Every coffee aficionado has an answer to this question and all of them will insist it’s an established, verifiable, 100% true fact that the best coffee in the world grows in this or that country.
It’s not like in sports, where the first athlete to cross the line wins the race. Coffee is about taste and aromas, smoothness and subtle hints, qualities it’s very hard to agree upon and decide which is best.
Still, there are countries known to have better coffee varieties than others and here we’re going to have a look at the world’s top (quality) coffee producers.
The flavors and aromas contained in fresh coffee beans are influenced by many factors such as climatic conditions, the altitude above sea level, and the quality of the soil. The same variety of coffee cultivated in different parts of the world will not taste the same.
They might not taste the same from one season to another, as flavors also depend on precipitation and sun exposure. Of all the countries in the world, only 80 have the required climatic conditions for coffee cultivation. Of these, only 50 are capable of cultivating coffee on an industrial scale.
Conventional wisdom is that the best quality beans are grown in a range of tropical regions along the equator, called the “Coffee Belt”, so no wonder countries like Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia, or Indonesia are known to produce the most delicious coffee in the world.
Colombia is one of the world’s top coffee suppliers and is responsible for 15% of the 12 billion ounces of coffee produced worldwide in one year. This country is famous for its excellent Arabica coffee varieties, which is why many would say the best coffee in the world comes from Colombia. The best Colombian coffee is known as Supremo, which possesses a very rich flavor and velvety aroma.
Antigua Volcanic is considered the best coffee produced in Guatemala, but there are other varieties of top quality beans with an intense flavor experts say are a result of the optimal climatic conditions in this country. Most coffee plantations in Guatemala are in mountainous regions, high above sea level, with plenty of sun and just the right amount of ocean winds, which make the coffee cultivated there light with a distinctive acidic tone.
Ethiopian coffee has many dedicated fans who swear this is definitely the best in the world, all the more so as Africa is the birthplace of coffee. Geisha or Heirloom varieties are the most sought-after Ethiopian coffee beans. Geisha coffee beans taste a bit like fine wine, with many layers of subtle fruity flavors. Since it requires very specific cultivation conditions it is also very rare, which makes it even more valuable.
The Arabica coffee grown in Jamaica has a classic flavor, smooth and mellow, and it has a strong aroma that reminds a little of rum. Blue Mountain Coffee is one of the most expensive varieties of coffee in the world and it takes its name from the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. Unfortunately, it is very rare and quite expensive.
Costa Rica coffee owes much of its smoothness and rich taste to the volcanic soil of the country. The most famous Arabica coffee varieties cultivated in Costa Rica are Margarita and Cashier. If you’re interested in an exquisite local coffee try locating a bag of Cafe Villasarchi, which grows in the small valley of Sarchi. It won’t be easy, but it is worth it!
This is just to give you a taste of all the great coffees in the world and where to find them, but coffee is something too personal and the choices we make are after all very subjective. You’ll have to try as many varieties as you possibly can to decide which is your favorite.
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