Coffee Growing Regions

There are lots of coffee growing regions throughout the world. There are two types of coffee though, Robusta and Arabica. Since all we use is Arabica coffee here at Lakota, that’s what we are going to focus on here on this page. Most of the Arabica coffee supplied to the world is hand picked on family farms of 12-15 acres. Each coffee growing region produces distinct flavors and characteristics that they are known for in the coffee industry. Some countries produce a lot of coffee per year. Take Brazil for example; they produce 35% or more of the worlds Arabica Coffee. There are also lessor known coffee growing countries like Zambia or Zimbabwe. While Zimbabwe produces a great coffee, they are not as well known and they do not have that much land to compete with a larger coffee growing region like Brazil or Colombia.

A mountain set against a blue sky with rocks and grass growing around it


The higher altitude the coffee bean is grown the harder the bean, the harder the bean, the better the flavor when you brew your Cup of Joe!

Close up of dirt on the ground with little green leaves sprouting out


The correct moisture and nutrients in the soil are a must.

Coffee growing on lush green trees in a forest


Is your coffee shade grown? The saying is that shade grown coffee produces less acidity in the cup and we would have to agree with that statement.

Coffee beans being hand picked from a green bush

Hand Picked

Larger coffee farms use machines to pick all of the coffee cherries off the tree. However, you get all of the good and bad mixed together, and the end result is not very good. With smaller coffee farms (where we get our coffee), everything is hand picked. You are only getting the coffee cherries that are prime for the picking.

Below you find some of the growing regions throughout the world that are very well-known in the coffee industry. There are of course a lot of very small niche regions like Bolivia and Zambia, for example, but they are not very well known and do not produce that much coffee for market. We are not saying by any means that small regions do not produce great coffee, its just a niche market. Hawaii is a niche market but it is very well known due to the demand and very low supply. A good pound of Hawaii Kona Extra Fancy can easily go for $40-50 per pound without even blinking an eye.

Central and South American Coffees: Home to many different coffees, Central and South America offers a variety of growing regions that produce a wide range of coffees for the enthusiast to sample and enjoy. Guatemalan coffees are considered to be some of the world’s best as the different growing regions produce coffees rich in flavors reflecting the landscape around them. For instance, coffees from Lake Atitlan offer hints of chocolate and cinnamon set against a deep body and rich flavor.

  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru

African Coffees: Several countries are home to many varieties of African Coffee. For instance, Ethiopia offers a variety of coffees based on regions within the country. Yirgacheffe coffees, from the Sidamo region of Ethiopia feature floral and tangerine notes. While many coffee shop owners try to compare Yirgacheffe coffees to other types of coffee, there is no real comparison. Yirgacheffe coffees are highly unique and enjoyable. While the Yirgacheffe coffees enjoy a great deal of popularity, on the other hand, Zambian coffee is not nearly as well known, but has delighted those who have taken the opportunity to sample it.

  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Indonesian Coffees: Home to a wide variety of coffee, Indonesia offers many well known choices, such as Sumatra and Java, as well as lesser known selections like Timor, Papua New Guinea, and Celebes Kalossi. Sumatra truly reflects the tropical environment it is grown in, offering a complex and deep body with low acidity, and (more than) a touch of earthiness. In comparison, Java offers a similar experience to Sumatra but less earthiness, providing a brighter yet still complex cup.

  • Celebes
  • Java
  • Sumatra
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Timor

Caribbean Coffees: Caribbean Coffees are very hard to come by due to their supply and demand. Island coffees are beautifully balanced and famously rich, while also being delicate and mild. Since they are so hard to come by most people see them in a cut version (Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend), key word on that is the Blend. They will blend together Jamaican Blue Mountain with Colombian coffee, don’t get us wrong its not like your drinking swill or something. But how many restaurants take a Filet Mignon and grind it up with another meat to make a burger. I know that the burger would still taste good, but why ruin something so amazing. Here at Lakota Coffee you will only find the true uncut 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain.

  • Jamaican Blue Mountain
  • Puerto Rican Coffee

Other Great Coffee from around the World:

  • Hawaii Coffee (Kona is the most well known & most demanded coffee of Hawaii, hence the high price tag)
  • India Coffee
  • Organics and Fair Trades
  • Peaberries
  • Specialty Blends
  • Decafs
  • Flavors

Coffee Origins

Often you will hear the term “Single Origin” when discussing coffee. Single Origin refers to coffee that grows only in a single region or country. For Instance, among Guatemalan Coffees, there are three regions. Coffee from each region is referred to as single origin due to the unique characteristics of each region, despite the fact that it comes from the same country. In Guatemala, Lake Atitlan, Antigua, and Hue Hue Tenango, are the three primary growing regions, each producing distinct and unique coffees.


On the other hand, when you hear about African Coffee, this refers to the coffee that originates from several different countries that are home to multiple coffee-producing regions. For instance, it can refer to Ethiopian Coffee, which includes coffee from origins such as Sidamo and Harrar. Or it could refer to Kenyan coffee, which includes coffees from the Mount Kenya and Nyanza regions.


Check out our profile on Specialty Coffee Advisor for more information about Coffee Regions and Coffee Origins.