7 Countries Every Coffee Snob Should Visit

Coffee drinking has become very popular around the world, especially since it’s available on nearly every street corner coffee shop and quick mart.

Coffee beans are mainly grown in what we refer to as the coffee belt – a region between the Tropic of Cancer to the North and the Tropic of Capricorn below the equator. Coffee can grow anywhere from sea level up to about 7,000 feet, which leads to many different possibilities to satisfy any taste. However, the highest quality grades of coffee are grown at higher altitudes.

There are over eighty countries that produce coffee, but if you’re in search of the best bean destinations around the world, we will suggest you start with the following:

Brazil

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Coffee was first introduced to Brazil in 1727. Today, Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee – producing about 25% of the world’s supply. About 80% of the coffee beans grown in Brazil are Arabica. Brazil is also known in the speciality coffee industry. Brazilian farms grow primarily Bourbon, Typica, Caturra and Mundo Novo coffee cultivars.

Columbia

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Coffee was introduced in Columbia in the early 1800’s. Today Columbia is second only to Brazil as the world’s largest coffee producer. Columbia produces about 12% of the world’s supply of coffee. The Columbian coffees are rich in flavor with a heavy body and bright acidity. They are known to be intensely aromatic. The Columbian harvests take place between October and February, and then again between April and June. Columbian farms grow Bourbon, Typica, Caturra and Maragogype coffee cultivars.

Mexico

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Coffee was first planted in Mexico in the late 1700’s. The coffee bean grown in Mexico is generally considered to be an uncomplicated bean, and is used more as a base for blending. The Mexican farms grow Bourbon, Mundo Novo, Caturra and Maragogype cultivars. These are usually grown organically on small farms.

Guatemala

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The climate in Guatemala is very diverse due to the soil, rainfall, humidity, altitude and temperature. For this reason, Guatemala has seven distinct coffees that are produced. The time of harvest varies throughout the regions, but is primarily October through January.

Indonesia and New Guinea

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Sumatran coffees are some of the heaviest, yet smoothest and most complex coffees in the world. Their most notable coffees are the Mandheling and Lintong types. These are grown inland.

Honduras

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The coffees produced in Honduras are generally considered unremarkable in quality, but are a good base for use in blending. The Honduran harvesting takes place between October and March and generally the wet process method is used. The Honduran farms grow Bourbon, Caturra and Typica coffee cultivars. Very little of the Honduran coffees or coffee blends reach the United States.

Ethiopia

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The coffees grown in Ethiopia are widely considered the most unique and fascinating coffees in the world. The three common types of coffees grown in Ethiopia are Harrar, Ghimbi and Sidamo. These are known for their full bodies and rich aromas, and each has its own fruit-like tastes.

Some other countries that also produce coffee and worth a visit are Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Malawi, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Uganda and Venezuela.

Maps courtesy of Cafe Imports. Visit their site for everything coffee related