Where Does Coffee Come From? The History of Coffee Beans

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and has been for centuries. But where does coffee come from? Read on to find out more about the origins of coffee, types of coffee beans, and where coffee is grown today.
where does coffee come from

Where Do Coffee Beans Come From?

So, what is coffee exactly and where does coffee come from? Coffee beans are actually the seeds of coffee cherries, which grow on trees in tropical regions around the world. The two most common types of coffee trees are Arabica and Robusta, which together produce the majority of coffee sold worldwide (around 98% of the world’s coffee.)

Arabica coffee trees originated in Ethiopia, and today these trees are grown in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, and Kenya. Arabica coffee beans tend to be large and oval-shaped, with a light to medium brown color.

Where Does Coffee Grow?

So, where does coffee come from? Coffee beans grow on coffee plants, which are members of the Rubiaceae family. The coffee plant is a small shrub that grows best in tropical climates. Coffee plants typically grow to between 6 and 10 feet tall, though some varieties can reach up to 20 feet tall. The coffee plant produces white flowers that bloom in clusters. The coffee plant produces fruit known as coffee cherries. Inside each cherry are two coffee seeds.

Types of Coffee Plants – Arabica vs Robusta

There are two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee plant is grown in tropical regions and has a mellow flavor with low acidity. Arabica plants are also relatively large, making them easy to pick and process. However, they are also very delicate and susceptible to disease. As a result, Arabica coffee is a high-quality coffee and by some considered the best coffee.

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Robusta coffee is native to Ethiopia, but it is now grown in many parts of the world, including Brazil, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The name “robusta” refers to the plant’s hardy nature – it is more resistant to pests and disease than other varieties of coffee. As a result, robusta coffee tends to be less expensive than other types of coffee. However, it also has a stronger, more bitter flavor.

Robusta coffee beans contain more caffeine than Arabica beans, making them a popular choice for espresso and other strong coffees. In addition, robusta beans are used in many instant coffees and pre-ground coffees. If you enjoy a strong cup of coffee with plenty of body, then robusta beans may be the right choice for you.


Excelsa coffee is native to Vietnam and Cambodia, but it is also grown in Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia. The coffee plant was first introduced to Vietnam in the early 1900s. Excelsa coffee beans are small and have a unique shape that is similar to a pyramid. The coffee has a fruity flavor with hints of chocolate. It is also relatively low in acidity. Excelsa coffee is often used in blends because its strong flavor can be overwhelming when drunk on its own.


Liberica is a type of brewed coffee that is native to Liberia, as well as parts of Cameroon and Brazil. The coffee beans are large and have a distinctive shape, with some resemblance to a peanut. In terms of flavor, Liberica coffee is often described as full-bodied and robust, with notes of chocolate and fruit. Due to its unique flavor profile, Liberica coffee is not as popular as some other varieties, but it is still enjoyed by many coffee lovers around the world. Now that we know the main types of coffee plants, where does coffee come from, and what is the production process like?

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Where Does Coffee Come From? Roasting

Many people may not be aware, but coffee actually starts out as green coffee beans. It’s only after the beans are roasted that they turn brown. So, where does coffee come from?

The roasting process is what gives coffee its signature flavor, aroma, and caffeine content. Roasting also affects the acidity of the coffee. Unroasted coffee beans are green; roasted coffee beans can be light brown to dark brown or black.

There are two main types of coffee roasts: light and dark. Light roasts have a milder flavor and contain less caffeine, while dark roasts have a stronger flavor and more caffeine.

Where Does Coffee Come From? Coffee Cultivation

The coffee industry is big business, with coffee being traded on global commodity markets. The majority of the world’s coffee is grown in developing countries, where small-scale farmers grow coffee trees on family-owned plots of land.

Once the coffee cherries are ripe, they are picked by hand and then sorted to remove any that are over-ripe, under-ripe, or damaged. The cherries are then washed and dried before the beans can be removed. So, where does coffee come from and how is coffee produced?

Coffee Production

If you’re wondering, “where does coffee come from”, there are two main methods for removing the coffee beans from the cherries: the dry method and the wet method.

In the dry method, the cherries are left out in the sun to dry until they turn a dark brown color. Once the beans are dried, they are removed from the cherries by a machine that strips them away.

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The wet method is a bit more complex. First, the cherries are placed in water where they will float. The ripe cherries will sink to the bottom, while the unripe and damaged cherries float to the top, where they can be removed.

Next, the cherries go through a pulping machine where they are crushed, and the skins are removed. Then, they are fermented in tanks for around 12-36 hours. After fermentation, the coffee beans are washed and put out to dry.

Once they’re completely dried, the coffee beans are hulled to remove the remaining bits of fruit and sorted by size. Finally, they’re graded and bagged up ready to be shipped all around the world to be enjoyed by coffee lovers everywhere!

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