Where the Best Beans Grow: The Top Countries for Coffee

You know that smell.  The smell of fresh brewed coffee.  But have you ever considered where it actually comes from?

From the boutique coffee shops to your kitchen coffeemaker, coffee adds life to many early risers. Dark roast, morning blend, expresso, and the list goes on and on. Rich soil, topical climate, abundant rain, and plentiful sunshine all in just the right combination, make an excellent atmosphere for coffee beans.  More than seventy countries officially grow coffee beans for retail sale.  However, many of those countries do not have the ideal conditions nor the ideal coffee products.

Brazil is the largest producer of the coffee bean in the entire world. About 80% of the beans produced here are the arabica variety. The rest is rubusta. These are cultivated using the wet, dry, and semi-washed methods of processing. Rounding out the top spots in production are Columbia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and Mexico.

Perhaps the best-known coffee producer is Colombia.  The high standards that Columbia maintains leads to an exceptional cup of coffee. Colombian coffees tend to be mild, with a well-balanced acidity.  Colombia Supremo has a delicate taste.  Excelso Grade is soft and acidic coffee. These are the two most sought after types of Colombian coffee. Most Columbian coffee is grown on many small farms throughout the country.

Hawaii is the only place in the United States that grows coffee. Many swear that this is the best coffee, although it is quite pricey. The coffee is grown on the slopes on the big island, where the black volcanic soil and frequent showers add to the rich, medium bodied, aromatic flavor.

The coffee from Mexico is raised on over 100,000 small farms over the southern region. This nutty, almost chocolate tasting coffee is bold and dark.  Because there are numerous small farms, the tastes will vary from farm to farm making Mexican coffee hard to label.

Yet, when coffee lovers rank by favor, the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia, often comes out on top.  The largest genetic diversity of coffee varieties can be found in Ethiopia. The unique sweet fruit taste and floral aroma that makes coffee lovers swoon. The age old method of dry processing with the coffee beans skin left intact infuses this exceptional taste.  Coffee grows wild in Ethiopia and rarely falls prey to the diseases that plague other countries. Coffee was first discovered in southern Ethiopia, so it’s practical to accept that people who have been growing it the longest might make some of the best.  The most famous beans found there include Harrar and Yergahcheffe.

Whether you pour steaming hot water over your coffee, let it drip through a coffee pour over filter , or use single cup coffee brewwers, there is a coffee type that will certainly excite your taste buds. From bold, dark roast coffee to nutty, chocolaty favor to mild floral sips, there is a coffee to meet your many moods. Studies have even shown that the type of coffee you order may reveal more about your personality than you think, but that’s for another time.

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