, but they are often blended before they are exported.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 4.600.000 bags

Indian coffee is grown in the south of the country. The best is low-key, with moderate body and acidity and occasional intriguing nuance; at worst it is bland. Coffees from the Shevaroys and Nilgiris districts generally tend to display more acidity than coffees from other south India regions.

Monsooned Coffee (Monsooned Malabar). A typical dry-processed single-origin coffee from south India deliberately exposed to monsoon winds in open warehouses, with the aim of increasing body and reducing acidity.

Mysore, India Mysore. Mysore is a market name for certain high-quality wet-processed India coffees grown in the south of the country.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 6.700.000 bags

Indonesia coffees are of varying quality and usually marketed under the name of the island of origin; like Sumatra, Sulawesi, Java or Timor. At best, most are distinguished by full body, rich flavour, and a low-toned, vibrant acidity. At worst, they may display unpleasant hard or musty defects. Others display an earthiness which many coffee lovers enjoy and others deplore.

Ankola. Market name for arabica coffee from northern Sumatra.

Celebes. Former name of the island of Sulawesi. Most come from the Toraja or Kalossi growing region in the southeastern highlands. At best, distinguished by full body, expansive flavour, and a low-toned, vibrant acidity.

Gayo Mountain. Market name for coffee exported by a large processing center and mill in Aceh Province, northern Sumatra. Wet-processed Gayo Mountain tends to be a clean but often underpowered version of the Sumatra profile. Traditionally processed Gayo Mountain resembles similar coffees from the Mandheling region of Sumatra: at best displaying a quirky flavour and a low-toned, vibrant acidity.

Kalossi. A growing region in the southeastern highlands of Sulawesi.

Java, Java Arabica.  Unlike most other Indonesia coffees, which are grown on tiny farms and often primitively processed, Java coffees are grown on large farms or estates, most operated by the government, and are wet-processed using modern methods. The best display the low-toned richness characteristic of other Indonesia coffees, but are usually lighter in body and more acidy. Old Java, Old Government, or Old Brown are mature coffees from Java, created to mimic the flavour characteristics of the original Java coffee, which was inadvertently aged in the holds of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century ships during their passage to Europe.

Lintong, Mandheling Lintong. Market name for the most admired coffee of Sumatra, Indonesia. From the Lake Toba area toward the northern end of the island.

Luwak, Kopi Luwak. Coffee from Sumatra, Indonesia, distinguished not by origin, but by the uniquely intimate way it is processed. A mammal called a luwak, or civet cat, eats ripe coffee cherries, digests the fruit, and excretes the seeds, after which the seeds or beans are gathered from its dry droppings. Kopi luwak is one of the most expensive coffees in the world owing to obvious limitations on its production.

Sumatra. Single-origin coffee from the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Most high-quality Sumatra coffee is grown either near Lake Toba (Mandheling, Lintong) or in Aceh Province, near Lake Biwa (Aceh, Gayo Mountain).

Timor. Single-origin coffee from Timor (East and West). Timor coffee was a classic origin in the early years of the 20th century.

Toraja. Market name for coffee from southwestern Sulawesi.

Ivory Coast

Coffee types : Robusta

Production : 2.500.000 bags

Ivory Coast is one of the largest African coffee producers. The richly flavoured coffee is e specially popular among soluble coffee producers, who appreciate the excellent extraction yield.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 40.000 bags

Jamaica Blue Mountain is, or was, a balanced, classic coffee with rich flavour, full body, and a smooth yet vibrant acidity. These characteristics and its relatively short supply have made it one of the world's most celebrated coffees. Lower-grown Jamaica coffees (Jamaica High Mountain) tend to be less acidy and lighter in body. Other Jamaica coffees are undistinguished.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Style. Various blends of coffee intended by their originators to approximate the qualities of authentic Jamaica Blue Mountain. These blends may contain no actual Jamaican coffee.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 1.000.000 bags

Kenya coffees are celebrated for their deep, winy acidity, resonant cup presence, and complex fruit and berry tones. Of the world's great coffees, Kenyan probably is the most consistent in quality and most widely available. The coffee is raised both on small peasant plots and on larger plantations.

