Coffee Production in Asia
When you think of coffee production, you probably think of countries such as Colombia, Brazil, and Ethiopia. But did you know that a third of all the world's coffee is actually produced in Asia?
Countries including India, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam produce some of the world’s best and most delicious coffee.
A shining example of Asian coffee production is Indonesia. Indonesia produced 10.7 million 60-kilogram bags in 2019, making the archipelago nation the world’s third largest producer of robusta beans. (Second, of course, to Vietnam!) In Indonesia, small, independent farms make up a large portion of the country’s coffee production.
Coffee from Indonesia is world renowned due to its bold and rich flavor — a result of the country’s numerous mountainous regions and unique terroir. Additionally, their location near the equator creates an incredible growing climate that allows farmers to more easily grow delicious Indonesian coffee beans. Dutch colonists introduced coffee to the country, and production continued after colonization due to the prime growing conditions. Coffee plantations currently cover over a million hectares of the land in Indonesia — much of it worked by small-scale producers.
Vietnam is another country often left out of the coffee conversation — despite it being the world’s second largest coffee producing country. And not just the robusta beans that the country is known for, which are famous for their chocolatey and nutty flavor profile. No, Vietnam is the world’s second largest coffee producer overall. This is due in part to the two million hectares of fertile basalt soil located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, which provide a perfect growing environment for the robusta beans. That’s also why the country is the world’s largest producer of robusta coffee beans.
Unfortunately, robusta beans have been largely dismissed by coffee critics who aren’t familiar with the style. On top of that, the reputation of Vietnamese coffee has also suffered due to incorrect preparation of Western-style “Vietnamese coffee” — which often contains too much condensed milk and beans from other countries. However, robusta beans can have up to twice the caffeine as arabica beans, and offer a deeper and more bold taste than their counterpart.
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