There are a few things that are universal to countries around the world, and one of them is a love for great coffee. In many cities around the world, the local cafe is both a point of pride and a must-visit when you make a trip there. Having sampled some truly great coffees around the world, I know firsthand that there’s nothing like starting your day with some of the best coffee in the world. Here is our best countries for coffee guide!
When you’re in your own kitchen, you might be missing out on the feeling of sitting outside in front of the cafe, but now that sites like Gourmesso exist, you don’t have to miss out on great coffee. These days, you can get coffee from all over the world without ever leaving your home, and these nations produce some of the best coffee you can drink, no matter where you’re drinking it!
When you’re getting coffee in Cuba, you’re usually getting cafe con leche, which has become as famous in the United States as it is on the island of Cuba. The difference is, they really know how to make it well in Cuba, especially in the capital city of Havana. If you drink hot coffee on a regular basis, you’ve probably experienced the sensation of burning your tongue by drinking it before it was cool enough to consume.
That’s not a worry in Havana. At the cafes in the Old City, the waiters are so experienced that they actually bring it out at the perfect temperature for you to drink right away! All you have to do is decide if you want sugar and then enjoy one of the smoothest tasting coffees that you’ll ever have.
How big is coffee in Ethiopia? There’s actually a soccer team there called Ethiopian Coffee Sports Club. That’s a sign that they take their coffee seriously in the eastern African nation, and for good reason. Coffea arabica, the plant species that actually produces the coffee beans grown in Africa, was first discovered in Ethiopia. The plant’s ideal growing location is in areas that are over 4,000 feet above sea level, which perfectly fits the Ethiopian Highlands, Africa’s largest continuous mountain range.
While Ethiopian coffee is famous, what you might not know is that coffee in Ethiopia is a lot like Mexican food. Many people think that it’s all the same, but in reality, in different parts of the country, the taste is very different. In Harrar, for example, you’ll get a taste of fruit compote and dark chocolate, while coffee from the Yergacheffe region features the aroma and taste of tangerine. Either way, Ethiopian coffee is so good that many natives don’t let it leave the nation’s borders because they love the taste that much. If you get to try some, savor it. Ethiopia coffee is at the top of our list for Best Countries for Coffee!
Much like Ethiopia, Colombia takes its coffee seriously. Colombia is a relative newcomer to the world of coffee, having only acquired the crop in the 18th century. But since it was introduced, the Colombians have made it their own. Colombia also has the perfect climate for growing coffee, and what really sets Colombian coffee apart is the smooth taste. Most Colombian coffee comes from hand-picked beans, and the families who pick the beans in the mountainous regions of Colombian coffee have been doing so for decades, giving them a perfect eye for when a coffee cherry is ripe and ready to harvest the bean.
When coffee is picked at the peak of freshness, it gives it a smooth, sweet taste that makes your cup of joe incredibly enjoyable to drink. The Colombians know this well, and it’s that experience that’s built their reputation as having some of the world’s best coffee.
And here’s your curveball, as Austria isn’t exactly known for growing coffee beans the way Colombia and Ethiopia are. Coffee beans need a constant high temperature to thrive, and while Austria has the elevation of the Alps, snow-covered mountain simply aren’t going to produce great coffee beans.
So why is Austria on this list? Austria’s here because of coffee culture. Specifically, Austria’s capital city of Vienna is home to several wonderfully charming cafes, all of which serve some outstanding coffee. Austrian cafes know that they don’t have the climate to grow coffee beans, so they import their beans from countries like Ethiopia and Guatemala and put their own spin on it. One of the best cafes at this is Cafe Julius Meinl, which offers espresso, Turkish-style coffee and the traditional Karlsbader Methode, produced in several interesting ways that are a delight for coffee connoisseurs. Sometimes, the culture of the drink is just as important as the origin, and Austria certainly proves that to be the case.
It simply wouldn’t be a list of great coffee without including Brazil. Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee, in large part because of how large the country is. However, that’s had one serious drawback: it’s hurt Brazil’s reputation because when you produce that much coffee, not every bean is going to be up to standards.
That’s a shame, because when it’s good, Brazilian coffee is really good. Much like Ethiopia, Brazilians consume most of the best coffee themselves, which means that to get the really good stuff, you often have to head down to South America yourself. The best Brazilian coffee is grown near Sao Paulo, and it’s best used to mix flavors because of its soft taste, which features a hint of bittersweet chocolate that blends well with many of the flavors that we know well in mixed coffees and espressos. Put simply, Brazilian coffee might be the top coffee there is for mixing flavors, and that’s no small feat.
When you get to start your day with some of the best coffee in the world, chances are that it’s going to be a good day. Whether it’s produced at a local coffeeshop, made in your home through orders from Gourmesso or another service, or you’re lucky enough to travel to one of these countries and enjoy it there, there’s nothing like a great cup of joe. Hopefully your next morning coffee is up to the level of these five countries!
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