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Which Country Produces the Most Coffee?
Top 24 Coffee Producers

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By Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

The global coffee market is worth around $102 billion per year. And, by 2026, it is expected to grow to $155 billion. Every day more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world. So, as one of the most traded commodities, we need to grow an astronomical amount of coffee to maintain the global coffee supply and keep us all fully caffeinated.

But which country produces the most coffee? (Spoiler alert: It’s Brazil).

This isn’t the easiest question to answer. But we’ve listed the 24 largest coffee producers in the world. Alongside their stats, you can learn a little about each coffee country’s history, the growing regions, and what to expect from a cup of their coffee.

As you navigate this list, the focus is on the best coffee countries by quality. After all, there are over 50 coffee-producing countries in the world so we haven’t covered them all. The countries that predominantly grow Arabica coffee are the ones you are most likely to see as “single-origin” coffee in a coffee shop or a roastery. Whereas Robusta beans are frequently used to make instant coffee or generic blends. 

This article may contain affiliate/ compensated links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. For more information please see our disclaimer here.

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Where are Coffee Crops Grown Worldwide?

Infographic: The Coffee Belt showing Which Country Produces the Most Coffee

The part of the coffee plant which we drink each morning, the coffee beans, are actually the seeds of the coffee cherry that grow on a tree.

The coffee tree is a tropical, evergreen shrub (genus Coffeathat grows between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. This area between the tropics is commonly referred to as “The Coffee Belt” with almost all coffee production worldwide taking place here.

Across this region, there is a range of different climates, landscapes, and soil types which we collectively call “terroir”. The specific “terroir” of any country or growing region has a big influence on the type and quality of coffee beans they grow and the flavor of that coffee.  

Psst.. Want to understand more about the journey coffee beans take to get from the global coffee bean farms to your cup? Check out our article on where coffee comes from:

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Top Coffee Producing Countries

The measurement for coffee production worldwide is the number of 60kg bags produced each year. This is slightly easier to wrap our heads around than metric tons.

Globally, some nations are known for volume, some for quality. And some have a mix of both.

The production totals quoted in this article are from 2020, collated by the International Coffee Organization

CountryNo. of 60kg Bags
Brazil 69,000,000
Costa Rica1,450,000
Papua New Guinea675,000
El Salvador600,000
Dominican Republic375,000

Brazil – Largest Producer of Coffee

If you’re looking for which country produces the most coffee, look no further than Brazil.

Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world by a long shot and has been for over 150 years. So, they kind of know what they’re doing.

The majority of coffee grown in Brazil is Arabica but Robusta accounts for around 30% of production. And, as a result of their size, they are the leading global coffee exporters of Robusta despite it not being their main focus.

Coffee was first introduced to Brazil from French Guyana in 1727 whilst under Portuguese rule. And, very quickly, it became a huge and important cash crop.

Most of the growing regions are towards the south of the country, just inland from the coast. The “Atlantic Forest” is the name given to this region of the country.  

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica and Robusta 

Brazil’s Coffee Growing Regions: Bahia, Chapada Diamantina, Cerrado de Bahia, Planalto de Bahia, Minas Gerais, Cerrado, Sul de Minas, Chapada de Minas, Matas de Minas, Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Espirito Santo, Parana 

Brazilian Coffee Flavor Profile: Low acidity, full-bodied coffee beans with big chocolate and nut notes 


Despite being the second-largest coffee producer in the world, Vietnamese coffee is mostly famous for being mixed with egg and sweetened condensed milk, to make a real caffeinated treat. But, not for the quality of its coffee beans alone.

It was the French who brought coffee to Vietnam in 1857, and farmed it under the plantation model.

Due to Vietnam’s geography – a long, thin country running roughly north to south – you’ll find mostly Arabica grown in the North and Robusta in central and southern Vietnam. As a result, Robusta makes up 95% of the coffee production in Vietnam with only 5% being high-quality Arabica beans. 

So, if you are wondering which country produces the most coffee, first ask whether you are looking for quantity or quality. Whilst Vietnam is undoubtedly one of the biggest coffee producers by volume, they aren’t in terms of quality whole bean coffee.

