Know Your Bean: A Guide to the Best Coffee Beans Around the World
With 64 percent of Americans drinking coffee every day, business is booming. Bean-to-cup coffee machines are no longer the realm of coffee shops and can be seen in many average homes. It’s safe to say that coffee drinking has become a part of our lifestyles.
But the most expensive coffee machine and the best roast don’t mean that much if you start out with a poor quality coffee bean. If you want to roast the best coffee beans, you’ll need to know exactly where to source them from and what to look for.
The roasting process is pivotal for an outstanding cup of coffee and when combined with a high-quality green bean to start with, you’ll be providing your customers with an exquisite taste.
Let’s take a look at the best coffee beans around the world.
Why Farmers Matter
The journey of a coffee bean all starts with the farmer. Sourcing coffee beans in a responsible manner requires establishing excellent working relationships with farmers all over the world and respecting the job they do.
Understanding where the beans are coming from is crucial for monitoring quality, identifying supply issues and maintaining strong relationships. That’s why we make it our business to visit farms and sample crops.
Coffee bean farmers face increasing struggles with finances, logistics, and sometimes politics. We know and respect how fundamental the livelihoods of farmers are to the coffee-drinking world which is why we help to support their work.
Growing coffee is a challenging task as the crop can be affected by many factors. Weather can affect the quality and output of farms season to season as well as changes to the variety grown.
When buying green coffee beans, many roasters expect consistent quality that they can rely on. That’s why we sample and check the quality of the coffee beans we source. One bad batch for a roaster means profits go down the drain so it’s important to buy from a trusted business with quality assurance to get the best coffee beans.
High-quality beans come from all over the world and the flavors differ depending on the region’s conditions. This is truly what makes being in the coffee business so fascinating.
So, where are the best coffee beans grown?
1. South America
South America has a rich history of coffee growing and beans from this continent are a popular choice.
With an output of 13-17 million bags per year, Colombia is the second-largest coffee producer in the world. This nation tends to produce medium-bodied, rich coffee with citrus and sweet notes.
Medium-bodied and very similar to Colombian coffee, Bolivian beans mostly go through a washed process. Sweet and aromatic, this coffee is deliciously fruity.
Peruvian coffee tends to go through a washed process and gives a creamy taste with milder citrus notes than Bolivian or Colombian. You’ll often get a slightly nutty flavor and the coffee is well-balanced.
The largest coffee producer in the world by a long shot, Brazilian coffee varies dramatically. The best quality Brazilian coffee tends to be much lower in acidity than in Colombia or Bolivia and is soft and sweet.
2. Central America
Most Central American countries produce excellent coffee that’s medium to full-bodied.
You’ll get complex flavors in Panamanian coffee and the best can often be sourced from the Boquete region. Full-bodied and fruity, you might pick up subtle chocolate flavors too. The increasingly popular Geisha variety from Ethiopia is also grown in Panama, with its flowery notes and excellent aftertaste.
Medium-bodied and in the middle of the acidity range, Nicaragua’s small coffee farms produce vanilla noted beans that are smooth and well-balanced.
This country has a range of coffee quality with those at the top end being outstanding. Honduran beans have a mild acidity and tend to be full-bodied with a noticeable sweetness.
The top-end specialty coffees coming out of Mexico are well worth experiencing. Light-bodied and subtly fruity, they well-balanced with mild acidity. Some Mexican coffee beans have richer chocolate and nutty flavor.
This nation is famous for its exceptional coffee production and the beans give a deliciously smooth feel in the mouth. The coffee produced varies in flavor from the clean and sweet Acatenango coffee to the aromatic and more highly acidic Nuevo Oriente beans.
3. North America
Where is coffee grown in North America, you might ask? Just one place.
Producing just 40-45,000 bags per year, coffee from Hawaii is incredibly smooth in the mouth. A medium-bodied coffee, the hand-harvesting method, and a small quantity make this coffee very expensive.
The Caribbean islands are rarely large enough for coffee production but one stands out for its world-famous coffee.
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is mild, floral, and contains wonderful chocolatey notes. Very smooth, Blue Mountain coffee is highly sought after.
This continent has a huge coffee industry and flavors vary dramatically throughout the countries.
The most famous coffee-growing nation in the world, Ethiopia is where arabica beans originated from. Ethiopian coffee varies but you’ll often find fruity and floral notes that stand out.
Highly regarded, Kenyan coffee tends to be very well-balanced with strong fruity flavors. With medium to full-bodied coffees, you’ll find bright tastes and winey acidity.
Rich with chocolatey and berry notes, Tanzania produces excellent coffee. It’s known for its high acidity and soft finish.
There is a variety of coffee-growing nations across Asia, all producing very different coffee beans.
Ranging from the exceptionally full-bodied, earthy coffee of Sumatra to the medium-bodied and subtle flavor of Java, Indonesia has a wide-ranging coffee profile.
Papua New Guinea
Sweet and fruity, coffee from this island nation has bright acidity and a full-body. You’ll get chocolate notes with a subtle finish.
Roast Only the Best Coffee Beans
Choosing the best coffee beans is all about picking premium sources from around the world. Each country and region produces different flavors and finishes but it’s the quality difference within the country that’s important.
Some nations, like Mexico, have highly variable bean quality and yet their top beans are some of the best in the world. If you’re looking for a coffee bean supplier that only sources the best coffee beans across the world, check out our coffees or get in touch to discuss your requirements.