Way back when coffee crops grew mostly in Ethiopia and Sudan, but now you’ll find one of the world’s favourite beverages grown in around 70 countries across the globe. Here’s a list of the world’s top 10 coffee producing countries in 2019.
Countries that produce coffee
Coffee is the actually the world’s second most traded commodity. In fact, only oil is more traded than coffee.
You’ll find that the countries that produce coffee have something in common. They’re all located in the Tropics. That’s the belt running between the tropics of cancer and Capricorn.
But it’s a little difficult to get your head around where your daily dose of coffee might have come from when you buy from your local speciality coffee shop or for that matter make an online bean purchase or two… time to delve into things and go on an international journey of coffee discovery as we explore the top coffee producing countries in South America, Asia and Africa.
So, let’s travel… and explore the top 10 coffee producing countries
10. Guatemala (204,000 metric tons)
In Central America Guatemala enters the charts at number ten. Guatemala coffee is characterised with its rich volcanic soil, low humidity, sun and cool nights. At Farrer’s we love Guatemala Coban. This coffee has dark chocolate flavour, luxuriously rich hazelnut top notes with hints of dark fruits.
9. Mexico (234,000 metric tons)
Hopping up to North America Mexico edges ahead at number nine. Whilst Mexico might not be a country you might immediately think of when it comes to coffee in favour of their South American neighbours hogging the limelight Mexican coffee has a delicate, light flavour. Their coffee has a rich, brisk acidity with a medium to light body.
8. Uganda (288,000 metric tons)
Beetling off to Africa we encounter Uganda trundling along at number eight. Uganda was mainly known for its robusta coffee, which you can actually still find growing indigenously in the rainforests. However in recent years its making a name for its speciality Arabica.
7. India (348,000 metric tons)
Scooting off to Asia and India wades in at number seven. From modest backgrounds India was badly affected by coffee rust in the 1870s and replaced many of their coffee farms with tea plantations. Traditionally known for Arabica, since the turn of the century, the majority of their crop is now robusta which makes up 60% of their total production.
6. Honduras (348,000 metric tons)
Back off to Central America, we find Honduras nudging ahead of India at number six, producing the same quantity of coffee but taking the biscuit in good years by over 6,000 additional metric tons. Honduras boasts similar climate conditions to Costa Rica and Guatemala. It was hindered in the past by poor infrastructure leading to most of their coffee being sold domestically with only 10% of their crop being exported. However in recent years their coffees are increasingly sought after.
5. Ethiopia (384,000 metric tons)
Meanwhile in Africa, Ethiopia the ancient home of Arabica coffee hits the heady heights at number five. There’s a very interesting story of how Arabica was discovered by a farmer and his dancing goats which we’ll save for another time… Ethiopia’s coffee industry is nationalised and accounts for 10% of the country’s GDP!
4. Indonesia (660,000 metric tons)
Right back to Asia and Indonesia jumps ahead significantly at number four. Their coffee cultivation dates back to the late 1600’s during the Dutch colonial period. Indonesia Arabica is well known for its low acidity and strong body.
3. Colombia (810,000 metric tons)
Then, skipping to South America for the first time, we encounter Colombia upping the ante still further at number three. Colombia and coffee is a very famous combination which is prized for aromatic, mild and fruity flavours. Café de Colombi,a a non-profit organisation, represents the coffee trade and touches every family in Colombia. It re-invests their profits to the benefit of coffee growing communities.
2. Vietnam (1,650,000 metric tons)
In Asia, Vietnam jumps up a notch doubling up at number two, with well over 1.65 million tons. It’s their second most exported commodity next to rice. Vietnam is one of the world’s most competitive robusta producers after being reformed in 1986 allowing private enterprises which led to a surge in growth in the industry turning it into the second highest producing coffee country in the world.
But, who grows the most coffee in the world?
1. Brazil (2,590,000 metric tons)
And finally, we head back to South America to Brazil, which takes the top slot at number one, producing a staggering 2.59 million tons but this isn’t a new phenomenon. As a nation it’s been topping the pops as the world’s leading coffee producer for 150 years! Brazil is responsible for a whopping third of all total coffee production in the world.
However, it’s not just the bean that’s travelled and gone global. It’s the very word too that’s been on a bit of a journey, meandering its way across the globe from East Africa to the Middle East and onto Europe and then right round the globe in its English form.
Here’s a handy table below which summarises the top 10 coffee producing countries outputs.
Top 10 Coffee Producing Countries
|Rank||Country||Coffee Production – Metric tons (000s) per year|
‘Coffee’ first turned up as a word in the English language in 1598, all after a wee bit of tinkering with the Dutch word ‘koffie’, which in turn came from the Ottoman Turkish ‘kahve’, a word that comes from the Arabic ‘qahwa’, a term which refers to the brewing process, a shortened version of ‘qahhwat al-bun’, which means ‘wine of the bean’, referring to the accidental brewing process used by local monks in 6th century Kaffa, Ethiopia, where coffee beans were first discovered…
Farrer’s – One of the UK’s Top 10 Coffee Blogs
In other news we’re delighted to tell you that we’ve been included in the Top 10 UK Coffee Blogs 🙂