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica and Robusta 

Vietnam’s Coffee Growing Regions: North Vietnam, Central Highlands, South Vietnam 

Vietnamese Coffee Flavor Profile: There is very little high-quality coffee produced by the Vietnamese coffee industry. Instead, it is mostly a bit flat, woody, and lacking in character. 


Coffee first arrived in Colombia in 1723 brought by the Jesuits (although there are other stories about its origin).

In the beginning, it wasn’t a popular crop. In fact, it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that coffee became a significant export. Since then, Colombia has continued to grow to become one of the largest coffee producing countries in the world.

The main coffee growing regions in Colombia run roughly south-west to north-east, to the east of the Cordillera Oriental mountains. To the west of these mountains is dense jungle, not suitable land for coffee farming. 

Due to the unique geography of Colombia, there is massive variation in altitude and climate. Therefore, specific regions play a bigger factor than in most countries when it comes to the flavor of the beans. 

Today, Colombian is renowned for producing outstanding tasting coffee. This is down, in part, to the advertising campaign by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia featuring the fictional coffee farmer, Juan Valdez. The campaign was successful in making Colombia one of the most famous coffee countries worldwide.

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Colombia’s Coffee Growing Regions: Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Tolima, Huila, Quindio, Risaralda, Narino, Caldas, Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Santander, North Santander, Sierra Nevada 

Colombian Coffee Flavor Profile: Colombian coffee production is affected by varying growing conditions across the country. So, you can get everything from heavy and chocolatey to sweet, light, and fruity.


The Indonesian coffee industry has had its struggles:

In 1969 the first coffee plants were lost in a flood. But, despite this setback, coffee exports from Indonesia started in 1711 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). These exports were bound for Amsterdam where the coffee was sold for eye-watering prices.

Indonesia is renowned for being one of the best coffee countries in the world. Their coffee has a unique taste as a result of the processing method used – “Giling Basah”. This is a hybrid of wet and dry processing.

Coffee production in Indonesia also includes Kopi Luwak. This is coffee made from cherries that have been consumed by civet cats. The coffee ferments in the cat’s digestive tract. Then, the partly digested beans are separated from the fecal matter, processed, and dried. Globally, Kopi Luwak is seen as a novelty and can sell for very high prices. But there are serious animal welfare issues in its production and we recommend you avoid it.

Coffee Varieties Grown: 25% Arabica and 75% Robusta

Indonesia’s Coffee Growing Regions: Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Flores, Bali

Indonesian Coffee Flavor Profile: Semi-washed coffee beans tends to be very big-bodied, earthy, spicy, and woody


Ethiopia is, most likely, the birthplace of coffee all the way back in the 9th century. So, a cup of Ethiopian coffee is a cup of history.

With exciting fruity flavors and a fascinating (if possibly mythical) history, Ethiopia is responsible for showing many people the variation in coffee flavor that is possible.

Coffee has been harvested from the wild for thousands of years in Ethiopia. And still is in some places today. There are also coffee plantations and “garden” coffees that are grown in individual homesteads.

Lately, there has been an internal move to have more coffee sold as a blend of many regions. But you can still easily find single-origin coffees from the individual homesteads in Ethiopia if you’re willing to put in a bit of research. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica 

Ethiopia’s Coffee Growing Regions: Sidamo, Limu, Jima, Ghimbi/Lekempti, Harrar, Yirgacheffe 

Ethiopian Coffee Flavor Profile: Coffee from Ethiopia offers a diverse range of flavors from floral bergamot and citrus to tropical fruit. Washed Ethiopian coffees are elegant and complex, whereas natural processed ones are intensely fruity and exciting.


Honduras is the largest producer of coffee in Central America. Yet there’s surprisingly little information on coffee’s arrival in the country:

The first dated mention of coffee produced in Honduras is from 1804. So, coffee must have arrived in the late 18th century as it takes a few years to get a crop.

Therefore, Honduras was fairly late to the coffee party. In fact, it wasn’t until the 21st century that coffee production really ramped up in a big way. But, despite the late start, they are now up there as one of the top coffee producing nations.

