A Guide to Coffee Flavors from 16 Countries

A great cup of coffee starts with great coffee beans.

Just like any great recipe, it all comes down to the ingredients you use. The most important factor in a great tasting brew is choosing the right coffee beans.

The country in which coffee is grown is tantamount to determining the final brew’s taste, acidity, and complexity. The climate, altitude, soil composition, and harvesting procedures all play an important role during the farming process. As with any crop, the care that is put into growing and picking the coffee cherries will also have an effect on the final product.

Coffee is grown all over world, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and each country and region has its own signature profile that you can pick up on. In general, beans from Central America tend to have a fruity and balanced composition, while South America’s beans are known for their medium body and mellow acidity, and Kenya and Ethiopia produce savory-sweet beans unlike anywhere else. The countries listed below will give you an idea of the spectrum of flavor profiles in each region; this is not a definitive list by any means, but rather a starting point to encourage you to explore and discover the unique flavors of each country for yourself.

COFFEE BELT

The best coffee-growing regions that form an imaginary band between the tropics of cancer and capricorn. These areas have ideal conditions for growing coffee beans.

    1. Kenya - rich full body & floral aroma, citrus and herbal flavor, wine-like acidity
    2. India - full body, spicy & fruity flavor, smooth, bright acidity
    3. Colombia - fruity, nutty aroma, caramel flavor, smooth medium body, heavy finish, citrus-like acidity
    4. Ethiopia - bright fruity flavor, floral aroma, creamy, low acidity, medium body, clean finish
    5. Costa Rica - medium body, sweet brown sugar aroma, citrus & nutty flavor, crisp acidity
    6. Hawaii - mild fruity flavor, complex aroma and taste, medium body, bright acidity
    7. Sumatra - fruity & nutty flavor, rich full body, sweet finish, earthy & woody aroma, low acidity
    8. Brazil - fruity & nutty aroma, chocolatey flavor, medium-full body, sweet finish, low acidity
    9. Honduras - vanilla & hazelnut aroma, full body, chocolatey & nutty flavor, sweet finish, balanced acidity
    10. Burundi - sweet and clean flavor, medium body, brightly acidic, with wild fruity notes
    11. Peru - fruity aroma, light fruity/floral flavor, clean finish, light-medium body, mild acidity
    12. Mexico - sweet, nutty flavor, caramel, floral, light body, light acidity
    13. Bolivia - sweetly aromatic, clean and classic taste, mild acidity, with notes of chocolate and caramel
    14. Vietnam - sharp, strong, distinctive roasted taste; higher acidity and higher caffeine content
    15. Guatemala - rich chocolatey flavor, sweet, lightly fruity, medium-full body, bright acidity
    16. Panama - honey and citrus flavor profile, light body, bright acidity

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