How Coffee Beans from Different Countries Taste Different

Coffee aficionados likely already know that coffee beans from different countries taste different. If you’re like us and spend a lot of time thinking about and drinking coffee, you probably have a few different opinions on which type of coffee is your favorite. The question, then, becomes, why do coffee beans from different countries have such a different taste?

While there isn’t a hard and fast rule when it comes to differentiating coffee flavors, there are a few different measurable factors that go into the taste of coffee beans from around the world, including prevalence of certain coffee varieties, processing methods, and even climate. Here are a few of the world’s major coffee-producing countries and some reasons why their beans have a distinct taste.

South America

When it comes to South American coffee, most people tend to think of Colombia and Brazil. Brazil is known for its large scale of coffee exporting and producing, and the size of the country lends itself well to produce a wide variety of tastes even within its borders. Brazilian coffee is processed in three ways: dry (natural), wet (washed), semi-washed (pulp natural).

As far as Colombia goes, the country is the world’s third largest importer and grower of raw beans. Colombian coffee is known for combining a mellow acidity and a strong caramel sweetness, sometimes with a nutty undertone.

Central America

Because of their proximity to North America, Central American countries are large exporters of beans to the United States. The most popular coffee-producing countries in this region are Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica. In terms of flavor profile, these countries’ beans are known for producing a bright, clean taste. Thanks to the climate and altitude at which coffee beans are grown in this region, the coffee is somewhat acidic, containing a smooth, sugary sweetness.


Moving to the other side of the globe, Kenyan coffee beans have different processing techniques and growing conditions, which leads to their bold taste. Kenyan coffee growers often utilize the wet processing method, which includes a post-fermentation soak that can last a day or longer. The fact that Kenyan coffee beans are often grown directly in the sun gives the coffee a tropical savory-sweet characteristic.


The world’s fourth largest coffee-producing country, Indonesian coffee beans are known for their variety. One-quarter of the country’s coffee production is focused on Arabica beans, while the rest is focused on Robusta. Nearly all the coffee produced in this region is known for its dark and robust flavors, which are often compared to dark chocolate. Due to these traits in the beans, Indonesia beans take well to dark roasting.


The biodiversity of this African country leads to thousands of different varieties of coffee beans being produced. There are two main ways of processing Ethiopian coffee: natural and washed. In natural processing, the cherry is dried around the coffee bean before removal, and in washed processing, the fruit gets stripped within 12 hours of picking. These two processing methods create two different flavor profiles.

Visit Your Local Nashville, TN Coffee Shop

Whether you’re a fan of bold Ethiopian flavors or the brightness of Central American coffees, we have just the coffee for you here at Americano Coffee Lounge. As one of the Nashville, TN’s newest purveyors of coffee, we take pride in making classic coffee drinks like Americanos, lattes, espressos, as well as offering beans from all around the world. Stop in today for a quick pick-me-up!