Whilst the terrain is ideal for coffee production, the weather in Honduras can cause issues with processing. This means that most Honduran coffees have to be mechanically dried which can cause the flavor to drop off very quickly. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Honduras’ Coffee Growing Regions: Copan, Montecillos, Agalta, Opalaca, Comayagua, El Paraiso

Honduran Coffee Flavor Profile: Most Honduran coffees have lively acidity and complex fruit

Coffee cherries collected in a hessian bag


When you ask yourself “Which country produces the most coffee?”, it’s unlikely that India is the first place to pop into your head. If anything, tea or the insanely delicious chai would be the more obvious front-runners for Indian hot drinks.

But India has been growing coffee since the 17th century. The coffee plant was first grown in the Karnataka region, just to the southeast of Goa. It wasn’t until the mid 19th century, under British colonial rule, that the coffee plantations in Southern India began to flourish.

Coffee rust was a big problem in India in the late 19th century, causing many plantations to switch to farming tea instead. Then, eventually, to the breeding of rust-resistant varietals.

Due to the export method from India, a process known as “monsooning” has become common. “Monsooned” coffee beans absorb a lot of moisture from the air before roasting. This process makes the beans very brittle but can result in intensely flavored coffees. The global coffee industry is divided as to whether these flavors are a good thing, or not.

Coffee Varieties Grown: 30% Arabica and 70% Robusta 

India’s Coffee Growing Regions: Tamil Nadu, Pulney, Nilgiri, Shevaroy, Karnataka, Bababudangiri, Chikmagalur, Coorg, Manjarabad, Kerala, Travancore, Wayanad, Andhra Pradesh 

Indian Coffee Flavor Profile: Indian coffees tend to be creamy, full-bodied, and low in acidity


Coffee first arrived in Mexico in the late 18th century. But the wealth of mineral deposits in Mexico at the time meant that there wasn’t much drive to create coffee plantations initially.

The first coffee plantations were established near the Guatemala border following a border dispute. This dispute allowed rich Europeans to buy huge tracts of land to grow coffee on.

Mexican coffee production ran as a plantation system until after the Mexican Revolution ended in 1920.

In 1972, the Mexican Coffee Institute (Instituto Mexicano del Cafe) was formed, providing real investment in coffee farming. It was so successful that some farms saw coffee production increases of 900%!

Today, most of the coffee in Mexico is grown in the southern half of the country and the diverse topography makes for a wide variety of styles. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Mexico’s Coffee Growing Regions: Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz 

Mexican Coffee Flavor Profile: The diverse regions across Mexico produce a range of coffees from light, delicate, and floral to rich, sweet, and chocolatey.


Coffee arrived in Peru between 1740 and 1760 when the area was known as the “Viceroyalty of Peru” and was much larger than it is today.

Although the region is perfect for growing coffee on a large scale, all the coffee produced was consumed locally until 1887. At this time, exports commenced to England and Germany.

The Peruvian government had to give 2 million hectares of land to the British government after it defaulted on a loan in the early 1900s. One-quarter of this land was turned into plantations for growing crops, including coffee.

Now, following a politically tumultuous 20th century, more and more land is being dedicated to coffee growing. In fact, Peru is making moves on the largest coffee producers, starting with 62,000 hectares dedicated to coffee farming in 1980 to 95,000 hectares today.  

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Peru’s Coffee Growing Regions: Cajamarca, Junin, Cusco, San Martin 

Peruvian Coffee Flavor Profile: Soft, sweet, and full-bodied


It is widely believed that coffee was brought to Guatemala by the Jesuits around 1750. Although there are accounts of it being grown and served in the country from slightly earlier than that.

Initially, coffee didn’t take off as a cash crop. It wasn’t until after 1856, when the invention of chemical dyes greatly reduced the demand for Indigo, which was the main cash crop at the time, that coffee got a look in.

The Guatemalan government used several schemes in the latter half of the 19th century to promote coffee growing. So, by 1890, coffee accounted for up to 90% of the country’s exports.

After the coffee price crash in 2001, many farmers moved into macadamia nut and avocado farming instead. But coffee remains an important part of the Guatemalan economy.

