Have you ever wondered how much beans are being produced by coffee farms around the world? I’m going to explore those very numbers in this article, where I’ll list and discuss statistics of the biggest coffee-producing countries.
So sit back with your favorite mug of coffee in your hand, and let’s get started.
Table of Contents
The World’s Coffee Production
Coffee is truly a global beverage, enjoyed by people all over the world. As a barista, I find a sense of pride in knowing that the industry continues to thrive, with the global production of coffee standing strong at 168.5 million 60-kilogram bags according to 2021/2022 data (Source: statista.com/statistics/263311).
This might be a decrease from 2020/21’s 175.4 million, but looking at the last five years, this is a stable run for the market much to us coffee enthusiasts’ delight. After all, the demand doesn’t dwindle either, with consumption hitting 170.3 million bags that same year.
But which countries go big in bringing forth the world’s bag of beans? Let’s find that out up next.
The World’s Coffee Production
Coffee beans come from a variety of places, with several factors such as climate and soil affecting their cultivation. Here are the top ten coffee producers (out of around 70 countries) in the world based on 2020/21 data (Source: ico.org/prices/po-production.pdf):
1. Brazil – Produced 69,000 thousand 60kg bags
The crown for being the world’s leading country in producing coffee has been held by Brazil for 150 years now. In 2020, Brazil produced 69,000 thousand (69 million) 60kg bags of coffee. This is all pretty impressive considering how it all started with seed samples from France that were smuggled back to Brazil by Francisco de Melo Palheta of the Portuguese military in 1727.
But Brazilians do not only exhibit their love for coffee through production but also by drinking it themselves, making them the second biggest consumer of coffee in the world.
2. Vietnam – Produced 29,000 thousand 60kg bags
Second on this list— but still far from Brazil’s numbers— is Vietnam which produced 29,000 units of thousand (29 million) 60kg bags of coffee. Since 2004/05, the Asian country has held the second spot on this list.
Vietnam has been growing coffee since the 1800’s. It is believed that the first coffee plant was introduced by French missionaries in 1957, but it wasn’t until three decades later in 1888 that the first coffee plantations were put up. Aside from coffee plants, Vietnam has also cultivated its own popular coffee recipes such as Vietnamese coffee made with sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk.
3. Colombia – Produced 14,300 thousand 60kg bags
Colombia is world-renowned for its high-quality Arabica coffee, producing 14,300 thousand 60kg bags of coffee in 2020. The country’s first coffee was introduced by Jesuit priests who arrived with Spanish settlers in the early 17th century.
Today, Colombia enjoys a consistent growth trajectory while coffee continues to play a significant role in Colombian culture.
4. Indonesia – Produced 12,100 thousand 60kg bags
Ranking fourth is Indonesia, which produced about 12,100 thousand (12.1 million) 60kg bags of coffee in a year.
Indonesian farmers take pride in their specialty-grade Arabica and Robusta varieties, benefiting from volcanic soils on islands like Sumatra and Java which give Indonesian coffee its distinct flavor profile when you brew them traditionally or use them for gourmet blends.
5. Ethiopia – Produced 7,357 thousand 60kg bags
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, and it continues to produce coffee the world can enjoy to this day. In 2020, the country produced 7,357 thousand (7.35 million) 60kg bags of coffee.
This reflects Ethiopia’s commitment to maintaining its heritage as a source of top-quality coffee.
6. Honduras – Produced 6,100 thousand 60kg bags
The sixth spot on this list takes us to Honduras, which produced 6,100 thousand (6.1 million) bags of coffee.
Honduras’ coffee production may have had its ups and downs in recent years, but nonetheless, its high-quality Arabica beans are still loved by drinkers worldwide.
7. India – Produced 5,700 thousand 60kg bags
India takes the seventh place, producing 5,700 thousand (5.7 million) 60kg bags of coffee in 2020. In the past decade, India seems to have experienced the most fluctuations, from ranking as high as fifth place to moving around the sixth to ninth spots.
Its world rankings aside, India has a lot to offer with 16 coffee varietals. It’s also the only country in the world that cultivates its entire coffee crop under the shade, championing sustainability in its production of coffee.
