Coffee producers


Coffee producers have one thing in common. Coffee-growing countries are located in the tropics, more precisely between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This belt, with its specific climate suitable for growing coffee trees, is aptly referred to as the coffee belt.

The ideal conditions for growing coffee are thus confined to this area, which, however, includes Central and South America, Africa and, of course, Asia and Indonesia.

The world's coffee-producing countries are those in the tropics in the so-called coffee belt.

Coffee growing is thus a global affair. And its consumption is then global, regardless of vertebrae or specific climates. People literally love coffee and it is the second most traded commodity after oil.

Worldwide coffee production exceeds 9 billion kilogramsper year ! This figure includes the complete production from all producing countries, regardless of quality or whether it isarabica or robusta.


To calculate how much coffee has been grown, the basic unit used is the coffee packet. I don't mean a bag of half or quarter of a kilo of coffee like you buy from us for home consumption. But a bag of green coffee, which is what the producers send to our roasters.

The standard for coffee packaging is 60 kg. So all counts from now on will be on coffee bags. And because there is so much coffee, the numbers in the table below will reflect how many thousands of 60 kg bags a particular country has produced. TheUSDA coffee production inventory shows separately the production of Arabica, Robusta and the sum of the two.


Arabica coffee production 2019 / 20 2020 / 21
Brazil 42 000 49 700
Colombia 14 100 14 300
Ethiopia 7 475 7 600
Honduras 5 600 6 236
Peru 3 925 3 369
Guatemala 3 515 3 200
Mexico 3 150 3 000
Nicaragua 2 675 2 550
China 1 900 1 800
Costa Rica 1 466 1 472
India 1 450 1 400
Indonesia 1 250 1 300
Vietnam 1 100 1 000
Uganda 1 025 925
Kenya 750 700
Other countries combined 3 856 3 542
Total 95 237 102 094

*in thousands of 60-kg bags of green coffee. The year for producers is counted from October at the earliest (Colombia), from April (Indonesia), from June (Brazil), etc.


The coffee belt includes the countries of Central America, but the area suitable for coffee cultivation extends largely into South America. It therefore also covers Brazil, which is a true coffee giant.

Almost a third of the world's coffee production comes from Brazil. Arabica coffee, in particular, is unrivalled in the rankings of the world's coffee producers.



The even rows of coffee trees are typical of the large coffee plantations of the world's largest coffee producer - Brazil. Image source: Canva for

The origins of coffee cultivation in Brazil date back to the 18th century. About that time, coffee farmers owned about 1.8 million hectares of Brazilian land. Some 300,000 farmers are spread across Brazil. Among them, you will find those who grow coffee trees on fields of half a hectare, but also large coffee farms whose plantations are more than 10,000 hectares.

A century ago, coffee from Brazil accounted for around 80% of world production. Currently, with the growth of other growing countries, Brazilian coffee accounts for about 35% of the world coffee market. Of this, 80% is accounted for byarabica coffee and 20% by robusta coffee.

Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world and a large consumer. The locals really like to indulge in coffee and about half of Brazil's total coffee production stays "at home".


Coffee growing areas in Brazil are in the west such as MatoGrosso, Acre and Rondônia, which focus on robusta coffee trees.

In the east of Brazil, farmers specialise mainly in arabica coffee. Mainly Bourbon, Catuai, Acaia, Mundo Novo, Icatu varieties. This coffee territory is made up of the following regions: Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Goiás, Espírito Santo / Minas Gerais and Distrito Federal.

In the north-east of Brazil, it is cultivated in a smaller area in the regions of Ceará and Pernambuco.


Minas Gerais is home to essentially half of all Brazilian coffee. The important regions of this area are:

  • Sul de Minas - this region is one of the main producers of specialty coffee. The temperature here is moderate and stays between 18 and 20 °C. In the mountainous region, coffee trees grow at 1400 m above sea level. This coffee is then characterised by high sweetness and citrus acidity, velvety body and flavours of chocolate and almond.
  • Matas de Minas - a mountainous area with altitudes of around 1200 m above sea level. Half of the growers here are smaller farmers producing coffee with a strong sweet taste and medium acidity.
  • Cerrado - the flat landscape, dry climate during the harvest season and the farmers' investment in quality have given rise to large coffee plantations producing specialty coffees with strong aromas, caramel-nutty flavours, low acidity and full body with a lingering chocolate aftertaste.