Thanks to a wide variety of altitudes for growing coffee, you can find a huge range of flavor profiles in whole bean coffee from Guatemala. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica and Robusta

Guatemala’s Coffee Growing Regions: San Marcos, Acatenango, Atitlan, Coban, Nuevo Oriente, Huehuetenango, Fraijanes, Antigua 

Guatemalan Coffee Flavor Profile: Depending on altitude, you will find a variety of taste profiles. From light, complex, and floral coffee to rich, full-bodied sweet coffee


In 1790, Catholic missionaries brought coffee to Nicaragua. And, initially, it was grown in gardens simply as a curiosity.

However, between 1840 and 1940 there was significant government and foreign investment in the Nicaraguan coffee industry. This created a Coffee Boom in Nicaragua, leading to the creation of huge foreign-owned farms and coffee became the principal export of the country.

The coffee price crash in the late 1990s caused 3 of the 6 largest banks in Nicaragua to collapse. This, combined with widespread damage from Hurricane Mitch in 1998, set back the coffee industry significantly.

Nowadays, Nicaraguan coffee production is highly focused on high-quality, single-origin coffee. Traceability is very high, so it’s possible to get single farm Nicaraguan coffee. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Nicaragua’s Coffee Growing Regions: Jinotega, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia 

Nicaraguan Coffee Flavor Profile: Clean acidity, fruity, and complex


Costa Rica has long been the darling of the specialty coffee industry thanks to its top-quality coffee production. 

Coffee has been grown in the country since the early 19th century. But it was independence from Spain in 1821 that super-charged the Costa Rican coffee industry. From then on, the Costa Rican government played a leading role in promoting coffee growing.

Large investments from England resulted in the creation of the Anglo-Costa Rican Bank in 1863. This bank provided finance for the coffee industry to grow further.

Despite pressure to plant more high-yield varieties, Costa Rica’s focus on coffee bean quality has never wavered. And, with recent investment in small coffee processing mills, it is now possible to find very small plot coffees from Costa Rica. This means you can sample the range of styles the topography of Costa Rica has to offer.

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Costa Rica’s Coffee Growing Regions: Central Valley, West Valley, Tarrazu, Tres Rios, Orosi, Brunca, Turrialba, Guanacaste 

Costa Rican Coffee Flavor Profile: Clean and sweet with a light body

Workers in the best coffee countries, hand picking beans for quality


Stories of coffee’s history tell of the coffee plant moving from Ethiopia to Tanzania in the 16th century. The Haya people brought it with them and called it amwani (haya coffee).

In all likelihood, this original plant would have been a robusta varietal. Amwani is strongly intertwined with Tanzanian culture, with the coffee cherries being boiled and smoked for several days before being chewed.

At first, German and then British colonizers pushed for large coffee plantations. So, various regions replaced their food crops with coffee beans and began growing Arabica for export. But the Haya people resisted heavily as this clashed with their historical connection with coffee growing.

After gaining independence, the Tanzanian government pushed the coffee industry as a way to increase prosperity in the country. And, after some bumps, they allowed farmers to sell directly to exporters. This increased the price of coffee for the farmers and allowed thousands of small farms to operate successfully.

Now, around 90% of Tanzanian coffee is produced by 450,000 smallholder farmers. The coffee crops grown on these farms is 70% Arabica and 30% Robusta. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica and Robusta

Tanzania’s Coffee Growing Regions: Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Ruvuma, Mbeya, Tarime, Kigoma 

Tanzanian Coffee Flavor Profile: Juicy berry flavors, lively acidity, and complexity 


Despite being next door to Ethiopia, the “home of coffee”, coffee production came to Kenya relatively late. The first documented import of coffee is from 1893 when French missionaries brought coffee trees from the island of Reunion.

It is widely thought that it was the Bourbon varietal that was brought to Kenya and yielded its first crop in 1896.

Initially, coffee was grown on large estates under British colonial rule and exported to London to be auctioned off. Then, in 1933 the Coffee Act was passed. This moved the sale of coffee back to Kenya and established the Kenyan Coffee Board.

In 1934, the Kenyan auction system was created for the sale of coffee beans and is still used today.

