In this article, we talk about the 15 countries with the best coffee according to Reddit. If you would like to skip our detailed analysis of the issues within the coffee industry, you can directly go to the 5 Countries With the Best Coffee According to Reddit.
National Coffee Data Trends in 2021 discovered that almost 60% of Americans drink coffee daily. Coffee is a popular beverage in the US, which is evident because 79% of Americans consume two or more cups of coffee per day. This means that Americans are always in search of their next caffeine fix, even if they’re traveling or are on vacation.
Drinking coffee in different countries around the world will open you up to a plethora of coffee options that may not be commonly available in your own region. For example, you may be interested in trying out the Arabica dark roast, which many scientists classify as the healthiest coffee in the world. Ethiopia is most commonly revered for its Arabica beans, with the country also being known as the birthplace of coffee. Many are also interested in trying out Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world, which comes from Indonesia and is the most exclusive coffee around the globe. One cup of Kopi Luwak coffee can cost up to $100, which showcases its brilliance.
However, it would be an important distinction that countries that serve the best coffee might not necessarily be the ones producing the beans. As Fortune Business Insights puts it, the liquid coffee market in the US is worth $6 billion, but the country doesn’t grow most of its own coffee. Within the US, coffee is primarily grown in the regions of Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Besides those two areas, the country imports most of its beans, making it the leading importer of coffee in the world. In total, the US accounts for 20% of all global coffee imports.
Thus, one may discover that many countries with the highest rates of coffee consumption are not the top countries in coffee production. A trend similar to the US can also be seen across Europe, a continent that loves drinking coffee but doesn’t have many plantations of its own. There are only two prominent coffee plantations in the region, one on the Canary Islands of Spain and the other in Belgium. Most of the world’s coffee comes from countries like Brazil, Indonesia, or Vietnam, which may often go unrecognized in the coffee markets of Europe or the US despite being the top coffee producers in the world. If you view South America in contrast to the two coffee plantations in Europe, Brazil alone has over 300,000 coffee farms spread throughout the country.
However, when most of a product is imported from farms outside the country, it opens up the supply chain to issues of sustainability and ethics, something which has plagued the coffee industry for a long time. Most of the problems exist with labor treatment within the coffee supply chains. Many laborers work extensive hours under the hot sun while being paid measly amounts of money, often as low as 1-3% of the retail price.
In 2020, Channel 4’s Dispatches revealed insights into the child labor problems at Guatemalan farms, which supply companies like Nestle and Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX). Their team discovered children as young as 13 working on these farms, earning an average wage of less than $6 per day. Many of these children worked 40-hour work weeks, which clearly went against international labor laws regarding children.
The program led to both companies claiming that they had launched thorough investigations into the claims, as they each had strict policies against child labor. A day before the show aired, Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX) put out a statement claiming that their investigation had discovered that the company had not purchased coffee from any of the farms that were called out in the investigation. Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX) verifies its farms through its own set of standards known as the Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices.
In its 2020 statement against child labor allegations, the company also committed to increasing the number of third-party audits on these verifications. The company also founded a Starbucks Global Farmer Fund, in which they invested $42.9 million in 2020, along with an Emergency Relief Fund for Guatemalan farmers selling to Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX). Steps like these show that despite being roped in allegations, Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX) has prioritized ethical sustainability within its supply chains.
When coffee chains came under question for their labor practices, people also started looking into the labor practices of other coffee giants in the US, such as Tim Hortons, owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE:QSR). Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE:QSR) is one of the most valuable fast food companies in the US, and its coffee chain is one of the biggest reasons behind it.
As people’s search for ethical coffee grows, Tim Hortons’ quarterly sales surpassed $2 billion for the first time in Q3 of 2023. Quite like Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX), Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE:QSR) has also focused heavily on the ethical element of its coffee department. The Tim Hortons Coffee For Communities Program aims to equip farmers with agricultural training, especially the women in the farming community. The company managed to support 18,000 farmers in 2023 alone, with a focus on empowering women to lead farming efforts. Tim Hortons also partners with Enveritas, which verifies 100% of the beans that pass through the company’s supply chains.
Now that you know that most of the world’s coffee comes from South America or Africa, you’d be able to evaluate the individual differences that occur on the basis of how each country chooses to brew the beans it exports. Based on these elements, here are the 15 countries with the best coffee, according to Reddit:
A cup of the company’s signature coffee being brewed in a state-of-the-art espresso machine.
To rank the countries with the best coffee, we took a consensus approach based on Reddit comments and upvotes. Most Redditors mentioned these countries when asked about the best coffee they’ve ever had. They’re ranked in descending order from least mentions and upvotes to most. Going with this methodology, here is our list of the 15 countries with the best coffee, according to Reddit:
Mexico is one of the countries that produce the best coffee, and it’s also one of the few countries on this list that grow their own coffee grains. The brilliance of Mexican coffee beans comes from the unique combination of topography, soil, climate, and altitude that enables the country to produce a variety of coffee beans, such as Arabica and Robusta.
