I drink a lot of coffee. Like, 4-5 a day. I’ve tasted coffee from all over the world and I loved (almost) every cup.
What was once called the ‘magical fruit’ in the 11th century Ethiopia has given rise to one of the biggest commodities in the world.
This illustrious drink serves a different purpose for many cultures. Drinking coffee with strangers in Turkey is a common occurrence. While most coffee in Cambodia might come from a machine packed sachet, there’s nothing like a sweet iced caffeine hit in the humid heat.
I have come to love coffee, not matter where it’s from, which has encouraged me to understand it better.
Let’s take a look at some of the best beans and drinks. Hopefully, we’ll get a better understanding of which countries make the best coffee. I’m definitely not the guy to choose where the ultimate cup comes from, someone’s done that, but let’s check out the contenders.
Most (if not all) of the coffee in the world is grown in what’s called the “coffee belt”. These countries have the right climate and soil to grow the beans. It’s hard to say which beans are the best, so I’ll mention some of the contenders.
Side note; Arabic coffee, usually grown over 3000ft, is generally known as the best coffee bean. Apparently coffee grows best on mountains – the more you know, right?
Coffee lovers will feel right at home with the Colombian beans. With most beans grown on small family farms, Colombians treat their coffee with an intimate sense of pride. A generally mild and acidic taste.
Australia’s coffee culture isn’t necessarily ancient, but they do make a great cup. Though it’s sometimes trendy in Australia to pick the most alternative cup of coffee, the ‘Flat White’ is a common choice.
Notably, Australians have featured in the top ranks of many coffee competitions around the world. (As well as people from Japan and the USA).
You can head down to Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide to see some cool and quirky café’s hidden around every corner.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee (cà phê sữa đá) is a sweet drink served in a tall glass. In the humid South East Asian heat, a mix of strong coffee, condensed milk and ice is a welcome change from the hot coffees of the world.
Coffee is so much a part of Ethiopia culture that they have a daily Coffee Ceremony.
The morning ceremony starts with a woman from the community roasting the beans and presenting them for guests to smell. The woman then grinds the beans and brings them to a boil 3 times before pouring for the eldest first. This gives the Ethiopians time to catch up on local politics and generally hang out with each other.
The people typically enjoy a sweet and sometimes salty coffee with no milk.
Most understand that coffee originated from Ethiopia where till this day they still produce some of the best and most diverse beans in the world.
The Moroccans enjoy some of the most flavourful coffee around. They tend to use lots of spices in their coffee, including nutmeg, sesame seeds and black peppers. Drinking it black and strong, this coffee packs a punch.
The outdoor coffee culture in Morocco is vibrant. Friends will often gether around tables outside of coffee houses playing board games and socializing.
Brazil exports around 1/3 of the world’s coffee, making it the largest producer of coffee beans of all the countries.
Fun Fact: During the 1920’s Brazil supplied almost 80% of the coffee in the world!
Arabic beans from Brazil are often some of the best quality and definitely a preferable choice for most coffee drinkers.
Brazilians will often drink coffee with each meal, in a similar fashion to an espresso generally called “cafezinho”.
Turkish coffee is a well-known drink that has spread through the majority of eastern European countries.
The Turkish Coffee is a strong black drink served in a small cup. You will usually be asked if you want sugar before hand as the coffee is steamed. Coffee produced this way usually leaves granules like sediment at the bottom of your drink.
People in Turkey will drink coffee throughout the day, often spending long hours out the front of cafés socializing.
If you ask my girlfriend (from Oslo), she’ll tell you that Norwegian’s generally prepare some of the best coffee in the world.
One thing’s for sure though, the Nords love their coffee.
Another Fun Fact: They are among the biggest coffee drinkers on the globe, second only to the Finnish. Most will know the difference between a good coffee and a bad one.
They have a few weird drinks using coffee, one is made with an egg. The other is a mix of coffee and vodka with sugar, known as Karsk.
It’s no secret to anyone that the Italians make a great coffee. Typically a standard coffee in Italy would be an espresso – a small ‘shot’ of coffee – though that’s where the simplicity ends. There’s a long list of variations on what you can call different ratios of espresso shots, water, steamed milk and froth in Italian. The same goes for French and Spanish.
That’s even before the laté art starts.
It must be noted that if you’re visiting the big tourist cities of Italy, France and Spain, make sure you check out the smaller cafés to get a taste of true European Espressos. Avoid the touristic places if you can.
The french do their coffee similar to the Italians and the Spaniards. A small espresso shot is the norm and customers will have to ask specifically for anything different.
If you’re a coffee enthusiast who’s heading to France, make sure you’ve read up on your lingo before you get there to get the best that the country has to offer.
Panama has the perfect coffee bean climate, with high altitudes, volcanic soils and the right amount of rain and sun. Because of this, Panama coffee beans are often regarded as the best in the world.
People visit Panama just to try the coffee and the families that produce the beans are common names in the communities around this country.
Café con leche means coffee with milk or cream.
Indonesia (Kopi Luwak/Civet Coffee)
Civet coffee is the most expensive coffee in the world!
This is because of the coffee beans are actually part of a cat’s poop. Yep.
The Palm Civet eats the berries and then defecates onto the forest floor, where the Indonesian people will collect them to be dried and roasted. Both the selection and the digestion of the berries make the eventual coffee beans some of the tastiest around. Because of this, a kilogram of these coffee beans costs upwards of $600.00 US!
Now I’m not going to say this is a complete list of the best types of coffee ever and my coffee bean knowledge isn’t extensive. But now you know a lot more about the different shapes and sizes of coffees around the globe.