The main growing area stretches south from the slopes of Mt. Kenya almost to the capital, Nairobi. There is a smaller coffee-growing region on the slopes of Mt. Elgon, on the border between Uganda and Kenya.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 700.000 bags

Madagascar produces coffee in many parts of the island. The celebrated Kouillou variety produces coffee whose highly distinctive flavour is still highly rated in France.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 25.000 bags

Most Malawi coffee is grown on larger estates and distinguished by a rather soft, round profile.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 4.200.000 bags

Most Mexican coffee comes from the southern part of the country, where the continent narrows and takes a turn to the east. Vera Cruz State, on the gulf side of the central mountain range, produces mostly lowland coffees, but coffees called Altura (High) Coatepec, from a mountainous region near the city of that name, have an excellent reputation. Other Vera Cruz coffees of note are Altura Orizaba and Altura Huatusco. Coffees from Chiapas State are grown in the mountains of the southeastern-most corner of Mexico, near the border with Guatemala.

Altura. "Heights" in Spanish; describes Mexico coffee that has been high- or mountain-grown.

Chiapas. Coffee-growing state in southern Mexico. The best Chiapas coffees are grown in the southeast corner of the state near the border with Guatemala, and may bear the market name Tapachula after the town of that name. At their best, Chiapas or Tapachula coffees display the brisk acidity, delicate flavour, and light to medium body of the better known Mexican coffees of Oaxaca and Vera Cruz States.

Coatepec. Market name for a respected washed coffee from the northern slopes of the central mountain range in Veracruz State, Mexico.

Oaxaca. Market name for coffee from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca.

Primo Lavado (Prime Washed).  A grade of Mexico coffee that includes most of the fine coffees of that country.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 1.400.000 bags

Nicaragua coffees are excellent but usually not distinguished coffees in the classic Central-American style: medium-bodied, straightforwardly acidy, and flavourful.

Matagalpa. Market name for a respected coffee of Nicaragua.

Jinotega. Market name for a respected Nicaragua coffee.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 150.000 bags

Coffee produced in Panama is sweet, bright and balanced, and similar to coffee from the Tres Rios region of Costa Rica. This wet-processed coffee is often used for blending, but is excellent served as a breakfast brew.

Papua New Guinea

Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 1.200.000 bags

The best-known New Guinea coffees are produced on very large, state of the art estates that produce a very well-prepared, clean, fragrant, deeply dimensioned, moderately acidy coffee. Other organically grown New Guinea coffees are produced on small farms and processed by the farmers using technically simple means, producing quirky, full, complex coffees at best.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 2.700.000 bags

The best Peruvian coffee is flavourful, aromatic, gentle, and mildly acidy. Chanchamayo from south-central Peru, and Urubamba, from a growing district farther south near Machu Picchu, are the best-known market names.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 500.000 bags


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 500.000 bags


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 750.000 bags

Most Tanzanian coffee is grown on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru, near the Kenyan border. These coffees are called Kilimanjaro or named after main towns and shipping points (Arusha, Moshi). Smaller amounts of arabica are grown much farther south, between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa, and are usually called Mbeya, after one of the principal towns, or Pare, a market name.

The best and most characteristic Tanzanian coffees display a rich flavour and full body, with a vibrantly winy acidity that makes them resemble the coffees of neighbouring Kenya. Others are softer, gentler coffees.


Coffee types : Robusta

Production : 750.000 bags


Coffee types : Robusta

Production : 170.000 bags

Togo is a small producer with typical West-African style coffee. The Niaouli variety is regarded as among the best coffee grown in the country.


Coffee types : Arabica, Robusta

Production : 2.700.000 bags

The finest Uganda arabica displays the winy acidity and other flavour characteristics of the best East African coffees, but is less admired than the finest Kenya or Zimbabwe, owing to generally lighter body and less complex flavour.

Bugishu, Bugisu. Market name for arabica coffee from the slopes of Mt. Elgon. Considered the best Uganda coffee.


