Coffee has an interesting history. There are various legends about how it was discovered, one of the most well-known being the one about the goat that ate the coffee cherries from a tree, and the shepherd noticed that it was more lively. Then people made tea from those cherries to get energy while hunting.
It is certain that the most evident evidence of the origins of coffee appears from the 15th century in the Yemen area, but it is considered that it was imported from Ethiopia with the help of natives.
It’s no wonder that nowadays, Ethiopia is still one of the most important coffee producing countries.
However, because the history of coffee is long, full of adventures and information, let’s talk about the most well-known countries that produce coffee nowadays and how to choose your coffee based on that.
Coffee producing countries
The global production of green coffee is only obtained in countries around the equator, in tropical areas. That’s where the coffee tree grows best, at altitudes between 600 and 2500 meters.
There are more than 70 countries that grow coffee trees and produce beans, but the largest global production is in these 5 countries: Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia.
Some of these may be a surprise, but they play a very important role in the history of coffee trees.
Here is also an estimate in figures of the annual production of green coffee:
Brazil, 2.9 million tons annually.
Vietnam, 1.7 million tons annually.
Colombia, 800,000 tons annually.
Indonesia, 660,000 tons annually.
Ethiopia, 400,000 tons annually.
In addition to these countries with the largest productions, as renowned producers of green coffee are also Guatemala, Uganda, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Burundi.
What influences coffee taste?
The figures are interesting, sometimes they serve as general knowledge information, but how do we know exactly what the difference in taste is and which country could provide us with the best coffee.
The answer could be quite complex and give rise to a wide topic, but to synthesize, tastes dictate who produces the best coffee.
In each of the producing countries there are many factors that influence the taste. As coffee itself doesn’t grow exactly as we consume it and goes through a long process to get into the cup, the taste is dictated by the following factors:
- The coffee tree variety. Like any other plant, the coffee tree has several varieties. The most well-known are arabica and robusta.
- Coffee processing. From cherry to green coffee beans, there are several processing methods that will be felt in the final product in taste. The most well-known are natural processing and washed processing. People tend to appreciate natural processing more because it is richer, generous in aromas and is milder.
- Roasting degree. From light roast to dark roast, there is a wide range of aromas, tastes and textures. This factor does not depend entirely on the country of origin, but rather on who roasts the coffee and the equipment used.
- Preparation method. This refers to espresso or various forms of filtration.
Each country produces according to its possibilities. The majority who produce large quantities of coffee are also among the poorest, so it is agriculture that provides food for many people.
We mentioned above that coffee processing is a complex process, and its processing is a first step towards obtaining quality green beans.
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