Coffee Flavors Around the Globe
You probably already know that different coffee producing regions have different flavor profiles. This has to do with so many different factors, ranging from soil composition, to elevation, to climate, to the amount of sun the beans get, and more. Different varietals of coffee plants thrive in different environments, which means you end up with distinct flavors coming from different regions. Let’s take a look at some of our most popular regions today!
Africa is the birthplace of coffee! This continent produces some incredible beans in keeping with the rich cultural tradition of coffee cultivation and production. Several African countries produce coffee, and while there’s some overlap in flavor profiles there’s still distinct differences from country to country.
The true cradle of the coffee world, Ethiopia is generally accepted as the first place in the world that coffee was discovered. Modern Ethiopian coffee tends to be delicate, with notes like jasmine and berries. Ethiopian coffees usually work the best using pour over style brew methods, but sometimes they work well as drip brews or espresso.
Coffees from Burundi often offer floral and berry tasting notes, quite similar to Ethiopia. What makes Burundian coffee distinct is that it tends to carry a more rich, sparkly body. A slightly more acquired taste than Ethiopian coffee, Burundian beans can be just as dazzling to the right palate.
Kenyan coffee provides rich, fragrant brews with notes of fruit and a bright, delightful acidity. These coffees tend to be easy to drink and flavorful, and what brew method they work in really depends on the specific roast.
Rwandan Coffee is rich in fruit and berry flavors with floral aromas. With roasts perfect for a wide range of brew methods, this country’s coffee is generally very adaptable.
There are many countries cultivating coffee across the continent of South America. With that in mind, two of the most popular countries for specialty coffee in the region are Colombia and Brazil.
Colombian coffee is enjoyed around the world due to its popularity within the specialty market. Coffees from Colombia are typically balanced, with classic coffee notes like chocolate and fruit.
Brazilian coffee is the most popular in the world, making up the majority of the coffee market. These beans exemplify the classic coffee taste you’d expect from such a prolific origin, with notes of spice, chocolate, and fruit.
Central America and Mexico
Central American coffee is unique and flavorful, coming from countries like Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras. While technically in North America, Mexico is the sole country here that produces coffee, and we don’t want to leave them out!
Costa Rican beans are intense and flavorful, with notes like stone and tropical fruits and citrus. Bright and acidic, these coffees can be an acquired taste, but are delicious nonetheless.
Full of floral and citrus aromas, Guatemalan coffee is usually full bodied and bright. With decent balance, these coffees taste of chocolate and a bit of nuttiness in the cup.
With most of Honduras’ coffee farmers farming less than 2 hectares each, Honduran coffee is a community effort. With notes of chocolate, fruit, and berries, this region features real coffee drinkers’ coffee!
Mexico is the only coffee producing country in North America, and no, we’re not talking about the cocktail! Mexican coffee beans usually have a delicate flavor with earthy, baking spice notes and a hint of sweetness. Very unique, and very delicious.
Southeast Asian countries have a rich tradition in coffee, but many of these countries have only recently pivoted to extensive Arabica coffee operations. Previously, many countries in the region grew mostly Robusta beans, which are usually used in the instant coffee popular in many communities around Europe and Asia. The skill to cultivate coffee is there regardless of plant varietal though, as has been proven by the exceptional coffee you can get from the region.
Creamy, smooth, and full bodied, Sumatran coffees are quite delicious and excellent go tos for a daily drinker. While they can be quite adaptable, we have found many Sumatran roasts work great as a good old fashioned drip brew.
Thai coffee may be a milky, creamy treat, but coffee grown in the region, but it’s also a country that produces excellent beans as well. Coffees from Thailand tend to be quite complex, featuring a variety of notes that are heavily introduced by processing. Usually great for a pour over.
Vietnamese coffees tend to resemble Sumatran beans with a little bit of an extra earthy note. This makes them well suited for darker roasts, but you can find offerings across the roasting spectrum as well. Coffees from the country usually work great as a drip brew or espresso.
Balanced, rich, and with a medium body and acidity, coffee from Java is a real treat that is easy to drink and brew. We tend to enjoy Javan coffee in a range of brew methods, but options like a drip brew or a press are both great bets.
There are so many more coffee producing countries around the world, and we hope to add them to this list over time! We’re just getting started with some of our more common producing nations, but stay tuned for more!