Did you know that coffee starts as fruit from cherry trees? That’s right! Coffee beans are made from cherries. And like every product that starts as a seed and becomes a plant before the finished product surfaces, coffee does not grow well or sustainably in all parts of the world. What you will find when looking at coffee producing countries is that most of the countries that produce coffee share similar characteristics in terms of the geographic area.
There's a prime location for coffee growth and it is called the Bean Belt. This title refers to the area between 25° N and 30° S. Coffee thrives in warmer locations, so anywhere that is too extreme in relation to the northern and southern poles will not be substantial or feasible places to grow coffee. Coffee exportation, as well as coffee as imports, is most common in Africa, Asia, South America, and North America, with the exception of the country of Canada.
There are roughly seventy countries that produce coffee, but not every nation that grows their own cherry trees and manufactures coffee beans also exports their product. Focusing on the countries that produce coffee as well as distribute them to buyers around the world, there are fifty coffee producing countries that export their product.
Now, here’s a brief snippet about the top five coffee producing countries so you can learn a little more about three of the top ten places that are most well-known for coffee!
Brazil is undoubtedly the country that produces the absolute most coffee per year and in terms of pounds. The top three coffee growing cities in Brazil are São Paulo, Parana, and Minas Gerais, all of which are in the southeasternmost region of the country. The most commonly implemented form of coffee production is by way of the dry process, meaning the coffee is not cleansed with water, which is called a wet process. Rather, in a dry process, the coffee cherries are left out to air dry and they are dehydrated with the natural heat of the sun, so this process is as close to completely natural as coffee production can be.
Indonesia is one of many Asian countries that produces an impressively vast amount of coffee on an annual basis. In fact, the country is home to about one-and-a-half million different farmers who operate coffee farms and production companies of their own. Some of the rarest coffees in the Western world originate in Indonesia, including but certainly not limited to a bean called Kopi Luwak. Indonesian coffee farmers do not take coffee growing, roasting, and producing lightly by any means, and it shows in their finished product. For example, the Kopi Luwak coffee bean from Indonesia is one of the priciest beans across the globe.
If you stumble upon sources that do not list Honduras as the fifth highest coffee producing countries, make sure to double check the timestamp of the article you are referencing. The reason for this suggestion is that Honduras was recently declared as the fifth highest coffee producing country in the world. Before the crop year between 2016 and 2017, Ethiopia was in fifth place on the list ranking countries by coffee production rates and values per an annual basis. Honduras remained the fifth highest coffee producer in the crop year spanning 2017 to 2018, so Honduras is officially number five on the list.
In order for coffee to grow, the environment needs to reach certain requirements, one of which is an altitude level of a certain height. In Honduras, there are geographic points within the country that are over three thousand feet taller than the necessary altitude. This gives Honduras an advantage over other coffee producing countries, which has definitely contributed to the country’s success as a coffee growing nation.