If you can’t start the day without your morning coffee, you’re not alone. In fact, 75% of Australians have at least one cup per day! Inspired by International Coffee Day on 01 October, we’re exploring coffee-producing countries around the globe to help you nut out the best brew.
From South America to Asia to Africa, there are dozens of countries producing exquisite coffee to fill your cup. Follow your taste buds with our favourite coffee destinations below.
Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee, producing approximately 40% of the world’s supply, the majority of the crop being the well-known Arabica variety. Minas Gerais is Brazil’s coffee capital making up approximately 53% of the country’s total yield - plus, it’s a stunning region to visit with an abundance of waterfalls and forests, not to mention a great bar scene. The tropical rainforest climate is great for growing coffee with low acidity, smooth body and bittersweet tasting notes. Expect your coffee in Brazil to be served black and sweetened, just how the locals take it!
If you love a full-bodied brew with citrus, fruit and spice tones, consider going straight to the source and plan a trip to Guatemala. This country has seven key coffee-producing regions, all with different microclimates and soil types contributing to unique coffee characteristics. For example, coffees from the Huehuetenango region are grown at a higher altitude which contributes to a more fruity flavour. Whereas if you head to Lake Atitlan, the volcanic soils create more nutty and chocolatey flavours.
Indonesia has been a coffee-producing country since the 1600s, with the island of Java being a key grower - hence the phrase ‘cup of Java’! Known for woody and earthy flavours of coffee, Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest coffee producer. Being near the equator and having mountainous regions contributes to microclimates ideal for growing healthy coffee plants with low acidity. Many roasters will blend Indonesian beans with higher acidity beans from Central America and East Africa to mix up the flavours. For a jam-packed coffee tour of Indonesia, start in Sumatra before heading to Java, Bali and Flores.
The largest African coffee-producing country is also one of the few coffee countries where coffee is consumed in large quantities by the locals. Ethiopia only exports about 50% of the coffee itgrows, whereas other countries sell most of their crop offshore - so you know drinking coffee like the locals will be a real treat. Traditionally, coffee or buna takes over an hour to brew and drinking it can take even longer, with special rituals that celebrate the national beverage. The beans are roasted in front of you, steeped in a jebena or coffee pot and served with aromatic incense for a sensory experience like no other. Make sure to stay for all three cups as Ethiopians believe this transforms your spirit and will find it impolite if you leave early.
Ethiopia’s neighbour Kenya is another African coffee-producing country worth a visit if you’re serious about your cup of brew. Known for their delightful scent, Kenyan coffees are sweet and intense with notable berry and currant undertones. Kenya also uses a grading system that indicates the quality of the beans. AA is the top tier grade which is associated with a light body, bright mouthfeel and floral flavour. Expect refreshingly acidic notes of tropical fruit, berries and wine.
If you’re ready to plan a quest for the best coffee in the world, we’re here to help. Find an independent Travellers Choice travel agent
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