São Paulo and in particular the region Alta Mogiana is a traditional coffee producer. From here comes a predominantly natural arabica coffee with a remarkable fruity aroma, creamy body, medium acidity and a long 'aftertaste' of sweet caramel and dark chocolate.

Among the best Brazilian arabicas are those from the Chapada Diamantina and Planalto regions. In these regions, coffee is grown by family farmers who hand-harvest ripe cherries grown at 850 m. The result is coffees with full and sweet body, mild acidity and sweet nutty notes.

The coffee growing regions of Espírito Santo are largely focused on robusta:

  • Conilon Capixaba - a coffee region where almost 60% of the national production of robusta is grown.
  • Montanhas do Espírito Santo - here, the terrain rises in elevation and in the mountains above 400m and above, arabica is grown with complex aromas, full body, sweetness and medium to high acidity.



Coffee is a family business for Colombian producers. Image source: Canva pro

From the northern end of Colombia to the southern border. That's the roughly 3,000km swath of Andean mountains on whose slopes Colombian coffee is grown. The regions of this coffee territory are home to 540,000 coffee families. Most of these family farms are small, roughly up to 2 hectares.

The mountains provide an ideal environment for coffee to grow. The temperature is kept at a constant 17-23 °C. There is plenty of rainfall and at altitudes of 1 200 - 1 800 m above sea level Arabica thrives. The unique mountain microclimates give rise to unique coffees.

In particular, the Typika, Bourbon, Tabi, Caturra, Colombia, Maragogipe and Castillo varieties are grown here. Traditional processing here includes the washed method. In Colombia (depending on the region) there are also two harvests a year. The main harvest takes place from September to December and the secondary harvest, known as MITACA, takes place during April and May.

Approximately 2 million Colombians work with coffee. Colombia is the second largest producer of arabica after Brazil and the third largest coffee producer in the world overall. 20% of production is consumed in Colombia. Coffee from this country provides a rich spectrum of flavours from chocolate notes to very fruity ones.


Colombia's coffee plantations cover 930,000 hectares. The country is divided into 31 territorial administrative units, 22 of which grow coffee.

The coffee-producing area of Colombia can be divided into three parts:

  • Northern regions from Santander to the northern end of Colombia,
  • the central 'coffee belt' comprising the regions of Antioquia, Caldas and Quindia,
  • Finally, the south-western regions mainly Nariño, Cauca and Huila.

In the north of the country, in the Santander and Norte Santander regions, coffee is grown mainly in shade and in lowlands with higher temperatures. Local production accounts for 9% of Colombia's coffee. The taste tends to be milder with low acidity and a chocolate aroma.

The most traditional coffee regions in Colombia are Caldas, Quindio, Risaralda as well as Antioquia and Tolima. The centre of the coffee belt region of Colombia has a unique nature ideal for growing coffee. This area with its mountain villages is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Tolima - produces 12% of Colombia's 117 000 ha of arabica. The coffee has light and sweet floral notes.
  • Antiquia - 130 000 ha of coffee plantations producing fruity arabicas with a mild acidity.

In the southern part of the country's coffee growing region, there are regions that benefit from the diversity of soils, mountain microclimates and high altitudes. These coffees are distinguished from other coffees from lower regions by their medium to high acidity.

  • Huila - 12% of Colombia's coffee production comes from upland plantations covering 153 000 ha. The coffees have medium to high acidity with a sweetly fruity, sometimes vinous full body and an intense aroma with caramel notes.
  • Cauca - here they grow balanced sweet nutty coffees with floral notes and higher acidity. It accounts for 8% of Colombia's coffee production.
  • Nariño - is the southernmost coffee growing area and accounts for 3% of national production. It is characterized by its delicate and fruity flavor, sweetness, high acidity and strong stone fruit aroma.


