Coffee is drunk in every country in the world. And around 70 countries produce coffee. So, given that our favourite drink is universally loved and widely made, which are the countries with the best coffee?
As we explore which country has the best coffee, it has to be said that taste is very subjective.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as asking What country makes the best coffee?
There are lots of countries that make great coffee. But what may be your favourite may not be to the taste of the person next to you!
With that in mind, we will explore:
- how different countries’ flavour profiles are unique to their particular part of the world
- the popularity and production of their coffee, and
- how we as coffee roasters and specialty coffee producers can help you make a very educated decision as to your own tastes
We’ll also give you a brief overview of each continent that produces coffee and break them down further to explore the countries with best coffee on each.
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- African countries with the best coffee
- Exploring more of the best coffee countries
- Countries with the best coffee in Asia
- So, which country has the best coffee?
African countries with the best coffee
Let’s start with the oldest coffee-producing continent, Africa
After all, we can’t begin to talk about the best coffee countries without starting from where it all began.
Africa has a very proud, long and deep history with coffee and it all began in Ethiopia. So, naturally, our first port of call will be there!
Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee
Because of the history of coffee production, location in the world and equality of opportunity, Ethiopia has everything many people believe makes for the best coffee in the world.
Many people love Ethiopian coffees for their fruity and floral tasting notes, especially in the world of speciality coffee.
If that sounds like you, perhaps you would consider coffee from the country where it was discovered to be the best in the world!
Other coffee countries in Africa
While Ethiopia and Uganda are the largest coffee producers on the African continent – accounting for 62% of sub-Saharan coffee – it is worth noting that there are many other countries in Africa that produce coffee.
And who knows… maybe you will that one of these countries has the best coffee in the world!
The Democratic Republic of the Congo: coffee with a history
The DRC as a country is not without its tragic turmoil and troubled history.
An incredibly resource-rich land that was once a thriving coffee-producing country, it has since found itself having to rebuild after years of political unrest and civil war.
But, with the help of government initiatives and heavy investment, DRC coffee is beginning to pick up again.
Produced at a lower altitude than its Ethiopian counterpart, specialty Arabica coffee from the DRC lends itself very well to a more delicate touch when roasting.
If you enjoy a lighter roast with fruity, decadent notes, you may just enjoy a cup of Congolese coffee!
Our Buchiro DRC coffee – with tasting notes of raspberry syrup, dark chocolate and dried cranberries – has taken both customers and staff by surprise!
Are the best coffee countries in Africa?
This is a very loaded question, we know. There is no doubt that Africa produces some of the best coffee in the world.
Not to mention that is is the oldest coffee producing continent in the world!
African coffee beans tend to be on the fruitier side – which you may love or hate! If it’s the former, then you’ll easily say that Africa is home to the countries with the best coffee.
Exploring more of the best coffee countries
As we leave the mighty continent of Africa, there is still lots more to explore.
Let’s move on to South America and Central America next.
Like Ethiopia in Africa, there is one place in South America we have to mention right away for coffee production and that is Brazil.
Brazil: the best coffee in the world?
Brazil is a powerhouse when it comes to producing coffee. It’s the largest coffee-producing country in the world and is showing no signs of giving up that title any time soon.
There are many reasons why Brazil might be one of the countries with the best coffee in the world
Firstly, the land in which coffee is grown is rich and fertile. Secondly, Brazilian coffee is consistently produced to a very high standard so its popularity in the world demands high yields.
Grown at low altitude, for some people, coffee from Brazil is the best coffee in the world because of its delicate flavour profile when roasted for filter brewing.
Specialty coffees from Brazil often have chocolatey, nutty flavours that work well in a variety of drinks and are popular with a large number of coffee drinkers.
Our Grota Fria coffee from Brazil is quite unusual with its flavour notes of cherry and hibiscus (but unusual is what we go for!).
Colombian coffee is another contender for the best coffee in the world
When you think of Colombia, it’s impossible not to think of coffee.
Colombia coffee is popular both inside the country and in many other places around the world, which is no surprise given that Colombia is the third-largest coffee producer in the world.
For some people, Colombia coffee is the best coffee in the world.
With its varied climates, rich soils and a thriving community of people dedicated to the production of coffee, Colombia is one of the few countries that can produce crop year-round.
It is easy to see why, when people are asked which country has the best coffee, they hold Colombian coffee in such high regard.
Our Tumbaga decaf coffee is produced in Colombia and has a lovely balanced profile that is typical of Colombia coffees.
Coffee from El Salvador
A country whose coffee is strongly linked to its economic development, coffee makes up around half of El Salvador’s exports – and therefore plays a very important role.
El Salvador beans typically have a very full-bodied flavour, with a smooth sweetness that appeals to many coffee drinkers.
It also offers some of the most surprising flavour profiles in the world, which can make it a popular choice for coffee nerds like us!
Our Las Llantas El Salvador coffee is the perfect example of this. It changes every day, with different flavours emerging at different times, making it one of the most fun coffees we’ve tried.
Even though El Salvador accounts for less than 1% of the world’s coffee exports, adventurous drinkers may consider it to be one of the countries with the best coffee for the endless surprises it offers.
Countries with the best coffee in Asia
With Vietnam being the second-largest coffee producer in the world and Indonesia as the fourth largest, Asia – and more specifically South East Asia – plays a huge part in the world of coffee.
These two countries claim top spots on a best coffee in the world ranking.
The vast majority of the coffee that is produced in Vietnam is robusta coffee.
This is because robusta is a much hardier plant than its arabica counterpart. As such, it is able to grow at much lower altitudes and in great abundance.
The only caveat is that it lends itself much more towards instant/freeze-dried coffee.
Robusta coffee beans are very much seen purely as a commodity and rarely found in the specialty coffee world.
However, because there is now such a huge demand for high-quality specialty coffee, small farmers and producers in Vietnam are starting to grow arabica coffee plants.
While few coffee buffs would consider Vietnamese coffee some of the best, it’s very possible that Vietnam will be one of the countries with the best coffee in coming years.
Like Vietnam, Indonesia relies heavily on robusta production. Only one-fifth of coffee produced here is arabica.
And, similar to Vietnam, you must dive a bit deeper to find producers that are paying closer attention to the flavour profiles of their coffee.
But that’s not to say that Indonesia coffee isn’t worth a mention. Specialty coffee from Indonesia can be some of the most interesting and delicious of all.
The coffee in Indonesia is grown of volcanic soil and is surrounded by spice farms, which often give the coffee earthy and spice flavour profiles.
Drinkers who enjoy this comforting, earthy taste may consider Indonesian coffee some of the best coffee in the world.
For this reason, Indonesian coffee is also a popular choice to use in espresso blends for drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos.
So, which country has the best coffee?
Like we said at the start of this journey, tastes are all very personal and individual.
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on each region of the world’s coffee and how you can find which is your own personal “best coffee in the world”.
Helping to build sustainable communities from farm to cup, it is not uncommon for beans to be grown in one part of the world, roasted in another and sold over the counter to you in another country.
And we think it’s pretty cool that we can enjoy coffees from all of the best coffee countries from here in Portugal… or anywhere in the world!
And, if you’d like help choosing your own ‘best coffee’, feel free to get in touch. One of our roasting team would be happy to recommend a bean that you’ll love!