Where Do Coffee Beans Come From

Coffee beans grown on trees right? Well they are beans right? I always remember when I looked to find out where coffee beans came from and discovered that they were not actually beans at all. The reality is that coffee is really a fruit, and in some cases some coffee beans actually come from poop.

​Where Are Coffee Beans Grown?

​There is around the world what is known a coffee belt, and it is within certain regions of these countries that the coffee plant or shrub is grown. The coffee belt as such runs either side of the equator. The shrubs actually look like mini Christmas trees and they grow a cherry style of flower. Within these flowers is a seed, and it is this seed that is the actual coffee bean.

​Where Does Coffee Come From in the World? - Top 10 Coffee Producing Countries

coffee countries of the world

​Brazil is the largest coffee-producing nation in the world. Just below we have included the top 10 coffee producing countries in the world in terms of the average production of coffee in a year.

  1. ​Brazil produces about 3,000,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.
  2. Vietnam produces 1,500,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.
  3. Colombia does about 750,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.
  4. Indonesia does about 540,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.
  5. Ethiopia does about 400,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.
  6. India does about 350,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.
  7. Honduras does about 280,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.
  8. Mexico does about 250,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.
  9. Uganda does about 240,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.
  10. Guatemala does about 210,000,000 kilograms of coffee beans a year.

The video below shows the production trail of coffee.

According to the Roasterie dot com website:​

​"There are 102 varieties of Arabica coffee (a high-grown, better tasting coffee) and just 2 species of Robusta coffee (a cheaper coffee bean that is used in a majority of Folgers and Maxwell House products). The first ever Arabica coffee bean plant was discovered in Ethiopia, which is where half of the world’s coffee production comes from."

What Does the Coffee Plant Look Like?

In the image below, you can see what the coffee plant or shrub looks like.​ People also refer to this as a coffee tree given that it can grow to a considerable height. Arabica coffee accounts for about 75-80% of the world's production, and it is a better quality coffee than the Robusta coffee.

When a new coffee plant is planted, it takes about 3-4 years for the flowers to grow and they have a nice sweet smell.​ As you can see in the image below the coffee cherry appears and is initially a green colour, but that turns red eventually.

The leaves of the coffee tree are elliptical in shape and are shiny, waxy and a dark green colour.​ They also produce a lot of oxygen up into the air.

The seeds are eventually cultivated. If you would like to read about the coffee production process, then check out my article called from the bean to the cup.

the coffee plant with cherries

According to Wikipedia

​Coffea is a genus of flowering plants whose seeds, called coffee beans, are used to make coffee. It is a member of the family Rubiaceae. They are shrubs or small trees native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. Coffee ranks as one of the world's most valuable and widely traded commodity crops and is an important export product of several countries, including those in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa.

Some Coffee Drinks from around the World

In the short video below you can have a quick look at some original coffee drinks from around the world. Some of those are very interesting.​

Do Coffee Beans Come from Poop?

Well some coffee actually does believe it or not.​ The best known of these is kopi luwak, often called "cat poop coffee." An Indonesian cat, known as the civet cat eats and digest the berries and seeds from the coffee tree. They then digest those and clearly then do a poo. The actual faeces of this cat is collected, finished and sold as coffee beans.

Some people love this and many people will simply say no thanks.​ If you want to see this process in action, then feel free to have a look for yourself in the video below.

So as you can see coffee comes from countries based in and around the earth's equator. For many countries this is one of their key farming outputs. It is a commodity that is always in great demand. So the next time you sit down to your favourite brew, spare a though for all those trees and the hard working farmers who produce the splendid beans.

Enda McLarnon
 

Enda McLarnon has a Business Management Honour's Degree and applies his professional insight, to analyse and write helpful product reviews with tips and useful advice. I am also a coffee lover and enjoy tasting all of the coffee types the world has to offer.

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