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There are many countries in the world that rake in a lot of their total GDP just through coffee production and export.

We’ve had a look at some of the countries that are regarded as some of the leading coffee producers and year after year deliver top-quality coffee beans.

Before we unravel the countries, it is important to determine what factors that constitute the ideal conditions for a country to harvest the best quality of coffee beans to share with the world.

What conditions are required to produce world-class coffee?

1. Geography and Climate

Coffee beans adore rainfalls of at least 100 centimeters a year. The average temperature required for optimal growth is between 20°C to 27°C. Coffee is also often grown near tall banana trees, as direct sunlight is harmful to the beans.

2. The type of coffee

There are broadly two types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is generally considered to be the better of the two beans with a lighter and sweeter taste. Arabica beans also have almost half the caffeine present in Robusta beans.

3. The harvesting processes

There are generally two types of harvesting methods for coffee beans: strip picking, and selective picking. Strip picking entails stripping the trees of all coffee beans, ripe or unripe. This method is popular for Robusta beans.

Selective picking entails going through the coffee trees (yes, coffee plants can grow into a smaller tree, but are mostly grown as bushes - the technical term is ‘shrubs’) multiple times over a period of several weeks only to harvest the ripe beans. This method is more expensive as there is manual labor involved and is mostly used for Arabica beans.These factors contribute to the final result of freshly harvested coffee beans.

Below are four countries that have become staples in the coffee industry as some of the best coffee bean producers

1. Colombia

Colombia’s tropical climate, high rainfall, and mountainous landscape provide one of the best conditions for growing coffee. This results in one of the finest coffees in the world coming out of this country. Colombia is one of the few countries that produce 100% arabica beans. This coffee is best known for its mellow acidity and its rich, caramel sweetness with nutty undertones.

2. Ethiopia

Optimal temperatures and rainfall help Ethiopia maintain its rank as one of the best coffee-producing countries in the world. Ethiopia has such lush vegetation that the coffee farmers do not have to plant more trees to keep the coffee beans in shade.

Ethiopian coffee is known for its light to medium body, low acidity, and fruity notes. This country also produces Arabica beans.

3. Kenya

These beans are grown at a higher elevation, giving the coffee beans more time to develop their flavors and absorb more nutrients. The temperatures in Kenya never go above the average summer temperature in Europe and never below the average spring temperature in Europe, making Kenya an ideal country with suitable coffee growing conditions.

Kenyan coffee is renowned for its bold acidic taste and berry undertones. Some might recognize the berry undertones as black current and that’s exactly what gives this coffee a unique and instantly recognizable taste.

4. Brazil

For more than 100 years Brazil has been the leading coffee producing country in the world. Brazil has no shade, which could be harmful to the beans but under the observation of skilled coffee farmers, this entails that the beans are ripe faster. The extensive exposure to the sun helps increase the number of harvests per year compared to other countries.

Brazil is one of the few countries that produce Robusta beans and use the strip picking method for the harvesting process, where they use tractors. Low altitudes make it easier for farmers to harvest the coffee beans. The only downside to that method is that both ripe and unripe beans get harvested together.

Brazilian coffee beans have lower acidity and have flavors of chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut.


Did you know the first-ever recorded story of coffee’s discovery originates from Ethiopia? Around 850 A.D. a goatherder noticed how his goats would be extra energized and would not sleep at night after they ate the red berries of a nearby bush. Intrigued, the goatherd tasted them and felt the same way. He showed his discovery to the monks at the monastery who started to use these berries to stay up at night and pray. These monks subsequently spread the word to the rest of the civilized world.

In Conclusion

While there are a lot of countries throughout the world that produce amazing coffee, there seems to be a pattern among those countries with the absolute best coffee. These four countries have certainly made a name for themselves in the coffee world as clear front-runners.