But it wasn’t until the 1950s that the production of coffee was moved from the British landowners to Kenyan farmers. This resulted in a huge increase in income for Kenyan small holdings farmers.

Now, thanks to superb research and education, the Kenyan coffee industry is thriving with lots of high-quality plots. The combination of consistent grading systems and the auction sales method allows farmers who produce high-quality coffee to get a good price for their product.

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Kenya’s Coffee Growing Regions: Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Embu, Meru, Kiambu, Machakos, Nakuru, Kisii, Trans-Nzoia, Keioy & Marakwet 

Kenyan Coffee Flavor Profile: Bright complex fruit, sweet with intense acidity


Many people will lump coffee from Papua New Guinea in with their biggest coffee producing neighbors, Indonesia. But this is unfair as they share relatively little when it comes to coffee.

Coffee production in Papua New Guinea has been a relatively recent development with commercial coffee growing only starting in the 1920s. The seeds for these first commercial farms were from the Blue Mountain region in Jamaica.

During the 1970s, the government tried to encourage all small farms to be run as cooperatives. But the volatility of coffee prices meant that the smallholder structure worked much better as they were more resilient to such market forces.

Today, 95% of coffee farms in Papua New Guinea are smallholders, producing around 90% of the country’s coffee. Although they grow almost entirely Arabica in the Highland regions, many smallholders don’t have access to high-quality post-harvest facilities.

A lack of traceability down to the farm level makes the incentives for growing high-quality coffee unclear for many farmers. So while it is possible to get an excellent coffee from Papua New Guinea, it produces less than you might expect given the terroir. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica and Robusta 

Papua New Guinea’s Coffee Growing Regions: Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands, Simbu Province 

Papua New Guinean Coffee Flavor Profile: Sweetness and complexity with a buttery quality


The first commercial production of coffee in El Salvador was in the 1850s. At the time, indigo was the dominant crop. But, thanks to the invention of chemical dyes, indigo was rapidly losing value so the El Salvadoran government was looking for ways to replace indigo.

However, the land needed for coffee bean growth is different from indigo farming. So the rich landowners lobbied the government to pass laws that pushed the poor farmers from their land. This allowed them to establish large coffee plantations at the expense of the poorest in the nation.

As largescale coffee production required better infrastructure like roads and railways, investment was made throughout El Salvador. This benefitted the whole nation and helped position El Salvador as one of the best coffee countries for high-quality.

Over time, El Salvador has continued to focus on heirloom varietals of coffee. And, combined with the volcanic soil, means it produces stunningly sweet and complex coffee.

It is possible to buy single farm coffee from El Salvador and there are many micro-lots based on processing and varietal of coffee. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

El Salvador’s Coffee Growing Regions: Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range, Alotepec-Metapan Mountain Range, El Balsamo-Quezaltepec Mountain Range, Chichontepec Volcano, Tepeca-Chinameca Mountain Range, Cacahuatique Mountain Range 

El Salvadoran Coffee Flavor Profile: Sweet and complex, soft acidity and great balance 


Arriving in the latter part of the 19th century, coffee in Ecuador didn’t really take off until after 1920. By this time, disease had ravaged much of the cocoa crop so many farmers moved into coffee farming instead.

Exports started to grow around 1935 and went from 220,000 (60kg) bags to around 1.8 million (60kg) bags in 1985.

The coffee price crash in the late 90s hit the Ecuadoran coffee industry hard. But it has since recovered, with coffee even surpassing oil, shrimp, and bananas in terms of exports.

Ecuador doesn’t have a great reputation for quality coffee as around 40% of production is Robusta. Plus, the population drinks a lot more instant coffee than fresh.

To try and reduce production costs, much of the Robusta coffee crop is dried on the trees before harvesting. And around 83% of Ecuador’s exported coffee is naturally processed.

A large quantity of coffee exported from Ecuador goes to Colombia to be made into instant coffee. This is because it’s much cheaper for Colombian manufacturers to buy Ecuadoran coffee than the much more expensive Colombian coffee.

Thanks to the geography and climate of Ecuador, there is great potential to become one of the best coffee countries, producing exception whole bean coffee. It is for this reason that there is increasing investment in coffee.

