Coffee Flavour by Country

Coffee is grown within 1000 miles of the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. This area, known as the “Tropics”, experiences year-round warm temperatures, has an abundant rainfall and no frost.

The continent that any given coffee is grown in has a remarkable effect on the coffee’s flavour profile, and the profiles vastly differ from each other from continent to continent. Flavour profiles also differ from region to region within a continent, and even from farm to farm within any given region. However, there is usually a basic foundation of terms one can use to describe a particular region’s coffees.

This quick guide can serve as a basic overview of how coffees taste from region to region:

CENTRAL AMERICAN COFFEE

Costa Rica – medium body, citrus, nutty
Guatemala – can be spicy, smoky, chocolate, earthy or delicate, floral, fruity, sweet
Honduras – crisp, light-bodied, nutty, spicy
Mexico – light/medium bodied, milk chocolate, bright, lively, fruity
Nicaragua – mild acidity, vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate, pear
Panama – zesty, lively, spicy, lemongrass, herbal
El Salvador – pretty similar to Nicaraguan

SOUTH AMERICA COFFEE

Bolivia – medium body, caramel, chocolate, can be flowery and fruity
Brazil – medium/full body, low acidity, milk chocolate, fruity
Colombia – medium body, medium acidity, fruity, nutty
Ecuador – light/medium body, medium acidity, caramel, fruit, nutty
Peru – medium body, medium acidity, spice, nutty, chocolate, earthy

AFRICA AND ARABIAN COFFEE

Burundi – full body, low acidity, grassy, chocolate
Congo – full body, low acidity, intense, chocolate, nutty, tobacco, vanilla, earthy, spicy
Ethiopia – the birthplace of coffee and the most diverse region in the world, it’s very hard to find terms that can accurately describe this country’s coffee; they can have full body, chocolate, cherry, creamy, earthy, blueberry or medium body, flowery, herbal, nutty.
Kenya – full body, zesty, citrus, floral, herbal
Rwanda – medium body, chocolate, floral, nutty
Tanzania – medium body, woody, earthy, spicy
Uganda – full body, chocolate, creamy, vanilla
Yemen – full body, chocolate, winy
Zambia – medium body, tangy, citrus, caramel, bittersweet
Zimbabwe – medium body, woody, low acidity, herbal, vegetal, spicy

INDONESIA AND ASIAN COFFEE

Bali – full body, low acidity, nutty, chocolate, vanilla, earthy
Flores – full body, low acidity, floral, earthy, woody, syrupy sweet
India – full body, spicy, medium acidity, tropical fruit; monsoon Malabar are very intense, full body, tobacco, low acidity
Java – full body, chocolate, nutty, low acidity, creamy
Myanmar – medium body, medium acidity, similar to Brazils
Papua New Guinea – full body, medium acidity, fruity, earthy,
Sumatra – full body, intense, earthy, woody, gritty, low acidity
Sulawesi – full body, low acidity, herbal, spicy, woody
Timor – full body, low acidity, floral, woody, earthy, herbal

ISLAND COFFEE AND OTHERS

Australia – medium body, medium acidity, mild, juicy, syrupy
Dominican Republic – medium body, medium acidity, mild, sweet, caramel,
Hawaii – medium body, low acidity, creamy, vanilla, brown sugar
Jamaica – medium body, low acidity, tobacco, mellow, sweet
Puerto Rico – medium body, low acidity, smoky, creamy, buttery, nutty, sweet