Regions and Coffee Flavours

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An image of coffee beans obscured by a coffee tree. This is on the top of a blog on Bean Merchant that discusses the regional varieties in coffee beans

There are many variations throughout the different coffee producing regions. Many of these are down to different factors like the climate of the area, the altitude that the coffee beans are farmed at, and the processing methods of the region. There are ‘expected’ flavours that come out of each region, but there are always variations of these. It’s important to not just judge a bean by the region it came from, but to look at all the aspects of it’s farming and processing. Below are a few of the generic taste profiles of some of the regions.

Brazil Coffee Flavours

Brazil are the largest coffee producer in the world. Because of their medium altitude, they tend to have a heavy body (a feel more like cream when consumed) and lend themselves more to espresso brewing. Flavour notes that typically come out of Brazilian beans are things like chocolate, spice, or nut. They also tend to have more of a lingering aftertaste than other regions’ beans.

Kenya Coffee Flavours

Kenyan beans, like many of the African countries tend to be grown at a very high altitude, over 1500m above sea level. Because of this, its hot climate, and its processing methods, coffee beans from Kenya tend to be very fruity. You might find that they are also quite acidic, giving off a refreshing tartness not unlike black current or lemon-ish. Kenyan coffees could be described as tasting like tropical fruit, and are usually relatively expensive. It’s best to enjoy this coffee black, because it’s easier to taste the intricacies of the flavours.

Central America Coffee Flavours

When we talk about Central America, we are thinking about places like Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica (Colombia gets its own section). Central America often produces coffee that is bright and clean which means it’s like trim milk or water in its mouth feel. They produce traces of fruit and nuts, which often lend themselves to cocoa and spice flavours. Varying amounts of acidity can be found in the beans, balanced with smooth, sugar browning sweetness, chocolate, or butter flavours. 

Colombia Coffee Flavours

Colombian coffee represents for many the “classic” cup of coffee. If you think of a warm, nutty, chocolatey cup of coffee, you’re thinking of a Colombian coffee bean brew. Low acidity usually comes out of Colombia, meaning you get a smooth drink in your cup without that acidy aftertaste. Colombian coffee beans often deliver a clean cup, meaning the mouth feel is usually like water or trim milk. A nutty undertone with chocolate or caramel flavours are common from this region.

Ethiopia Coffee Flavours:

Like much of Africa, coffee beans out of Ethiopia tend to have floral flavours with a tea like consistency due to the high altitude and warm climate. Depending on the way they have been processed, they could also have a consistency like wine, heavier than other coffees. You might find some lemongrass or jasmine hints in your cup, or perhaps some syrupy, strong berry flavours.


Because of the low altitude in Indonesia, coffee coming out of this region is usually dark and almost earthy. Many notes could be akin to unsweetened, or dark cocoa. Some coffee may have a stouty, or mushroomy like consistency and take to dark roasting incredibly well. Great to have through your espresso machine with milk.

Regions in my Cup

There are many different regions to choose from when looking at importing coffee beans. Most coffee roasters will either try to have a range, or will specialise in one region over the others. Many of the regions flavours are impacted by the processing methods, climates and altitudes, so you can’t make a decision based on just the region alone, but need to take all of the aspects into account. Our quiz can do this for you, answer a few questions about your flavour profile and we’ll match you with coffee that suits your tastes from around the world.



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