The young coffee field in Honduras has risen to the top of the world's coffee producers. Image source: Canva pro

It's been a little over 50 years since coffee was barely grown in Honduras. From 1970 - 1996, there was a 200% increase in coffee production!

Now Honduras is thelargest coffee producer in Central America. Approximately 100,000 families are involved in coffee cultivation and coffee is the country's main export commodity. Of the coffee grown, 30% is specialty coffee.

A major problem in Honduras is the weather, which adversely affects the quality of the coffee. Heavy and frequent rains are a problem during the drying process. Insufficient infrastructure also complicates the work of coffee producers.

Honduran coffee offers contrasting flavour profiles, ranging from fruitier to caramel, nutty and chocolate notes. Arabica varieties grown here include Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Pacas and Typika, which are processed using the wet method. Honduras is the 7th largest producer of coffee with 3% of the world market share.


Honduran coffee production involves 210 of the 298 municipalities and 15 of the 18 regions, and 95% are smallholders. 70% of Honduran coffee producers are family coffee farms with less than 2 hectares.

The growing areas can be divided into 6 coffee regions: Copán, Opalaca, Montecillos, Comayagua, Agalta, El paraiso.


The geographical diversity of Honduras and the mountainous areas from 1000 - 1700 m above sea level are excellent for growing quality coffee. The different coffee regions of Honduras with their unique microclimates are gradually distinguishing themselves from the west.

  • Copán - the westernmost coffee growing region in Honduras. The taste of coffee from this region is with a fuller body, cocoa flavour and distinct sweetness and citrus notes.
  • Opalaca - the second western region where balanced coffees are grown, with mild acidity and flavours of grapes or blackberries.
  • Montecillos - This region has the highest plantations in the country. The coffee has a bright citrus acidity and fruity notes.
  • Comayagua - is the largest producing area in Honduras. This is where Honduran coffees come from, with their creamy body and sweet fruit notes.
  • Agalta - coffees have a tropical fruit flavour with a strong acidity. Caramel aroma with occasional chocolate notes and a sweet aftertaste.
  • El Paraiso - the area extends to the southern border with Nicaragua. Local coffees have a smooth body, sweet aroma and citrus flavour with a long 'aftertaste'.


The Andean mountains offer microclimates for the unique and wide range of flavours of the coffee grown here. Image source: Canva pro

Coffee production in Peru is based on small growers with farms of up to 3 hectares. However, there are 100,000 of these farmers growing Arabica Typika, Bourbon, Caturra, Pache, Catimor.

Currently Peru is the largest producer of organic coffee with certified organic production in 36% of farms. Peruvian coffee is grown throughout the central region of the country, from the northern border to the southern. The foothills of the Andes Mountains are 98% coffee fields.

The alternation of different altitudes and 28 unique microclimates in these mountains allow for year-round coffee harvesting. Coffee from Peru accounts for 3% of the world market as the 9th largest coffee producer and 5th among Arabica producers.


As the Andes run the length of Peru, areas suitable for coffee cultivation are spread across the country. The only exception is the south-west coast.

There is also less coffee production in the lower areas to the east and north-east. The whole coffee region can be divided into three specific coffee regions: the south, the central region and the north.


The different regions have their own traditions and customs in coffee cultivation. Unique microclimatic conditions create unique coffees. Peruvian coffee means a wide and unique range of flavours, aromas and qualities.

  • North - more than half of the country's coffee is grown in the Cajamarca, Amazonas, San Martin, Piura and Lambayeque regions.
  • Central region - comprising the regions ofJunin (Chanchamayo), Pasco (Villarica) and Huanuco. At an altitude of 1,200 to 2,000 metres above sea level, mainly organic coffees with an elegant mild acidity and good body are grown. This region accounts for about 30% of the national coffee production.
  • South - Less than 20% of Peru's coffee is grown in the southern Andes in the regions ofPuno, Cusco and Ayacucho.


Young, organically grown coffee trees and quality coffee are bringing producers from Mexico to the forefront of the coffee world. Image source: Canva pro

Coffee from Mexico is gradually gaining ground year on year in production and in the general awareness of the coffee world. Very often, Mexican coffee has the well-known Fairtrade certification and is grown as organic coffee.

