Where Does Your Coffee Actually Come From?

Coffee is consumed by many people around the world. Its popularity continues to increase as more and more people buy the actual coffee to make their drink or go to their local Starbucks or Philz. You may be a huge coffee consumer but have you ever stopped to think where it came from in the first place? Obviously from coffee beans but where exactly are these coffee beans in the first place and who works to get them? Here I’ll inform you where exactly your daily morning coffee comes from.

There is a group of countries around the Earth’s equator called the “coffee belt”. Coffee is produced around this area because the environment and conditions there are the best to grow coffee plants. There are two types of coffee plants: Arabica and Robusta coffee plants though they do have their differences. Robusta coffee is often used for instant coffee or those of low quality but is more caffeinated. Robusta coffee is also more disease resistant than other coffee. On the other hand, Arabica coffee does take more time to develop, but it’s worth it because it is way better quality and better flavor. These coffee plants look like normal bushes or trees:

Getty Images [coffee berries]

They seem normal until you see what is called coffee flowers! These coffee flowers turn into cherries with two coffee beans inside. These plants are not the tallest of plants, but they can still grow up to 30 feet. These coffee plants can be seen all around the globe, learn more about these coffee plants with this link: homegrounds.co. Brazil is by far the biggest coffee producer in the world. There are still other countries that also produce a lot of coffee like Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, Mexico, Peru, and more. Though these countries produce the most coffee, there are also big coffee fans around the globe, especially Finland, Norway, and the Netherlands. Coffee comes from all these places and so many people consume it, but we often forget who works to get this coffee for us. Those in the fields working to get coffee don’t work in the best conditions and it’s difficult because coffee has a huge impact on the world. This mostly happens in Brazil as that is the biggest country to produce coffee. Workers are paid really low to produce coffee and their environment can also be hot under the sun for hours. They don’t get much to eat either as most of them are too thin in an extremely unhealthy way. This is an example of forced labor and people were saved from these conditions working for coffee in 2016. Not a lot of people were saved from this labor as there were more saved in 2007 with about 6,000 people as oppose to 2016 with around 300.

These workers are also most of the time not given credit for their work as big fast food and coffee chains like Nestlé, McDonald’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts don’t often claim their coffee is produced in Brazil. It’s unwelcoming for organizations to buy coffee from Brazilian farms that use or support slave labor. The only responses to these complaints were from Dunkin’ Donuts and Nestlé, McDonald’s only ignored the comments. They claim their goal is to identify where their coffee comes from and “do not tolerate violations of workers’ rights” as a response to the workers. 

Therefore, coffee comes from big coffee producing countries like Brazil where the workers are not treated fairly. Coffee is important to us today because it shapes a lot of our economy as a lot of people today consume it. We should put more thought into what we buy and how products such as coffee is brought to your local market. I recommend you to not support the use of coffee from companies that are reported to mistreat their workers or don’t give their hard work credit.