• 10 Coffee Spots Around The World

    Coffee: staple beverage of office workers and beloved of trendsetters across the UK. It may end up in your flat white in a poky, up-cycled furniture-laden pop-up in Shoreditch, but where does coffee come from? Here are some of the world’s biggest and best coffee producing nations where you can go to see how your brew starts out.

Colombia

Perched in the north west of South America, Colombia is famed for producing superb coffee. Visit the Huila region, where micro-lots of cooperative farmers, each growing about 60 bags of beans, produce a smooth, plummy coffee with crisp acidity.

Photo by Pedro Szekely

Thailand

A lot of the robusta coffee that ends up in your bulk standard granule-based brand is from Thailand, but they have a strong small-scale heritage too. The place to go is Chiang Rai province in the north, where the combination of monsoons and dry winters makes for coffee that tastes of caramel and sweet fruits. Doi Chaang, produced by a hill tribe in the region, is especially good.

Photo by The CopperCat

Brazil

The daddy of all coffee producing countries, Brazil exports the lion’s share of the world’s crop, mostly going into poorer quality generic brand coffee. Recently hit by drought, the industry, which is largely composed of small-scale farms of fewer than 10 hectares, is suffering at the moment. The state of Minas Gerais produces much of the best coffee, light and fruit with good acidity, when it’s not bone-dry.

Photo by Anna Christina Oliveira

Ethiopia

Coffee is such a part of Ethopian society that they even have a football team named after the company that exports it from Addis Ababa. The town of Yirgacheffe is the go-to destination, where beans are dried in the sun before export. The Oromia co-operative produces organic, Fair Trade coffee redolent of red wine and berries, making possibly the best filter coffee you’ll ever have.

Photo by Yara Tucek

India

Coffee was smuggled into India from Yemen in the 17th century in the belt of a Muslim saint, Baba Budan and cultivation began almost immediately in the Chikkamagaluru district. The Indian coffee industry is still largely based in this area and the rest of the Karnataka state. Fair Trade practices were brought in last year and small-scale coffee production is booming in the beautifully forested region.

Photo by Souvik Das Gupta

Guatemala

Abundantly fertile, 20 of Guatamela’s 22 regions produce significant amounts of coffee, helped by a National Association of Growers that encourages small farmers to pool resources and knowledge. The Acatenango Valley, in the shadow of a volcano, is both beautiful and rich in coffee heritage, producing a wonderfully bright, floral coffee with chocolately smoothness.

Photo by Berliner Kaffeerösterei

Rwanda

Coffee has been a crucial part of Rwanda’s economic recovery after the horrors of the genocide. The Maraba district in the south of the country produces the best beans, mostly under the auspices of the Abahuzamugambi cooperative, supplying heavily to Union who roast for lots of the artisan cafes in the UK. Charities supplying bicycles to growers in Maraba also laid the foundations for Rwanda’s first internationally successfully cycling team.

Photo by Graham Holliday