Most Mexican coffee growers live in communities where each farms a small coffee field of about 1 hectare. Producers are plagued by low incomes and poor infrastructure. Coffee provides a livelihood for more than 500 000 Mexican families. It is washed or processed in kind.

Arabica accounts for 96% of production and is predominantly in Bourbon, Typika, Caturra, Mundo Novo, Maragogipe, Catimor, Catuai, Garnica varieties. In Mexican coffees you will find fruity and chocolate notes with caramel accompanied by a smooth body with sweetness.


Most coffee in Mexico grows in the south of the country with 400 - 900 m above sea level. In areas above 900 m above sea level, about 35% of coffee trees are grown. Mountain farms at 1700 m above sea level produce distinctive coffees with complex flavours.


Coffee production in the southern regions of Mexico is concentrated in the regions of Chiapas (44 %), Oaxaca (11 %), Veracruz (29 %) and Puebla (11 %).

  • Puebla - this is the 4th largest coffee producing region with subtle notes of nuts and chocolate. Coffee trees grow here in the mountains around 1 400 m above sea level.
  • Varacruz - a region covering the lowlands from the Gulf of Mexico to the highlands. The varied conditions give rise to a wide range of flavours and qualities of coffee, which has berry flavours.
  • Chiapas - near the border with Guatemala is the southernmost and most popular coffee producing region in Mexico. Some of Mexico's best coffees are produced from here, with stone fruit flavours, cocoa aroma and chocolate and nutty aftertaste.
  • Oaxaca - plantations at up to 1,700 metres above sea level on the southern coast of Mexico produce coffees with medium body, chocolate notes, almond flavours and good acidity.


Africa, and specifically Ethiopia, is the original home of the coffee plant, from where coffee cultivation spread around the world. Ethiopia's growers are not slacking off and are among the top coffee producers in the world. Here you will find not only coffee farms (more like small fields) but also wild coffee trees.



In a region known for tea cultivation, Arabicas are also thriving. China is thus beginning to make a significant contribution to the world's production of quality coffee. Image source: Canva for

This African country is directly defined by coffee. Coffee was born in Ethiopia. Remember the story of the discovery of coffee, the Ethiopian herdsman Kaldi and his dancing goats? In Ethiopia, coffee farming is more than a business and a job; coffee and the traditions associated with it are the cultural heritage of the local people.

For generations, the customs and love of coffee have been passed down. The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is an important social event and involves not only the preparation but also the roasting of the coffee.

Small farms of up to 2 hectares produce 95% of Ethiopian coffee. Many of these small farmers process their coffee on the farm, primarily using the subsistence method or the washed method at the washing station. Arabicas from Ethiopia have an unusually bright, floral and citrusy flavour.

With a 5% share of the world coffee market , Ethiopia ranks as the 5th largest producer of coffee in the world and the 3rdlargest producer of arabica. Arabica is grown here in native Heirloom varieties and wild coffee trees grow wild in the forests, often still waiting to be named.


The growing areas are vast from the west, through the south-west to the east of the country. There are three coffee production systems:

  • Forest coffee estates, where wild coffee is harvested,
  • then small plots and coffee gardens, where other crops besides coffee are grown,
  • the smallest percentage is coffee production from a few large coffee plantations.

The characteristics of the coffees from certain areas of Ethiopia have given rise to seven defining coffee regions. In the west Wellega and Lekempte or Nekepte, Kaffa and Bench Maji. Then Jimma and Limu. In the south, the famous Sidamo and Yirgacheffe. In the eastern part of Ethiopia, coffee is grown in the Harar region.

