Last Updated on July 21, 2023 by Barry Gray
Have you ever wondered where coffee beans are grown? I know I have, and I understand why.
Coffee beans are grown in sub-tropical parts of the world. Coffee plants require a relatively steady temperature and high altitude. The exact altitude and temperature change the flavor of the beans that are grown leading to us having such a variety of coffee to choose from.
Here are some of the better-known areas that grow our delicious coffee beans. Some you might know already, and a few will take you by surprise, and it’s also not the complete list as that would be too long.
I love the smell of coffee in the morning. Few things can beat the comfort of that smell. It is familiar yet enticing, comforting yet filled with endless possibilities.
That is the possibility for different flavors, tastes, and types of coffee. We all have our preferences for which coffee we enjoy and why. Knowing this may illuminate why we love that particular cup of brew.
The flavor and diversity of coffee make me wonder about coffee. Have you wondered too? If you are anything like me, you also have your favorite methods of preparing coffee.
I’d Love to Travel to Each Coffee Destination – It Would Be Quite a Trip
I have yet to be lucky enough to travel to some of the world’s most famous coffee-growing regions, from the lush hills of Colombia to the volcanic slopes of Hawaii, but I have done my homework; in this article.
I’ll take you worldwide to see where coffee beans are grown. We’ll learn about the different types of coffee beans, the climate, and the soil conditions ideal for growing coffee.
Make a cup of coffee and kick back while we talk about the exciting places you will find the manufacture of coffee.
What is the Bean Belt?
Most coffee production is concentrated in a belt around the equator, known as the “Bean Belt.” There are, however, over 70 countries that grow coffee beans.
The bean-belt stretches from the Tropic of Cancer in the north to the Tropic of Capricorn in the south.
I will focus on only some 70; that would take a book. Instead, I will mention a few of the most well-known countries that are the biggest producers of coffee beans.
The reasons why coffee beans are grown in these countries vary, but some of the most common causes include:
- The climate is suitable for growing coffee. Coffee beans need a tropical or subtropical climate with warm, humid weather. The soil is more suitable for the bean to grow; they enjoy the heat and the sunshine.
- The soil is suitable for growing coffee. Coffee beans need well-drained, acidic soil.
- There is a long history of coffee production in the country. Many countries where coffee beans are grown have a long coffee history of production, dating back centuries. It could be their primary source of export.
- There is a strong demand for coffee in the country. Many countries where coffee beans are grown have a strong need for domestic and international coffee. Although now, coffee is in demand all over the world. Thanks to great marketing, which is a bonus for the coffee farmers and their workers.
There Are Two Main Coffee Beans, And Each Demands Its Particular Climate And Conditions
The type of bean grown in a particular country depends on several factors, including the climate, the soil, and the preferences of coffee farmers.
The most well-known types of beans are Arabica and Robusta. You probably have your favorite by now, but for new readers, it could still be a journey for them.
All beans have their place in the industry, serving different needs.
- Arabica beans are the most popular type of coffee bean. They are known for their smooth, delicate flavor and low caffeine content.
- Robusta beans are less popular than Arabica beans but are still widely used. They are known for their strong, bitter flavor and high caffeine content.
Who are the Main Coffee Producing Countries?
Even though over 70 countries produce coffee, several produce more than others. I think you will be surprised by a couple of the leading players, as I know I was taken aback when I started to dive into which countries produced the most coffee.
- Brazil: Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee, accounting for over 30% of global production. Coffee is grown in all regions of Brazil, but the main producing areas are in the south and southeast. Arabica beans are the most common type of bean grown here, but Robusta beans are also grown in some areas. Brazil is a major producer of coffee because it has the lovely humidity and soil that coffee beans love. The country also has a long history of coffee production, dating back to the 1700s. Today coffee makes up 33% of their total export, a considerable percentage.
- Colombia: Colombia is the second-largest producer of coffee in the world. Coffee is grown in all regions of Colombia, but the main producing areas are in the central and western highlands. Arabica beans are the most common type of bean grown in Colombia, and they are known for their smooth, delicate flavor. Colombia is a major producer of coffee because it has a suitable climate and soil for growing coffee. The country also has a long history of coffee production, dating back to the 1800s. In 2021 over $3B of coffee was exported from Colombia.
- Indonesia: Indonesia is the third-largest producer of coffee in the world. Coffee is grown in all regions of Indonesia, but the main producing areas are the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi. Arabica beans are the most common type of bean grown in Indonesia, but Robusta beans are also grown in some areas. Indonesia is a major producer of coffee because it has a suitable climate and soil for growing coffee. The country also has a long history of coffee production, dating back to the 1600s.