Coffee types : Arabica,

Production : 800.000 bags

The best Venezuelan coffee comes from the far western corner of the country, the part that borders Colombia. Coffees from this area are called Maracaibos, after the port through which they are shipped, and include one coffee, Cucuta, that is actually grown in Colombia, but is shipped through Maracaibo. Coffees from the coastal mountains farther east are generally marked Caracas, after the capital city, and are shipped through La Guaira, the port of Caracas.

The most characteristic Venezuelan coffees, in surprising contrast to the neighbour coffees from Colombia, are strikingly low in acidity. At worst they are spiritless, at best sweet and delicate. The finest, such as the Meridas, have fair to good body and a pleasant flavour with hints of richness.

Caracas. A class of coffees from the Caracas region, ranging from fair to excellent in quality.

Lavado Fino. Best grade of Venezuela coffee.

Maracaibo. A class of coffees, including many of the most characteristic and distinguished coffees of the country.

Mérida. Market name for one of the most respected and most characteristic Venezuela coffees, delicate and sweet in the cup.

Trujillo. Market name for a type of Maracaibo cofee

Tachira. Market name for a type of Maracaibo cofee


Coffee types : Robusta

Production : 11.000.000 bags

Coffee originally came to Vietnam in the mid-nineteenth century when French missionaries brought arabica trees from the island of Bourbon and planted them around Tonkin. They flourished and presently the coffee industry is growing so rapidly that Vietnam is rapidly becoming one of the world's largest producers. Today, small plantations, located in the southern half of the country, produce mostly robusta coffee. Vietnamese coffee has a light acidity and mild body with a good balance. It is frequently used for blending.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : <100.000 bags

Arabian Mocha. Single-origin coffee from the southwestern tip of the Arabian peninsula, bordering the Red Sea, in the mountainous regions of Yemen. The world's oldest cultivated coffee, distinguished by its full body and distinctively rich, winy acidity.

Ismaili. Market name for a respected coffee from central Yemen. Also describes a traditional botantical variety of Yemen coffee with round, pea-like beans and superior cup quality.

Mattari, Matari. Market name for one of the most admired coffees of Yemen. From the Bani Mattar area west of the capital city of Sana'a. Usually a winier, sharper version of the Yemen style.

Sanani. A comprehensive market name for coffees from several growing regions west of Sana'a, the capital city. Usually a lower-toned, somewhat less acidy version of the Yemen style.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 100.000 bags

Zambian coffee tends toward the softer, less acidy version of the Africa profile.


Coffee types : Arabica

Production : 100.000 bags

Zimbabwe coffee exhibits excellent cup presence and the vibrant, winy acidity characteristic of East Africa coffees. Some rank it second in quality only to Kenya among Africa coffees. Most is grown along the eastern border with Mozambique.

Chipinga. Region in eastern Zimbabwe that produces the most admired coffees of the country.

Other producing countries :

Angola, Benin, China, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Laos, Liberia, Malaysia, New Caledonia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, United States (Hawaii, Puerto Rico) and others

Combined approx. 1.000.000 bags

Sources :

What Do Coffees from the Major Growing Regions Taste Like?

Different brews for different yous? [Photograph: Meister]

In my last post, we explored a little bit of the idea of terroir, and whether it might or might not impact (or at least predict) the flavors certain coffees from around the world might have.

All things considered equal for a second, we can generalize a little bit about how coffees from different parts of the world will taste for the most part, based on experience, practices, conventions, and, well, the usually-not-recommended act of simply assuming.

In a nutshell, what do coffees around the world taste like? How can you tell Guatemalan coffee from Kenyan?

Though there doesn't seem to be a hard and fast rule when it comes to coffee flavors, there are many possible reasons for both the similarities and the discrepancies that exist—such as the fact that certain coffee varieties are often more prevalent in some coffee-growing locales than others, or that processing methods often spread among growing communities or climates based on local access to water, mills, and other considerations.

Because coffees in Guatemala are often botanically somewhat similar to coffees in Honduras, and because both countries' farmers tend to process their coffees a particular way (washed), we can fairly assume that there will be certain similarities among them—at least more so than either will have with, say, coffees from Indonesia or Kenya.

