The Top 10 Coffee Producing Countries

December 31, 2023

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Whether it’s for the caffeine hit, the ritual, or because they’re addicted to it, many coffee lovers will tell you that they can’t start their day without a cup of coffee. In fact, we humans love the beverage so much that we drink 400 billion cups of it each year. But coffee beans aren’t just used for brewing coffee. They’re also used to provide caffeine for other beverages — like cola — cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

To meet the global demand for coffee, there are more than 25 million plantations across the world. The ones that produce the best coffee beans have fertile soil that’s rich in minerals and mild climates which give the coffee cherries time to mature and develop flavor.

But which countries grow and produce the most coffee? We’ll reveal the top 10 coffee producing countries based on the latest released figures from the International Coffee Organization for the year 2020.

1. Brazil – 3,804,000 metric tons

Coffee plantation in the State of São. Brazil
Coffee plantation in São Sebastião da Grama, São Paulo

When it comes to coffee production, Brazil takes first place. The South American country produces a whopping 3.8 million metric tons of Arabica and Robusta beans each year, and it is responsible for 40 percent of the world’s coffee supply.

Brazil has been the number one coffee producer for more than 150 years, and its 60-kilogram burlap bags remain the world standard for measuring production and trade.

The country’s year-round mild temperatures and the right levels of rainfall and sunlight are the main reasons why it is capable of producing so much coffee, but the unique process of drying the coffee cherries in the sun rather than washing them is also a contributing factor.

Most of Brazil’s coffee plantations can be found in Minas Gerais, Parana, and São Paulo, and they cover roughly 27,000 square kilometers of the country’s land mass.

2. Vietnam – 1,740,000 metric tons

Condensed milk being poured into a glass of iced coffee
Iced coffee with condensed milk is a traditional drink in Vietnam

The second-largest coffee producer in the world is Vietnam, which produces more than 1.7 million metric tons of coffee a year. 

In the 1800s, French colonialists introduced coffee to the Buôn Ma Thuột region — where it is still grown today — but it wasn’t until economic reforms in the 1990s that the country’s coffee production rapidly escalated.

Today, coffee is Vietnam’s second-most exported commodity after rice, thanks to the country’s warm tropical climate and the fact that it entered a niche market by focusing on the less-expensive Robusta bean. Vietnam is responsible for more than 40 percent of the world’s Robusta beans, which are recognized for their high caffeine levels, bitter taste, and low acidity.

3. Colombia – 858,000 metric tons

Landscape of coffee plants in the coffee growing region near Manizales, Colombia
Aerial view of coffee plantations in Colombia’s coffee growing region near Manizales

In just a year, Colombia produces more than 850,000 metric tons of coffee.

One of the few countries that produce only Arabica beans, Colombia has the ideal terrain and climate for growing coffee plants. Typically, beans are grown at an elevation of 5,000 to 6,500 feet to produce a range of well-balanced and smooth medium-bodied coffees. Colombian coffee beans are world-renowned for their moderate levels of acidity and mild, aromatic, subtly sweet, and fruity flavors. 

Worryingly, climate change is having a negative effect on Colombia’s coffee production, as rising temperatures and increased rainfall are jeopardizing the conditions needed to grow the type of beans the country is known for. Despite this, though, Colombia is still one of the top three coffee producers in the world.

4. Indonesia – 717,000 metric tons

Close up view of kopi lukwak coffee beans, also known as civet coffee
Kopi luwak, or civet coffee, is produced from coffee beans partially digested and excreted by the Indonesian palm civet.

Dutch colonialists introduced Indonesia to coffee cultivation back in the 1600s, and thanks to its climate, many mountainous regions, and geographical location near the equator, the island nation continues to be one of the world’s top coffee producers. Today, more than a million hectares of the country’s land mass is covered in coffee plantations. Like Vietnam, Indonesia focuses on the cheaper, lower-quality Robusta beans, as the country’s climate is better suited to growing these, but it does produce Arabica beans too. 

While coffee from Java, Sumatra, and Sulawesi is the most famous, Indonesia’s coffee selection is incredibly diverse and includes some of the rarest in the world, for example, Kopi Luwak, which costs between $35 and $100 per cup.

5. Ethiopia – 442,380 metric tons

Close up view of Ethiopian woman pouring coffee into cups on a wooden tray
Ethiopian woman pouring coffee at an Ethiopian coffee ceremony

As the birthplace of coffee, it’s no surprise to see Ethiopia on this list. It is widely accepted that Arabica beans were first discovered by an Ethiopian goat herder way back in 800 AD. Regional variants of the bean have since been developed, like the Harar, Sidamo, Limu, and Yirgacheffe beans — all of which have been trademarked and are protected by the Ethiopian government. Ethiopia has thousands more varieties than this, though, each with its own unique flavor and characteristics.