  • Lekempte or Nekempte is the western territory of the Wellega region. In these areas, coffee grown at altitudes of 1,600-2,200 m above sea level is processed by both the natural and washed methods. The best coffees from this region are full-bodied, fruity and even sweeter than those from the popular Yirgacheffe and Sidamo regions.
  • Jimma, Limu - The coffee trees in the Jimma area grow at altitudes of 1300 - 1800 m above sea level and produce balanced coffees with a moderate acidity and full body. It is one of the most important areas of natural coffee in Ethiopia. The coffee from the Limu region is grown at 1100 - 1900 m above sea level and is a washed Arabica. In the case of natural processed coffees from the Lima region, they are called as Djummah. Coffees from this Ethiopian region have a milder flavor, a spicy to vinous aroma and a balanced body.
  • Bench Maji and Kaffa - regions producing balanced coffees with full body. It is grown between 1300 and 1800 m above sea level.
  • Sidamo - the first representative of the 'Big Three' Ethiopian producing areas. The diversity of the local landscape gives the coffee a wide range of flavours from fruity and floral to herbal, citrus and nutty. There are perfect climatic conditions for coffee growing and the terrain at 1500 to 2200 m. . m. Over 60% of Sidama's coffee production is washed from one of the more than 200 washing stations in the region.
  • Yiargacheffe - another of Ethiopia's top three coffee regions. The best Ethiopian coffees often come from Yirgacheffe, with a distinct sweetness and very strong aroma. They are smooth and bright with strong acidity, citrus and floral notes. The coffee trees grow even at more than 2000 m above sea level.
  • Harar - the last of the Ethiopian growing regions to be trademarked by the Ethiopian government and the easternmost of the regions. It is one of the oldest coffee growing areas. The area is characterised by a hot, dry, almost desert climate. Coffee growers, especially the indigenous wild ones, thrive here at altitudes of 1500-2100 m above sea level and mostly use dry or subsistence processing. Most of the award-winning beans are very fruity with hints of berries. Blueberry notes, full body and lower acidity are typical. In the taste you can often find strawberry, banana and mint.


In Uganda, coffee producers focus on robusta, but arabica also thrives on the volcanic soil. Image source: Canva for

    Just as Ethiopia is the home of arabica, so in Uganda robusta coffee is indigenous. Occasionally it still grows here as a wild coffee tree. Of Uganda's coffee production, 80% is robusta and 20% arabica varieties are Typika, SL 14, SL 28 and Kent.

    Arabica is grown only in border areas, mainly at the foot of the extinct Mount Elgon shield volcano near the border with Kenya. Uganda specialises in the cultivation of robusta.

    Overall, it ranks as the 6th largest coffee producer in the world. Robusta is harvested year-round, Arabica from October to February and washed or natural processing is most commonly used.

    Growers in Uganda are trying to introduce innovative practices. Commonly, robusta is grown at lower altitudes. Robusta in Uganda grows at 1500 m above sea level and is processed using the wet method.


    Over 3 million families are supported by work in coffee farming. Growing Ugandan coffee with an emphasis on quality also improves farmers' appreciation.

    The largest area of central Uganda occupies the area for growing robusta Along theeastern, western and northwestern borders we find regions where arabica coffee thrives.


    In the Lake Victoria Basin, where there is rich clay soil and altitude that gives coffee its fresh acidity, the south-western, central and northern regions are robusta producers.

    Arabica cultivation in Uganda is concentrated in three regions:

    • Bugisu - a region that is the only one with UTZ (sustainable agriculture) certified organic coffee from Uganda. The washed Arabicas from the foothills of Mt. Elgon are grown at 1,600-1,900 m. They have a full body with chocolate notes and a sweet mellow flavor.
    • Western Region - In the Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon), fruity arabicas with natural processing chili Drugar (Dry Uganda Arabica) are grown.
    • West nile - along the north-western border with Congo, coffee is also processed using the washed method as Wugar (Washed Uganda Arabica). The terrain of the western and north-western regions of Uganda provides microclimates suitable for growing excellent arabicas with a fruity, vinous flavour and pleasant acidity.


    Ivorian producers were once important suppliers of robusta on the world market. Image source: Canva for

    Côte d'Ivoire's economy is primarily based on the export of cocoa and then coffee. In the 1970s and 1980s, the country was the largest coffee producer in Africa and one of the largest producers of robusta in the world.

    Today, it no longer holds the top spot, but is the 7th largest producer of robusta. Locals process robusta using both dry and wet methods. Most of the coffee then goes mainly to France and Italy.