8. Uganda – Produced 5,620 thousand 60kg bags
We now go to Uganda, where coffee is allowed to grow naturally under the shade of other trees. In 2020, this country produced 5,620 thousand (5.62 million) 60kg bags of coffee.
Uganda is also known as one of the world’s major Robusta coffee producers while also growing some Arabica in high areas.
9. Mexico – Produced 4,000 thousand 60kg bags
After suffering a low point in 2015/16, Mexico’s coffee production is slowly getting back on track, securing the ninth place on this list. In 2020, Mexico produced a total of 4,000 thousand (4 million) 60kg bags of coffee.
Known for their diversity and uniqueness in the way they make coffee, some drinks that originate from Mexico are the Café de Olla and tequila-spiked coffee.
10. Peru – Produced 3,800 thousand 60kg bags
Finally, in tenth place of the biggest international coffee producers is Peru. While not in the upper parts of this list, the country is known for the gentle and mellow flavors of its Peruvian Arabica coffee.
Considered the first in the Americas to obtain coffee plants which they started to cultivate in the mid-1700s, Peru is now producing about 3,800 thousand (3.8 million) 60kg bags of coffee in a year, as per 2020 data.
|Papua New Guinea||963||747||900||1,019||1,139||1,002||1,089||1,074||1,352||1,387||1,041||1,063||1,085||1,155||998||1,268||807||968||1,028||1,038||867||1,414||716||835||798||712||1,171||734||930||752|
|Central African Republic||175||125||134||166||250||108||208||114||215||241||113||68||92||43||29||23||114||43||60||112||78||91||23||90||63||100||37||60||37||55|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||1,580||1,230||1,180||980||1,298||1,098||795||811||738||477||363||423||338||451||360||336||378||416||422||346||305||357||334||347||335||371||279||382||397||391|
|Trinidad and Tobago||15||18||14||16||18||18||18||19||17||17||16||16||17||16||15||15||12||12||11||11||10||11||12||12||12||12||12||12||13||12|
Total production by all exporting countriies in thousand 60kg bags
Brazil – The Top Coffee-Producing Country in The World
When it comes to producing coffee, Brazil is king. After all, it produces a third of all the coffee in the world.
Tracing the country’s history with coffee takes us back to the 18th century when Francisco de Melo Palheta smuggled some seeds from French Guiana into Brazil. Since then, coffee cultivation spread rapidly throughout different regions in Brazil and eventually became its primary export commodity.
In 2021, Brazil harvested coffee from an area of 1.83 million hectares of land (Source: statista.com/statistics/279162), mainly located in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Paraná where the environmental conditions create a perfect growing habitat for coffee plants.
But quantity aside, I’m also impressed by the quality a coffee lover like me can get from Brazil’s yearly yield. Whether I’m brewing up a delightful Brazilian single-origin espresso or enjoying a blend that incorporates some Brazilian beans’ richness and body—I can’t help but be amazed by this country’s influence on creating unforgettable sensory experiences through our cups of joe.
Robusta vs Arabica: Production Comparison
Now let’s talk about Robusta and Arabica, the two main types of coffee beans that make up the majority of the global coffee production.
Considered superior in quality, Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) makes up about 55% of coffee production worldwide. About 87.4 million 60-kilogram bags of Arabica were produced in the year 2021/22 (Source: statista.com/statistics/225400).
From this number, 49.7 million 60kg bags come from Brazil, making it the biggest Arabica producer (Source: statista.com/statistics/1008520), followed by Colombia’s 14.1 million bags.
Meanwhile, Coffea canephora or Robusta coffee accounts for about 45% of the world’s coffee beans, with 79 million 60kg bags of Robusta produced in the same year. When it comes to Robusta, Vietnam takes the lead over Brazil with 30.23 million 60kg bags. Brazil only produced 21.7 million followed by Indonesia’s 8.4 million bags of Robusta (Source: indexmundi.com/agriculture/?commodity=green-coffee).
Whether you prefer Robusta’s bitter and earthy tones with high caffeine content or want to go low on acidity with some Arabica, you can always depend on these coffee-producing countries to deliver these flavorful beans for your world-class coffee experience.