6. Honduras – 366,000 metric tons

Coffee plantations on the hillsides in Honduras
Coffee plantations in the highlands of Honduras

While countries like Ethiopia and Colombia are famous for their coffee beans, Honduras isn’t as well known — despite being one of the world’s top coffee-producing countries. This is because most of its beans are used in blends and aren’t as recognizable.

The majority of the country’s coffee beans are grown on small coffee farms at high altitudes of around 5,000 feet. Many of these farms have their own microclimates, which results in a wide range of flavor profiles.

7. India – 342,000 metric tons

Various pots containing tea, coffee beans and milk
Although India is more renowned for growing tea, the country actually started growing coffee 200 years earlier.

India may be better known for producing tea than coffee, but surprisingly it started growing coffee 200 years before it started growing tea. Coffee plantations have existed in India since the 1600s, but because tea is more popular in India, the bulk of its coffee is exported to Europe and Russia. 

Most of the country’s coffee plantations are in the hills of the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, and the beans are often planted next to cinnamon and cardamom to give a spicy flavor.

Historically, India was known for Arabica coffee, but Robusta beans now account for 60 percent of the country’s coffee production. 

8. Uganda – 337,000 metric tons

Man inspecting coffee seeds on a drying bed in Uganda
Coffee seeds being inspected in rural Uganda on a drying bed.

The eighth-largest producer of coffee in the world is Uganda, which produces almost 340,000 metric tons of coffee in a single year. 

Coffee production is a crucial part of Uganda’s economy, accounting for almost a third of the country’s export earnings. From 2009 to 2021, Uganda’s coffee exports increased by 53 percent, and today, much of the population works in coffee-related industries.

Robusta beans grow natively in the Kibale forest area. They are among the world’s rarest homegrown beans and are of a much higher quality than other variations of the bean grown in other parts of the world. Uganda also cultivates Arabica beans — which were introduced from Ethiopia — around the slopes of Mount Elgon.

9. Mexico – 240,000 metric tons

Two Mexican farmers sorting out coffee beans for peeling
Mexican farmer pouring out coffee beans for peeling

Mexico is known for its high-quality Arabica beans, which are grown along the coast near the Mexico-Guatemala border.

In the 1980s, coffee was Mexico’s most valuable export crop. However, the country’s coffee production declined rapidly in the 1990s when the International Coffee Agreement was dismantled, and prices were no longer strictly regulated. This meant Mexico could no longer compete in the global market. Today, though, things are very different thanks to the US’s increasing demand for coffee, most of which is imported from Mexico. 

10. Guatemala – 225,000 metric tons

Close up view of a coffee plant in Tajumulco, Guatemala
Coffee plant in Tajumulco, Guatemala

In tenth place on the list of the world’s top coffee-producing countries is Guatemala, which produces more than 220,000 metric tons of coffee annually.

Coffee has been the country’s main export since the 1800s, when the invention of chemical dyes led to the collapse of its dye industry, and meant it had to find a replacement export. The government at the time supported the coffee industry with trade and tax benefits, and today it continues to support it through global marketing campaigns.

Guatemala’s coffee plants thrive most when temperatures are about 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and at altitudes between about 1,650 and 16,000 feet above sea level. Its biggest coffee-producing regions include Acatenango, Antigua, Atitlán, Cobán, Faijanes, Huehuetenango, Nuevo Oriente, and San Marcos, where the soil is volcanic and rich and there’s low humidity with sunny days and cool nights.

The country produces mostly Arabica beans that are known for their high quality.

Overview: World’s Top Coffee Producing Countries

RankCountryProduction in 1000 60kg bagsProduction in Metric tons
1Brazil63,4003,804,000
2Vietnam29,0001,740,000
3Colombia14,300858,000
4Indonesia11,950717,000
5Ethiopia7,375442,500
6Honduras6,100366,000
7India5,700342,000
8Uganda5,620337,200
9Mexico4,000240,000
10Peru3,794227,640
11Guatemala3,750225,000
12Nicaragua2,650159,000
13Cote d'Ivoire1,775106,500
14Costa Rica1,45087,000
15Tanzania91354,780
16Kenya77546,500
17Papua New Guinea68340,980
18El Salvador60036,000
18Laos60036,000
20Venezuela50030,000

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Data Sources:
International Coffee Organization

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