While the latter only makes up for 3-4% of the total produce, the former is a specialty in the country. Mexican coffees are usually lighter and have subtle flavors, but the country is most known for its organic coffee produce, which makes up for almost 40% of total production. Mexico is the world’s second largest exporter of organic-certified coffee, with 6,352 shipments exported in 2023, as noted by Volza.
Many consider Colombian coffee to be the best in the world, owing to its taste and aroma. Most Colombian coffees come with sweeter notes, like chocolate or toffee, paired with an acidity that balances out the palate. Colombia has a rich history of coffee farming, having first begun cultivation in the 17th century. According to Reddit, many European coffee shops are run by Colombian immigrants, who bring their local techniques to the region. In 2021, Colombia was the world’s third largest coffee exporter, making up for 8.95% of total coffee exports, per OEC. Due to the country’s prolific production, Colombian coffee owners are often at the forefront of being affected by low coffee prices and bad climate, with many of them taking to the streets on strike for their rights.
13. United Arab Emirates
The coffee culture in Dubai is heavily influenced by Arabian trends, which means the coffee is often spiced with unique Arabic flavors like cardamom or saffron. These specialty coffees are considered much higher quality than regular coffees, having found a deep place within the local culture. Due to the several steps in the production of these coffees, the price of the beverage in the region can be higher than usual, disappointing many individuals. An average cup of coffee costs around $5 in Dubai, which is almost double the US average of $2.70. However, it’s a testament to the taste of the coffee in the area that UAE is considered one of the countries with the best coffee despite the high prices.
12. Hong Kong
Like many other Asian countries, historically, Hong Kong has had a deeper connection with tea, but in the past two centuries, the territory has seen a much more enormous influx of coffee in its everyday culture. Hong Kong has a huge focus on specialty coffees, like Dubai, and is heavily regarded for its innovation in the caffeine scene. As Sophie Chan, a certified judge for the Hong Kong Barista Championships, explains, coffee cafes in the region are a lot more experimental, offering a range of diverse drinks on their menu. Local roasters have managed to produce several items that showcase the potential for performing well in other markets, such as the world’s first canned cold brew coffee tonic. Due to the vast range of available flavors, almost everyone can find a coffee drink of their preference when in Hong Kong, making this a country preferred by many coffee enthusiasts.
Japan has gathered much praise for its hand-drip coffee method, a brewing method that traditional coffee shops in the country have employed for decades. Due to the importance of this method, much of the best equipment for this purpose comes from Japan. In this way, Japan made a mark as one of the countries with the best coffee because it picked one particular method and honed in on perfecting that. The Japanese coffee culture also takes influences from the historical tea culture of the country, which means that both beverages emphasize bringing out the natural flavors of the drink.
The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is often regarded as the best coffee in the world. It is exclusively exported by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica, which ensures that anything that sells under that name only comes from the legally designated growing area within Jamaica, also known as the Blue Mountains. The coffee is a variety of Arabica, more commonly known as Typica, and it originated from Ethiopia. The coffee is preferred for its mild flavor that lacks bitterness. This coffee is singlehandedly responsible for making Jamaica one of the countries with the best coffee, according to Reddit.
09. United Kingdom
It is more specifically London that puts the United Kingdom on this list. The city is home to a plethora of artisan roasters who run independent coffee shops and sell the kind of coffee you won’t find anywhere else. Thus, London has also become one of the cities known for its specialty coffees and cafe culture. Another essential element in the city’s coffee industry is that it houses coffee shops from cultures around the world. If you want to try a cup of Algerian coffee and an Italian brew on the same day, London is the city to go.
Paris is considered the specialty coffee capital because it pairs two essential elements of a coffee cup in one. The Parisian coffee is robust and boasts flavor while also being creamy in a way that avoids bitterness. Coffee is often paired with the city’s dessert culture, making it a great place to enjoy two things simultaneously. Barista-led coffee shops can be found in every arrondissement in Paris city, meaning that a good brew is never far away. These factors make France one of the European countries with the best coffee.
07. New Zealand
The quality of coffee in New Zealand has as much to do with milk as with the coffee beans. The New Zealand dairy industry is considered a world leader in quality and safety, which provides the baristas with much better milk for their coffees. Another difference in the country is that the general culture is of much smaller cups with a tiny flavor range, which puts much more emphasis on perfecting the few available options. Espresso forms the basis of almost all coffees in the country, which is in stark contrast to the culture in the US, where most people have automatic drip coffee makers at home, making it the most common kind of coffee.
Sweden is one of the countries with the best coffee, according to Reddit, while also being one of the world’s biggest consumers of coffee. Coffee is a significant part of Swedish culture because it is deeply linked with Fika, the local tradition of taking some time out of the day to pause and enjoy a hot drink with a snack. Many companies will have designated Fika breaks while also handing out free hot drinks to the employees. Studies show that this practice might be boosting productivity in the workplace. For a country that went through heavy coffee taxation and restrictions in its history, the people take immense pride in its coffee today by investing only in high-quality beans.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Countries With the Best Coffee According to Reddit is originally published on Insider Monkey.