    In European roasters, Ivory Coast coffee is mainly blended into dark-roast espresso blends. It is characterised by its strong aroma and light body and acidity. Smaller beans are mainly used to make instant coffees or in cheaper coffee blends.


    Forested areas cover the southern part of Côte d'Ivoire. In this area, robusta coffee and cocoa are grown at low altitudes.


    The main coffee-growing regions of Côte d'Ivoire are Bouaké, Bouaflé, Gagnoa, Lakota. Divo, Danané, Man, Sikensi, Dimbokro, Adzopé and Ayamé.

    Ivory Coast's position as one of the largest producers in the coffee market has been abandoned due to: reduced production (due to neglect of coffee trees during the civil wars) and rampant coffee smuggling through neighbouring Mali and Guinea.


    Tanzanian coffee production is mainly natural arabica from smallholders with small coffee farms. Image source: Canva for

    Coffee is Tanzania's largest export product and coffee farming is the livelihood of about 400,000 families. Coffee production is 93% basedon smallholders. Only 7% of producers are coffee largeholders.

    The coffee grown here is 70% arabica and 30% robusta dry-processed. Arabica coffee is 90% wet-processed. The most common arabica varieties from Tanzania are Bournon, Kent, Nyassa, Blue Mountain.

    Currently Tanzania is the17th largest coffee producer in the world. Traditionally, coffee was grown in the north, but in recent years money has been invested in areas to the south of the country. Coffee from this region represents huge potential. It has floral and citrus notes with a mild acidity.


    The first successful commercial plantations were established on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Today, coffee is grown in virtually all mountain areas of Tanzania.

    Near Lake Victoria on the border with Kenya, which has a similar volume of coffee production to Tanzania, and across the lake on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

    Other areas of Tanzanian coffee production extend along the western border to the south and nearLake Nyasa. Also at the foot of the mountains Uluguru and Udzungwa, where another new variety of coffee tree, Coffea kihansiensis, has been discovered.


    In Tanzania, we can define 9 coffee regions: Kilimanjaro, which includes the Arusha and Usamba Mountains, followed by Mbeya, Ruvuma, Kagera, Morogoro, Kigoma, Ngara, Tarime, Bukoba and Mbinga.

    • Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Usamba Mountains - the oldest coffee growing area in Tanzania. The volcanic soil and altitude give ideal conditions for producing great African coffees.
    • Ruvuma and Mbinga - an area of newly established plantations that has a relatively high potential for high quality.
    • Mbeya - the region is one of the country's main exporters of coffee, tea, cocoa and spices.
    • Tarime - a region in the Mara Territory, which lies between Lake Victoria and the Kenyan border. Coffee grows at about 1500 m above sea level and subsistence processing is used here.
    • Kagera and Bukoba - on the other side of the lake from Tarime, mainly Robusta is grown, accounting for 25% of total coffee production.


    Kenya's coffee plantations produce excellent Arabicas with exceptionally bright flavours and acidity. Image source: Canva for

      Kenyan coffee ranks among the best quality coffees in the world. It has rich flavour profiles. In particular, there are flavours of fruit, citrus and flowers. Coffee from Kenya has a full and juicy body, very intense aromas and bright flavours.

      It is grown between 1 400 and 2 000 m above sea level and is mainly washed Arabica varieties SL 28, SL 34, K7, Ruiru 11 and Batien. Harvesting takes place from October to December and the second crop is harvested from April to June.

      The processing and washing stations bring together thousands of smallholder coffee growers, of which there are 600 000 in total in Kenya. Only 330 coffee plantations cover more than 15 hectares. Kenya is the 15th largest producer of arabica.


      Coffee is grown most in the central region. This is where 60% of production comes from. Next is the eastern region almost in the heart of Kenya. Also around Lake Victoria in the western region at the foot of Mt. Elgon and in the Nyanza area, which is rich in rainfall.

      In the mountains of the Rift-Valley region, where coffee trees thrive on young volcanic soil. Finally, it is also grown in the coastal area near the southern border with Tanzania.