What follows is a rough guide to those flavors, and is absolutely not going to apply to every coffee everywhere. It also doesn't take roasting or brewing into consideration, and those two things too will have a major impact on the characteristics a coffee expresses.

Central America

With the exception of Belize, Central America as a whole is a large contributor to the global coffee supply, and along with its southerly neighbor Colombia, coffee from this region of the world is what has most informed the North American coffee-drinking preferences and habits. (After all, Guatemala and Honduras are much closer to the States than any African coffee-growing region is, and it's easier for us to buy from them than to ship beans clear across the wide expanse of the Atlantic.)

Due in part to similar climate and altitude, processing techniques, and the selection of coffee varieties grown here, we can expect cup qualities from this region to contain varying amounts of acidity (more apple-ish and malic in Guatemala; cherry-like from Mexico) and a smooth, sugar-browning sweetness that is sometimes soft like chocolate or buttery like flaky pastry crust. "Balance" is a word that often comes up when describing these coffees, and their fruit-like characteristics often play nice as a mild backdrop to the cocoa and spice flavors.

South America

Colombian coffee. [Photograph: McKay Savage on Flickr]

Colombian coffees are most often what folks think of with South America, and rightfully so: The country is routinely listed among the top three coffee-producing countries in the world. The classic Colombian profile—as with other better-quality coffees from Peru, etc—brings together a mellow acidity and a strong caramel sweetness, perhaps with a nutty undertone. Sweet and medium-bodied, they have the most recognizable coffee flavor to most North Americans.


Why should Brazil stand alone when the rest of the Americas get lumped together in bigger groups? For one thing, the country is a huge producer, and its output varies widely. Some Brazilian beans—especially those that are pulped natural or "Brazil natural"—have a pronounced peanutty quality and heavy body that makes them common components in espresso blends. Chocolate and some spice is typical, and the coffees tend to linger a bit in the mouth, with a less clean aftertaste than other South American regions' stuff.


Okay, and why should Ethiopia get its own category, too? Well, for one thing, the county has vastly more in the way of biodiversity: Thousands of varieties of coffee grow here, mostly wild and/or uncatalogued, and the spectrum of flavor then has the potential to be much larger.

Also, processing differs even within Ethiopia in a way that it mostly doesn't elsewhere, with the possible exception of Brazil: In Ethiopia, coffees can be processed either as "natural," wherein the cherry is dried around the coffee bean before being removed, or "washed," wherein the fruit gets stripped within 12 hours of picking. These two processes create strikingly different flavor profiles: naturals tend to be fruity, heavy, and wine-like, where washed coffees tend to have a floral, tea-like delicacy to them.

Naturally processed Ethiopian coffees often have a syrupy body that accompanies a densely sweet berry flavor, typically blueberry or strawberry. Washed coffees often express jasmine or lemongrass characteristics, and are lighter and drier on the palate.


Big, bold, and juicy, Kenyan coffees are a product of their variety (SL-28 and SL-34 are the most prized), processing (there is a post-fermentation soak that can last a day or longer), and the fact that much of the coffee is grown without shade. These elements (and probably many, many others) marry to give Kenyan coffees a mouth-puckering savory-sweet characteristic that sometimes manifests as a tomato-like acidity, other times a black-currant tartness. There is something almost universally tropical-tasting about good-quality Kenyan coffees, and many coffee professionals will admit that they are a favorite.


Coffee sorting in Sumatra. [Photograph: rooracer on Flickr]

Again we see the result of variety, processing, and climate in the coffees from Indonesia, which tend to have a deep, dark, almost meaty earthiness to them. Sumatran coffees in particular take to dark roasting well, and so there are often smoky and toasted flavors present in the cup. Others will have a stouty or mushroom-like complexity that is both savory and herbaceous, and a long, lasting finish that feels like very dark or unsweetened cocoa.

(Sumatran coffees and naturally processed Ethiopians tend both to be "love or hate": Those who love them are utterly devoted, those that hate them are repulsed. I guess they are kind of the cilantros of the coffee world.)

What other regional coffee flavors are you curious about? Remember to take all of these generalizations with a grain of, well, coffee. There are always exceptions to any rule, and all we can hope is that they'll be delicious.

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