Coffee varies around the world and takes on distinct flavours depending on where it is grown, the type and variant of the bean grown and the production methods used. Below is a brief outline of the coffee producing countries, the processes they use to produce the coffee and the expected taste and aroma.
Australia is part of the new world of coffee production and is working its way through to overcome a multitude of issues that traditional origin coffee produces do not suffer from. However the full bodied beans produced are rich in flavour with smooth buttery tones.
Brazil is home to the Arabica coffee bean which produces a smooth and mild coffee with sweet nutty flavours a little acidity and is commonly used in expresso. The beans are grown high in the mountains at an altitude between 2000 and 4000 feet.
Colombia is probably the most famous growing region as it is the world’s largest producer of coffee. This is mainly due to the fantastic growing climate in Columbia where the coffee beans can be harvested all year long. The high altitude of the foothills of the Andes in Columbia provide moist soils and a temperate climate which produces a dense coffee bean resulting in a nice mild cup of coffee.
Costa Rica started cultivating their Arabica beans in the late 1790s. The region has almost perfect growing conditions and the coffee produced is full flavoured with a balance of brown sugar and vanilla with hints of caramel.
The most common coffee been from Cuba is Arabica which produces a smooth, smokey, full bodied cup with a rich aroma. The natural climate and geography of Cuba is perfect for producing some of worlds the best coffee beans.
Ethiopa is thought to be the birth place of coffee with roots going back to the 10th century. It is the origin of the arabica plant which is now grown widely across the world. Some of the most unique coffee beans come from this region. One of the oldest is the Harar bean which produces a distinct intense fruity, wine flavour with a floral aroma.
The coffee plantations in El Salvador are at high altitudes with mineral-rich volcanic soils. The coffee from this region matures slowly which produces a hard and dense bean with a perfect balance and sweetness. There are distinct notes of hazelnut and spice.
Gautamala enjoys very rich soils and almost perfect rainfall patterns for producing Gauatemalan hard bean coffee. This full-bodied coffee has a delicate sweetness with lingering fruit flavours.
The varied landscape of Honduras provides distinct differences in its coffee production which range from bright acidic, sweet and lightly fruited to low acidity with caramel undertones which make a delicious espresso.
Hawaii is home to the unique Kona coffee belt which is about 3000 feet above sea level on the fertile volcanic slopes. The Kona coffee beans produce a complex, well balanced, crisp and delicate cup of coffee with wonderful aromas.
Kenya is home to a number of very small plantations producing expensive and very high quality coffee beans. Kenyan coffee is probably best known for is full bodied, winey acidity with strong blackcurrant flavours.
Mexican coffee is probably best known for is nutty, dark roasts. The high altitude mountain water process produces a medium bodied, crisp, sweet coffee which is bright and clean.
The demand for coffee from Malawi has increased hugely over the last decade. The coffee produced is light with flavours of chocolate and berries and a floral aroma.
Produces a fairly typical Central American bean however the full bodied speciality coffee produced in the mountains of Nicaragua are rich in flavour with slight fruit tones.
In the grand scheme of things Peru is quite a small supplier, only accounting for around 2% of the world’s coffee production. However the high quality Arabica beans produced in this region are quickly growing in popularity. The climate in Peru is very diverse with tropical rain forests in the east and dry deserts in the west. The rich soil in Peru coupled with its equatorial climate produce a coffee bean which has a bright acidity, full bodied flavour and a smooth aroma.
The majority of Tanzania coffee is grown on the side of Mount Kilimanjaro, under the shade of banana trees, it is produced on small farms with a couple of larger plantations. The majority of coffee produced is Aribica (70%), Robusta (30%). Tanzania produces washed (wet-processed) coffee which is soft, clean and medium bodied.
Uganda is most commonly associated with Robusta bean coffee production which is used widely for instant coffee. However there is one Arabica plantation on the western slope of Mt. Elton on the Kenyan boarder. This coffee has a similar flavour to coffee produced in Kenya however it is lighter in body.