- Vietnam: Vietnam is the fourth-largest producer of coffee in the world. Coffee is grown in all regions of Vietnam, but the main producing areas are in the south. Robusta beans are the most common bean grown in Vietnam, known for their strong, bitter flavor. Vietnam is a major producer of coffee because it has a suitable climate and soil for growing Robusta beans. The country also has a relatively low labor cost, making it a cost-effective coffee production place.
- Ethiopia: Ethiopia is the fifth-largest producer of coffee in the world. Coffee originated in Ethiopia, and it is still one of the most important crops in the country. Arabica beans are the most common type of bean grown in Ethiopia, and they are known for their unique, complex flavor. Ethiopia is a major producer of coffee because of its warm client and excellent soil, which is great for growing Arabica beans. The country also has a long history of coffee production, dating back to the 1500s.
The Climate Will Determine Which Beans Are Grown
The type of bean grown in a particular country depends on several factors, including the climate, the soil, and the preferences of coffee farmers. However, the two most common types of coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta, as mentioned above, which is essential.
- Arabica beans are the most popular type of coffee bean. They are known for their smooth, delicate flavor and low caffeine content. Arabica beans are grown in countries with high altitudes and cooler climates, such as Vietnam. These coffee beans are easily affected by adverse conditions and pests, so more time, effort, and knowledge is required for successful crops.
- Robusta beans are less famous than Arabica beans but are still widely used. They are known for their strong, bitter flavor and high caffeine content. Robusta beans are grown in countries with lower altitudes and warmer climates. Robusta beans still have their footprint firmly placed in the coffee bean stakes and are easier to grow than Arabica coffee beans.
A lot of the workers that are involved in the production of coffee earn meager wages.
Coffee Workers’ Low Wages: How Consumers Can Help
While coffee production and farming is a big industry, many of the workers involved in growing coffee earn pretty low wages—some as little as $2.00 per day.
That’s shocking, and we don’t often think of it when we order or cup of coffee in our local coffee shop.
There are many reasons why coffee workers are paid so little. One reason is that the coffee industry is a commodity market, which means that the price of coffee is determined by supply and demand.
The Fluctuating Price Of Coffee Beans
There are a couple of reasons why the price of coffee beans fluctuate so much, but the two main reasons are simply supply and demand.
- Supply: This refers to the amount of coffee available for sale. The amount of coffee can be affected by factors such as the weather, the quality of the coffee beans, and the cost of production.
- Demand: This refers to the amount of coffee consumers are willing to buy. The coffee market can be affected by factors such as the price of coffee, the availability of other beverages, and the economy’s overall health.
When the supply of coffee is high and the demand for coffee is low, the price of coffee will be low because more coffee is available than those who want it.
Conversely, when the supply of coffee is low and the demand for coffee is high, the coffee price will increase because less coffee is available than people who want to buy it.
Another reason coffee workers get paid so little is the need for more transparency in the coffee supply chain. Coffee is not processed at the point of farming.
It isn’t easy to track where the coffee beans come from and how much the farmers get paid. As a result, it can be challenging to ensure that coffee workers get paid a fair wage.
The coffee workers are better off than it first seems.
In many countries, unemployment is very high, so having a job at least gives a family some income. Often poorer communities will look out for each other and help one another, so there is a great community spirit.
Coffee bean prices can shoot up or down; if the price is down, so are workers’ wages. To help workers earn fair wages, consumers can join the Fair Trade Initiative.
Fair Trade And Doing Your Bit
Fair Trade Coffee is certified to ensure that coffee farmers are paid a reasonable price for their beans; this means they get paid the same amount regardless of the supply and demand trade. In turn, this means workers earn a decent wage.
Finally, consumers can also support organizations working to improve coffee workers’ wages and working conditions. Some organizations are working to make a difference, and you can donate money, volunteer your time, or spread the word about their work.
By buying Fair Trade coffee, coffee from small, independent roasters, or supporting organizations working to improve coffee workers’ wages and working conditions, you can help ensure that coffee workers can earn a living.
Here are some specific ways that consumers can help coffee workers earn a living:
- Buy Fair Trade coffee. Fair Trade Coffee is certified to ensure that coffee farmers are paid a reasonable price for their beans.
- Buy coffee from small, independent roasters. Small, independent roasters are more likely to have a direct relationship with the coffee farmers and are more likely to pay a fair price for the beans.
- Donate to organizations working to improve coffee workers’ wages and working conditions. Many organizations are working to make a difference, and you can donate money, volunteer your time, or spread the word.
By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that coffee workers can earn a living and provide for their families.
Coffee is rich in history and a significant economic player in the commodities arena. Making coffee from small coffee beans is a massive subject, and the countries that come together to produce, process, and distribute coffee are a marvel.
Perhaps now, paying a little more for your coffee will only hit the pocket a little, but even if it does, there are ways you can still get good coffee within your budget.