Ever wondered how many countries in the world produce coffee?
The true answer is much higher than most people would guess – around 70-90 countries! The “Bean Belt” of the world is where most coffee is produced, which lies in the middle of the world, between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. Tastes and flavors vary widely among this stretch of the world, so here’s a general overview of what to expect from some of the more popular regions.
Coffees from across Africa tend to have the most full-bodied and fragrant flavor profiles. As the origin of coffee, Ethiopia in particular often has prominent tastes of blueberry and/or strawberry. Floral notes are another common component, and generally African coffees tend to be more on the acidic side.
Central American coffees are very drinkable. They, similar to South American roasts, are smooth and familiar. Sometimes described as “clean”, they often have crisp tastes, and are usually very consistent and recognizable. Popular flavor notes include a buttery taste in Guatemalans, nutty flavors in Costa Ricans, and vanilla or tobacco in Nicaraguans.
South America has some of the highest producing countries, so a lot of what we drink often comes from either Brazil or Colombia. These coffees tend to be smoother and more approachable, which helps in making them such popular distributors. The palates tend to be creamy, nutty, and have tastes of chocolate, leading to an all-around low acidity level.
If you think of coffee flavors like you would wine, Asian coffees are those earthy, muddy tastes you often get in certain red wines. They’re generally darker roasts, especially from Indonesia, and particularly the Sumatran island. These beans are usually less acidic, but the overall foreign flavors generally cause some strong “love ‘em or hate ‘em” opinions.
Stay tuned for deeper dives into each region, as we get more specific in future posts about particular countries!