The world’s top specialty coffee varieties

The world’s top specialty coffee varieties

Grown in select altitudes and climates and nursed for years before the first harvest, specialty coffee is ever so popular. Let’s take a closer look at this variety and what makes it unique below.

Where do specialty coffee beans come from?

The production zones concentrate along the Equator, as only certain climates and environment allow for ideal growing conditions.


Wet-processed coffee beans from Kenya deliver full-bodied coffee, with a black-current aroma, and winy acidity.


When it comes to coffee, this country needs no introduction, as the largest coffee producer in the world is no surprise that its specialty coffee is of the highest quality. Flavor-wise, this type of coffee is low acidity, bittersweet, chocolaty with nutty notes.


This country main coffee export is Robusta, only a small part of the production is specialty coffee, but amongst it you can find some of the best-rated beans in the world, for a coffee rich in taste, with an earthy aroma and mild acidity.

Costa Rica

Grown at higher altitudes, specialty coffees from the Pura Vida nation are fruity and acidic.


Wet-processed Guatemalan coffees are highly regarded in the industry and come with spicy or chocolatey flavors, a medium body, and strong acidity.


Grown in the Andes, this coffee variety offers a silky and creamy taste. With a mild body, high acidity, floral and citric notes, this specialty coffee is loved across the globe.

Which countries have the strongest specialty coffee culture?

It may come as a surprise, but specialty coffee is most appreciated far from the places it originated. Scandinavia is amongst the areas with a higher regard for this type of coffee, as the general coffee consumption is already high. For example, the Finnish kakkukahvi tradition leads individuals to consume 121 kg of coffee per year on average, while in Norway it grew in popular as the alcohol prices skyrocketed. Sweden and Denmark follow through, along with Iceland, where they do not even consume decaf, as the demand is too low.


In other countries, it’s the largest cities where the majority of specialty coffee drinkers can be found, as the offer is bigger. From New York to Tokyo, passing through London, the urban landscape is where these beverages are chosen and consumed the most.


While we do not have up-to-date stats on the rest of Europe when it comes to specialty coffee consumption, a survey from 2019 by the National Coffee Association signals a wider appreciation for gourmet coffee in the USA too, a country that notoriously favored filter coffee. For the first time that year, in fact, gourmet coffee has crossed the 60 percent threshold.