Do you drink it in the morning with your breakfast to wake you up for the day? Or do you drink it during the day to fuel your work or studies? Maybe you even treat yourself to one as an after dinner digestif?
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages across the world. In fact, it is believed that over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed across the globe each day. Yet, whenever and however you drink your coffee, have you ever wondered where it all comes from?
Italians are famously known for their delicious espresso, while Seattle USA is the renowned home of global coffee house giant Starbucks. However, it won't surprise you to hear that these aren't actually the countries that produce the coffee. Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world and there are many countries known for producing coffee beans, especially in South America.
This article dives into the question of which is the largest coffee producing country?
The top coffee producing countries in the world
Coffee beans are grown all over the world, but there are some countries that produce more than others. The International Coffee Organisation regularly compiles the statistics on coffee-producing countries, providing us with a clear list of the biggest providers in the world.
So, what are the top countries responsible for the tasty beverage we rely on almost every day?
According to the ICO, the three largest coffee producing countries are Colombia, Vietnam and Brazil. Each producing billions of pounds of coffee beans each year.
Colombia is one of the countries that has the strongest associations with coffee. If you like coffee, you have probably tasted Colombian coffee before at your local coffee house. Colombian coffee is one of the most famous in the world, and they produce around 800,000 metric tons of coffee beans each year.
However, changes in climate mean that Colombia is not the world's largest coffee producer. Between 1980 and 2010, the temperatures in Colombia have slowly risen and there has been a significant increase in rainfall, making it harder for them to produce beans. As more countries continue to up their coffee bean production, Colombia now sits at third in the rankings of largest coffee producers.
Vietnam is not always a country that springs to mind when you think of coffee, however recent years have seen Vietnam rise to become the world's second biggest producer of coffee beans. Coffee is Vietnam's second biggest export, the first being rice, and today the country produces around 2 million metric tons of coffee beans per year, that's almost 4 billion pounds! If you visit Vietnam you will likely see what an integral part coffee plays in their culture, and the locals drink it sweetened with condensed milk.
If you were looking for the straight answer to "what is the largest coffee producing country?" - here it is! It is, of course, Brazil.
Brazil has long had strong associations with this famously energising bean, and has long been the world's largest producer - over 150 years. In fact, in 2016 alone, Brazil produced a shocking 2,595,000 metric tons of coffee beans, which converts as almost 6 billion pounds! Brazil is famous for its coffee all over the world, visit and you will see the predominance of coffee plantations across the country, covering over 27,000 square kilometres of land.
Brazil's long history of coffee production is fascinating, along with the unique production methods they have developed that makes their coffee taste so delicious. Let's take a little look at what makes Brazil such a giant in the coffee production industry...
Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world in terms of land mass and population, and their economy is predominantly fuelled by their production of coffee beans that are then distributed across the world. As a country with such enormous coffee production, we wouldn't blame you for thinking that Brazil couldn't possibly make any more coffee than it currently is!
However, in 2018, Brazil actually produced 820,000 more metric tons of coffee beans than the previous year. Weather and climate conditions mean that coffee production can vary year after year, however it seems that Brazil will always be the world's largest producer.
What makes Brazilian coffee so good
Not only is Brazil the largest coffee producing country, their coffee is also some of the tastiest! You can find Brazilian-sourced beans in the most luxury and popular coffee shops all over the world, precisely because they taste so good.
The unique taste of Brazilian coffee beans can be described as a more fruity and natural flavour, paired with a low acidity. This ultimately leads to a much smoother and richer tasting cup of coffee. But how does Brazilian coffee end up tasting so unique? Well, it all comes down to their unique production methods.
Firstly, Brazil uses a set of 4 very unique methods to extract the fruit from the coffee bean, ensuring the highest quality of extraction.
Furthermore, Brazilian coffee's low acidity levels can be attributed to the country's lower altitudes. When coffee is grown in low altitudes, it grows sweeter to produce a less harsh taste. Lastly, Brazilian coffee is always dry processed. This means that the fruit is dried from the inside out, allowing the fruity flavours to carry right through into your cup!
The future of coffee in Brazil
The world's largest producer of coffee is showing no signs of slowing down. Brazil has always been known for its innovative techniques for coffee bean dry roasting and extraction, and innovation continues throughout the country in order to produce the world's most delicious coffee.
The coffee industry is always growing in Brazil, and this is clear in the yearly expos hosted to present the country's latest techniques and products. Wherever you live in the world, coffee-lovers can expect to see even more high quality beans, speciality beans and unique flavours going into the future.