Best countries for Coffee experience

Coffee with moka espresso maker

I love coffee. It is the main reason why I am getting up early in the morning. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. But it should comes as a no surprise that I look for places with best coffee in the world. I actually hated the drip coffee I consumed at my day job in the States. It was watery and weak. I’ve tried all coffee varieties from drip coffee, french press, moca pot, Vietnamese filter to Indian coffee pot.

I even tried the new age pour over coffee (in Seattle) and cold brew (in Barcelona). I only started to appreciate coffee when I started to travel. I came across the Italian espresso mocha maker five years ago and fell in love with this coffee. I started to carry my own mini Moca pot ever since in my travels.

Who are the Producers and Consumers of Coffee around the world?

And the top 5 major producers of coffee beans in the world:

  • Brasil
  • Vietnam
  • Colombia
  • Indonesia
  • Ethiopia

Do you know that after Oil, Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world with almost half a trillion cups consumer per year. So now in terms of which countries produce the cacao beans in the world:

WorldAtlas.com

Here is the general view of coffee growing regions around the world.

  • South America (Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador)
  • Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama)
  • Africa (Ethioia, Uganda)
  • Asia (Vietnam, Indonesia, India)
  • North America (Mexico)
Source: Wiredforcoffee.com

Interestingly majority of the countries where the cocoa is produced lack the coffee culture. If you travel to places like Brasil or Colombia you may not find the best brewing technique or taste let alone you will even find a decent cup of coffee. In Colombia, Ecuador and Vietnam they mix sugar into the coffee when they make it. And they don’t make it strong. It taste like some sugary concoction. Because of the lack of coffee culture most coffee producing countries export the best quality coffee beans to developed western countries. Most coffee export goes to Europe and United States.

So who consumes the most coffee in the world? Apparently the Scandinavians are coffee fanatics.

  • Scandinavian Countries (Finland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark)
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • USA

Which bean you prefer?

There are really two major variety of coffee beans.

  • Arabica (70% of market share)
  • Robusto (30%)

So what’s the major difference between the two beans? Arabica beans are more sweeter, softer, with tones of sugar, fruit, and berries. Robusta on the other hand is more earthy with bitter taste and a grain-like flavor. Also Robusto is cheaper and easier to grow.

Robusta contain more caffeine and less sugar than arabica, and therefore tastes stronger and harsher than arabica.

EnjoyJava.com

The top 3 countries that currently produce Robusto are Vietnam, Brazil and Indonesia. And as for as Arabica Indonesia leads the pack.

What type of coffee ground is necessary for your coffee pot?

  • Turkish coffee – Extra Fine
  • Espresso coffee – Medium Fine
  • French Press – Coarse
  • Indian coffee maker – Fine

When it comes to coffee there are many options to choose from in terms of how you want your coffee to be grounded and served. Go with whatever floats your boat. Caffeine can do wonders for you from curing Alzheimer disease to increasing brain function to keeping you mentally alert.

Which type of coffee pot?

Italian espresso pot is widely available in all Southern European countries. The best brand to buy is Bialetti. But if you are in Naples you can find many cheaper brands everywhere on the street.

The Ottaman era Turkish coffee pot is widely available in countries that were part of Ottaman empire – Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia, Armenia, Georgia etc. The coffee ground you need for the pot is really fine.

Pour over was the traditional way of making coffee. It involves a slow process of pouring hot water around the conical filter (usually metallic or paper filter} into a ground coffee. As you pour the water you can start to smell the enchanting aroma. There is no better smell than coffee smell. The pour over coffee is making a come back with coffee connoisseurs.

Coffee Pour over in Salento, Colombia

Where to visit a coffee farm?

Here is where coffee is grown around the world:

  • Mogiana, Sul Minas and Cerrado – Brasil
  • Cafe eje cafetero – Colombia
  • Chiapas region – Mexico
  • Harrar, Ghimbi and Sidamo – Ethioia
  • Daklak region in central highlands – Vietnam
  • Karnataka in Western Ghats – India

If you go to Colombia I recommend visiting the Cafe eje cafetero (coffee growing axis) in the Quindio region and stay in a coffee farm. You can get to see how coffee is grown, picked, dried, roasted, grounded and packaged. One great place to visit is El Ocaso Salento in Salento.

My best coffee experience was in….

So what is my experience in terms of coffee consumption around the world. For me the places where I experienced the best coffee in the world would be: (drumroll please)

  • Lviv, Ukraine
  • Kyiv, Ukraine
  • Naples, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
  • Paris, Italy
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Melbourne, Australia

So what matters about coffee is if the country supports a coffee culture. For me Italians invented the coffee culture and Austrians and French perfected it. A nice dose of espresso shot can be found in any bars, cafes or even in the metro stations. Coffee can be expensive in Western European countries like France or Austria. But for the best cost / quality I would recommend going to Ukraine. The coffee culture is very strong here. You will see a cafe literally in every corner of Lviv or Kyiv.

As a full time digital nomad / Techpreneur / Travel Blogger I live on coffee. I don’t go to a cafe to get my adrenaline shot. I make my own coffee in the comfortable place of my kitchen. I often travel with a small mocha pot (good for one cup of espresso) and a copper Turkish style pot. They both are pretty easy to use.

Leave us your favorite coffee experience and type of coffee pot you carry with you in your travels in the comment section.

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4 Comments

  • Barbara , November 6, 2019

    I love coffee. When I went to Paris, I thought the coffee there was really great. I also love Vietnamese coffee. So good!

    • Chan , November 6, 2019

      Yea i agree with what you said about Paris and Vietnam. It was actually the French who brought the coffee culture to Vietnam -:)

      Thanks for commenting.

  • Anda , November 6, 2019

    Very good post, loved it. I’m a big fan of coffee tot and I found out some interesting things from you articles. Best coffee I had was in Italy (everywhere).

    • Chan , November 12, 2019

      Thanks Anda. Italy is definitely in the top of the list. Baristas over there are like artists -:)

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