Rising Stars in Coffee Production
It’s also interesting to note which countries experienced the most growth in the amount of coffee that they produce in a year. Here are the producers that have seen the most growth in 2019/20 over the past 10 years (Source: ico.org/new_historical.asp):
Angola used to be the third-biggest coffee producer in the world, but the civil war caused the production to plummet and today, they’ve fallen to the 39th place.
Still, Angola has seen a 286% growth in its production of coffee compared to 10 years ago, jumping from 13.42 thousand to 51.84 thousand 60kg bags produced in one year.
Burundi has also seen a significant growth of 144% in a decade. The amount more than doubled from 111.61 thousand to 272.47 thousand 60kg bags in 10 years.
While still leagues away from other African nations such as Ethiopia and Kenya, Burundi continues to cultivate its coffee production after it sank during the 1993 crisis.
We then have Timor-Leste which is now 35th in the ranking with 119% growth from 46.91 thousand in 2009/10 to 103.05 thousand 60kg bags in 2019/20.
The country’s coffee farms have been around for 200 years, and while they only have a small contribution to the global coffee market in terms of quantity, they’re known for the quality of their specialty coffee that is available at more affordable prices.
Nicaragua sits in 13th place on the list of the world’s biggest coffee producers as of 2020. Producing 2.88 million 60kg bags of coffee that year, the country’s production was 54% larger than ten years ago when it was pumping out 1.87 million bags.
Known as the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes,” Nicaragua has also proven to be fertile ground for coffee farmers to cultivate specialty coffee that can fetch higher prices.
5. Lao PDR (Laos)
The 21st biggest coffee producer in the world also enjoyed a significant growth of 43% in the last decade, increasing its 433.87 thousand to 621.84 thousand 60kg bags in 2019/20. Despite this growth though, their coffee production continues to face challenges such as insufficient labor and climate change among others (Source: ap.fftc.org.tw/article/3252).
The Challenges Faced by Countries That Produce Coffee Beans
The production of coffee beans does not go without challenges, which can then impact the communities and economies linked to its market. While the global demand for coffee continues to rise, these countries often struggle with various obstacles that threaten the sustainability of their coffee industries.
One major challenge is climate change, which has the potential to disrupt optimal growing conditions for coffee plants. Rising temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns pose significant risks to crops. Other threats include the increase of pests and coffee plant diseases such as:
- Coffee Leafrust
- Coffee Wilt Disease
- Red blister
- Root rot or collar crack disease
Farmers’ lack of agricultural and financial support
Another challenge is related to farming practices themselves. Smallholder farmers often lack access to resources such as modern agricultural technology or financial support needed for sustainable cultivation methods.
These limitations can drive unsustainable practices leading to soil erosion, deforestation, water pollution from agrochemicals, and poor waste disposal systems—all of which degrade ecosystem health over time while also affecting quality control standards within the industry.
Price fluctuations in the volatile global market also create instability for both large-scale commercial farms as well as small family-owned operations.
This makes it difficult for producers to invest in equipment upgrades or implement environmentally friendly initiatives without compromising profitability or economic viability.
What consumers can do…
While there are various factors involved in solving these issues, here are some of the things we can do as consumers in response to these challenges faced by coffee producers:
- Choosing coffee produced through sustainable farming practices such as shade-grown coffee beans.
- Looking for Fair Trade certified coffee to ensure that farmers have been paid a fair wage (Check out these Fair Trade coffee statistics)
- Buy from local roasters that provide an opportunity to learn about where your coffee comes from and how it is produced. Local roasters often prioritize quality and transparency in sourcing their beans.
- Explore diverse flavors like Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or Guatemalan Huehuetenango, you can help promote biodiversity on farms by encouraging farmers to cultivate unique varietals.
- There are several non-profit organizations actively working towards improving conditions for coffee farmers worldwide. Donating to or volunteering with these organizations can make a real difference on the ground level.
If you ask me, learning about coffee on a global scale is really important for coffee connoisseurs. Not only should we be adept at the flavors that beans from different parts of the world provide, but also the driving forces that allow such countries to continue to share with us their delicious beans that turn into our daily brews.
As you appreciate coffee’s impact on the world, take time to think about its producers responsible for bringing your delicious beverage from the soil to your cup.
Now check out these interesting coffee statistics from 2023.