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Africa - Arabia

As being the region where coffee was first discovered, it is not surprising to learn that the Africa - Arabia region of the world is responsible for producing some of the finest coffees in the world.  Praised for their distinct flavors, coffee produced in this part of the world is characterized by dry, winy acidity, chocolate and fruit undertones, rustic flavors, and intense aromas.  Primarily wet processed methods of coffee growing is employed in this area, making coffee produced in the Africa - Arabia area a favorite among coffee enthusiasts.

It would be foolish to begin any discussion on the main coffee producing countries in Africa - Arabia, without mentioning Ethiopia.  Legend has it that coffee trees was first discovered in Ethiopia and wild coffee tree forests can still be easily found throughout Ethiopia.  The top arabica coffee exporter in Africa, coffee is a vital component of the Ethiopian economy.  Approximately 12 million Ethiopians make their living from coffee and Ethiopia continues to produce some of the finest coffee in the world.  Coffee from Ethiopia is produced in three main growing regions - Sidamo, Harer, and Kaffa.  Legend has it that coffee obtained its name from the Ethiopian province of Kaffa.  Regardless of whether or not this is true, Ethiopian coffee tends to feature a full flavored texture that is a bit down-to-earth and full bodied.

While not one of the largest coffee producers in the Africa - Arabia region, Yemen is arguably one of its most famous coffee producers.  Situated in the Arabian peninsula, Yemen is not the easiest place to grow coffee.  The land is arid and water is scarce, which means that the coffee beans grown in Yemen tend to be smaller in shape.  However, these unique conditions contribute to the production of one of the most loved specialty coffee, which only made Europeans fall in love with coffee.  At the southwestern tip of Yemen, the port city of Mocha has become so famous that the term Mocha has just become synonymous with high quality coffee.

During the mid 1990s, it seemed that the Ivory Coast was poised to become a major coffee producing area.  They were largest coffee producers in Africa and was fifth in the world overall.  However, the number of coffee exports have dropped over the last decade but the Ivory Coast remains as the ninth largest coffee producer in the world.  Coffee plantations on the Ivory Coast almost exclusively cultivates Robusta and the coffee industry is dedicated to producing large volumes of coffee.  The second largest producer of Robusta coffee, many feel that the reason why the Ivory Coast's coffee production has staggered is due to the low quality of coffee that it produces.  Currently, the majority of Ivory Coast coffee is exported to mass-market coffee exporters in Europe, particularly France and Italy.

The Africa-Arabia area also features popular coffee producing countries like Kenya, Congo, and Tanzania.  As the birthplace of coffee, you can always expect the Africa - Arabia region to have a huge influence on the world's coffee industry.