Our morning cafecito is a beloved tradition stemming from a long-standing history in Latin American of cultivating coffee specifically in Colombia and Brazil. Each country has their own version of making coffee and they’re all different but equally delicious so we wanted to highlight some of the most popular styles from throughout LATAM. If you’re on the hunt for the world’s best coffee, look no further. Here are six countries in Latin America that originally stepped up and mastered art of coffee making.
Colombian coffee is sometimes referred to as a weak coffee, however; it is the second largest producer of coffee worldwide. Colombian coffee has medium acidity with sweet, caramel flavors. It’s flavor comes from the coffee shrub, Arabica also known as “Arabian coffee.” The locals in Colombia “cherry pick” their coffee beans by hand, as opposed to other producers who use machines. The process is as follows: coffee pickers examine trees every 10 days or so and they are able to harvest up to 90 kilos of coffee a day.
Costa Rican Coffee
Costa Rican coffee has a variety of flavors, because of the different areas in which it’s grown. Flavors range from fruit to chocolate and everything in between. The taste is so unique that it’s difficult to replicate. Costa Rica also has eight coffee growing regions: Tarrazú, Brunca, Valle Occidental, Tres Rios, Turriabla, Brunca, Orosi, Guanacaste. The diversity of climates and changes in humidity give each region distinct flavors, so you can enjoy Costa Rican coffee eight different ways. Though it was previously illegal to produce any other coffee but Arabica, in 2018 they lifted the ban and started producing robusta varieties.
Brazil’s coffee production is huge producing about a third of the coffee sold around the world. Many people believe that Brazil is known for their espressos but Brazilians actually make specialty-grade coffees that are high-quality with unique flavors like chocolate and nuts. If you have a Brazilian bag of coffee in your pantry, check the info, you may find that it is from one of the seven coffee-producing states: Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Espírito Santo, Bahia, Paraná, Rondonia, or Rio de Janeiro.
Venezuela only produces about 1 percent of the world’s coffee. Although there are several areas in Venezuela that grow coffee beans, the most famous are the Maracaibos coffees which get shipped through the Maracaibo port near the Andes mountains. Cafe Guayoyo is one of the most common brewing methods among Venezuelans. It involves brewing your cafe with a “sock” mechanism and no, you don’t use real socks. Instead of using a pour-over and fancy ceramics, they use a stand and fabric filter.
Peruvian coffee has a mild acidity with hints of vanilla and is usually on the cheaper side but it’s also very difficult to find. In 2015, Starbucks actually released seasonal Peruvian coffee introducing many to the Peruvian flavor. You also may have heard of Peruvian coffee being known as “poop coffee” because one of the more expensive variations is made by having an animal (usually a coati, a tropical raccoon-like animal) eat coffee cherries, poop them out, and coffee pickers gather them up and wash them thoroughly. When shopping for Peruvian coffee it’s important to make sure its 100 percent Arabica and organic.
Like, Peruvian coffee, Ecuadorian coffee is mostly consumed among the locals. It has sharp acidity and is usually grown right next to other crops such as plantains, mangos, cacao. Because of this, the coffee may have unique flavors and is mostly used for blending. The growth of coffee production in the country has actually opened up more opportunities for work and small, family-owned farms are benefiting from this coffee movement.