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica and Robusta

Ecuador’s Coffee Growing Regions: Manabi, Loja, El Oro, Zamora Chinchipe, Galapagos 

Ecuadoran Coffee Flavor Profile: The best Ecuadoran coffees are sweet and complex with nice acidity


Coffee was brought to Venezuela around 1730 by a Jesuit priest named Jose Gumilla. Historically, Venezuela was a huge producer of cocoa and tobacco on slave plantations and coffee farming followed a similar model.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, coffee production became more and more important. As cocoa production dropped off, Venezuela became one of the biggest coffee producing countries. In fact, they were responsible for a third of the world’s coffee.

But, with the discovery of oil, the nation’s economy became increasingly dependent on petroleum. And, as a result, the coffee industry suffered. Poor governance and strict regulations meant that Venezuela had to import most of its coffee from surrounding countries just to meet local consumption needs.

Recently, price-fixing and economic turmoil have damaged the Venezuelan coffee industry further. And now, not much coffee is exported today relative to their previous position, but they still maintain their position as one of the biggest coffee producing countries. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica 

Venezuela’s Coffee Growing Regions: Western Region, West Central Region, North Central Region, Eastern Region 

Venezuelan Coffee Flavor Profile: Sweet and rich with little acidity 

Colombian coffee farmers working hard in all weather


In 1735 coffee was brought to the Spanish-controlled portion of the island known as Hispaniola – now the Dominican Republic.

By the end of the 18th century, it was the second most important crop, after sugar. But, until the revolution in 1791, it was farmed on huge slave plantations which were known for being particularly brutal, even by slavery standards.

The southern mountain region of Valdesia became the primary growing region for coffee in the 19th century. However, by 1956, coffee from specific regions was being exported and the farmers in these regions became increasingly more organized, starting their own processing mills.

Price turmoil hit the coffee industry in the Dominican Republic, as it did around the world. So, many farms were forced to diversify into avocados and beans. Although most farmers retained at least some coffee in case prices did recover.

Relatively little of the coffee produced in the Dominican Republic is exported. In fact, the average person consumes 3kg (6.5lbs) of coffee per year which is higher than in places such as the UK.

Now, most coffee is exported by growing region. Although it is possible to find single farms coffees if you’re looking for it. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Dominican Republic’s Coffee Growing Regions: Barahona, Cibao, Cibao Altura, Juncalito, Neyba, San Jose de Ocoa, Azua, Valdesia 

Dominican Coffee Flavor Profile: Mild with low acidity and a very clean finish


Coffee was introduced to Rwanda in 1904 by German missionaries. Although the country didn’t produce enough coffee to export it until 1917.

After WW1, control of Rwanda was handed to Belgium. This is why, historically, most Rwandan coffee exports have gone to Belgium.

Following the genocide in Rwanda which claimed the lives of around 1 million people, coffee has played a major role in the country’s recovery. As foreign aid streamed into the country, there was a focus on producing high-quality coffee and building washing stations.

Known as the Land of 1000 Hills, Rwanda has the perfect climate and geography for growing high-quality coffee.

In the past, there have been issues with soil degradation. But investment in education and good farming practices have allowed the Rwandan coffee industry to continue to grow with a focus on quality coffee production. In fact, Rwanda almost exclusively grows high-quality, washed Arabica coffee beans. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Rwanda’s Coffee Growing Regions: Southern and Western Region, Eastern Region 

Rwandan Coffee Flavor Profile: Fruity and fresh with notes of apples and berries


Coffee was brought to Burundi in the 1920s by Belgian colonialists looking to use it as a cash crop. And, in 1933, every “peasant” farmer had to cultivate at least 50 coffee trees.

In 1962, coffee production was privatized when Burundi gained independence. This all changed again in 1972 as the political climate in Burundi lurched to and fro. But since 1991, coffee has slowly been moving back to the private sector. 

The Burundi economy has been devastated over the years by a series of wars. So, coffee is seen as crucial for regrowth.

Coffee in Burundi is produced by a large number of smallholder farmers and then grouped at washing stations. This means that you’ll mostly find coffee from a growing region rather than a specific farm. Although there is a significant increase in micro-lot coffee and improved traceability in Burundi. So, in the future, we may be able to sample the flavors of individual coffee farms. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica

Burundi’s Coffee Growing Regions: Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural, Bururi, Chibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana 

Burundian Coffee Flavor Profile: Juicy with complex berry flavors 


Cuba saw the arrival of coffee not long after it arrived on the neighboring island, Hispaniola in the 1730s. In the beginning, there was very little interest in growing coffee. That was until an influx of French settlers, fleeing the Haitian revolution in 1791, settled on Cuba.

By 1827, there were 2000 coffee farms on Cuba and it generated more income than sugar production.

Following Castros’s revolution there was a large drop in coffee production as many of those with knowledge of coffee farming fled the nation.

Coffee production did peak in the 1970s but trade embargos by the United States and the fall of the Soviet Union hit exports hard. Even today, coffee production in Cuba is relatively small.

Most exported Cuban coffee is washed and is only traceable down to a region or sub-region, at best. 

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica 

Cuba’s Coffee Growing Regions: Sierra Maestra, Sierra del Escambray, Sierra Del Rosario 

Cuban Coffee Flavor Profile: Heavy body and low acidity


Although coffee arrived in Panama around the same time as many other Central American countries (the early 19th century), coffee farming never really took off. So, for a long time, Panama didn’t have a very good reputation as a coffee producing country. In fact, they were only producing about 1/10 of their neighbor, Costa Rica.

Panama’s geography means there are several distinct microclimates and there are some very dedicated coffee growers committed to producing high-quality beans. Panamanian coffee tends to be more expensive due to higher real estate costs and improved wages for manual laborers.  

Coffee Varieties Grown: Arabica 

Panama’s Coffee Growing Regions: Boquete, Volcan-Candela, Renacimento 

Panamanian Coffee Flavor Profile: Citrusy and floral, light-bodied with delicate, complex flavors 


A coffee plant was gifted to the Governor of Jamaica, Sir Nicholas Lawes, in 1728. Lawes had experimented with a few plants on the island and planted the coffee crops in the St Andrew area of the island.

Initially, coffee production was fairly limited. But in the latter half of the 18th-century, coffee production really boomed.

The abolition of the slave trade hit the Jamaican coffee industry hard. And issues with soil management further reduced the number of coffee farms and the quality of the coffee grown in Jamaica.

However, the formation of the Jamaican Coffee Board in 1950 started to reverse this trend and the coffee from the Blue Mountain region steadily gained a reputation as one of the finest coffees in the world.

Sadly, a lack of high quality processing means Jamaican coffee struggles to compete with the best coffee countries of Africa or the Americas in terms of flavor. But they still produce a very enjoyable cup of coffee. 

Coffee Variety Grown: Arabica

Jamaica’s Coffee Growing Regions: Blue Mountain

Jamaican Coffee Flavor Profile: Clean and sweet with a good body, though rarely complex

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Infographic: Global Coffee Industry

Infographic: World Coffee Statistics
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Summing Up: Coffee Production Worldwide

With improved investment and more money going to those who actually grow and process coffee, we can expect more and more countries to improve their coffee over time. This means the production of unique and exciting single-origin coffees for you to try.

But issues of inequality still remain in the supply chain and there is environmental damage from unethical producers. So, it’s always important to ensure that your coffee has a transparent supply chain and that the money is going to those who deserve it, staying in the country of origin as much as possible. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list of the largest coffee producing countries. In fact, there are many other great coffee countries, particularly in West and Central Africa, where Robusta grows very well.

However, Robusta coffee doesn’t have the complexity or interest of Arabica. So we have missed these coffee power-houses out to focus on which country produces the most coffee in terms of great quality.

Having learned a brief overview of the world’s biggest coffee producers, take the time to deep dive into the individual nations. And try out the coffee from each country – the more caffeine, the merrier.


Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

Matt's coffee obsession started in 2006 when working as a Barista. A tendency to turn up to work hungover kickstarted his coffee journey which quickly turned into a love affair. As he moved on to work as a Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, the obsession continued to grow. Now, his passion is helping others to enjoy better coffee at home.

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