Best Coffee Beans in Asia

Women’s Guide to the Best Coffee Beans in Asia

Discover the best coffee beans in Asia that will awaken your taste buds. From Vietnam to Indonesia, find your next fave brew in this guide.

Intrigued by Asia’s diverse coffee culture, I am on a quest to find the best coffee beans in Asia. Asian coffee offers a range of flavors and aromas, from robust and earthy to delicate and floral.

But it’s not only about the taste; did you know that coffee can also benefit women’s wellness? Coffee may lower the risk of depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and some cancers in women.

Join me on a journey to find the best coffee beans in Asia. And let’s explore coffee’s potential health benefits for women.

1. China

China has been stirring the global coffee industry with its massive coffee consumption. But what piqued my interest is how the country is rapidly developing as a producer. It boasts some of the best coffee beans in Asia. The growers are pushing the limits of quality with their soil, climate, and cultivars.

The story goes that a French missionary brought coffee to the province of Yunnan back in 1892. He brought coffee seeds from Vietnam and planted them outside his chapel in Zhukula. Despite the region’s reputation for quality tea, coffee cultivation stagnated for a century. It wasn’t until 2009 that coffee production saw an uptick. A confluence of factors most likely caused it. It includes declining tea costs and a transient increase in coffee prices worldwide.

It’s amazing to see Yunnan’s coffee trade keep expanding. This growth is helped in no small part by China’s booming consumer market. Chinese coffee consumption is still relatively low on a per capita basis. But China’s massive population could impact global coffee supply and demand.

In 2021, mainland China consumed nine cups of coffee per person, significantly behind Western nations and several Asian neighbors. For centuries, tea, China’s national drink, was the only hot beverage available in the country. Yet, Generation Y and Z customers in China, who have adopted Western lifestyles, have learned to love coffee. According to experts, China is one of today’s most valuable coffee markets.

China’s coffee market increased from 45 billion yuan in 2015 to 82 billion yuan in 2020. According to projections, it will grow at a CAGR of 22% over the next five years, passing 219 billion yuan by 2025.

I have been delighted to observe the burgeoning coffee culture in China over the past decade. Urban areas are now teeming with coffee shops and cafes, and it’s no wonder why.

Tea remains the traditional hot beverage of choice in China. But many younger generations have embraced coffee. Men and women alike enjoy this beverage as a symbol of modern sophistication.

Flavor Profile

I’ve tried many Chinese coffees. And I must say, the best ones are sweet and fruity, with a hint of woodiness or earthiness. , the acidity is low, and the body is usually rather substantial. It’s no wonder that some say they have the best coffee beans in Asia.

Coffee Growing Regions

China’s growing regions don’t take up a considerable chunk of the country but encompass much land. China is a promising market for coffee exports and imports alike.


China’s best coffee still comes from its original coffee-growing region. In addition to its famed Pu’er tea, the area is also a significant player in the global coffee trade.

In terms of altitude, we’re talking about being between 900 and 1,700 meters high or 3,000–5,580 feet.

  • Harvest Time: October–January
  • Varieties: Catimor, Caturra, and Bourbon


This region is famous for its Oolong and other types of tea. There is less demand and capacity for high-quality coffee in the area.

  • Harvest Time: November–April
  • Varieties: Robusta


Probably from Malaysia, Hainan coffee made its way to the island around 1908. This province in China’s far south grows Robusta, but it has a poor reputation for quality.

  • Harvest Time: November–April
  • Varieties: Robusta

2. India

As you travel through India, you’ll notice that coffee is a beloved beverage among many women. The aroma of brewed coffee wafting through the air is a common sight in the bustling streets of urban areas. It’s no surprise that coffee consumption is more prevalent in these areas. Coffee shops and cafes are aplenty.

There’s a lot of mythology behind coffee farming in India. Legend has it that in 1670, on his way back from Mecca, a pilgrim named Baba Budan sneaked seven coffee seeds out of Yemen. In Islam, the number seven is sacred. Hence his action was seen as religiously significant.

It was in the Chikmagalur area of the state of Karnataka that Baba Budan first planted these seeds, and it was there that they flourished. In honor of him, the nearby hills are called Bababudangiri, and the region is still vital to the coffee industry today.

Under British colonial control, coffee plantations in southern India did not grow until the middle of the 19th century. Unfortunately, this only lasted briefly, and coffee’s popularity began declining again.

 A combination of rising tea consumption and widespread outbreaks of leaf rust among coffee plants brought economic hardship to the sector in the 1870s. Even though they had previously exported coffee successfully, several plantations shifted to tea production. 

Research into rust-resistant coffee types persisted in India. This study yielded some new cultivars before coffee flavor became prominent.

A government statute established the Coffee Board of India in 1942 to bring order to the coffee trade in India. The government’s pooling of coffee from various farmers may have lowered producers’ incentives to improve coffee quality. However, production rose, with India’s output increasing by 30% in the 1990s.

Coffee sales were similarly deregulated in the 1990s. Even India’s home coffee market saw significant expansion. India has a vast population and consumes a lot of coffee, even though tea is cheaper. Each person consumes only 100 grams a year, but the country uses up to two million bags of coffee. 

In 2023, the coffee industry will generate $0.92 billion in revenue. Forecasts show annual growth in the market of 2.06%. By 2025, non-household consumption of coffee, like bars and restaurants, will account for 54% of revenue and 6% of volume.

The monsooning method resulted in one of India’s most popular coffees, Monsoon Malabar. Now a deliberate practice, monsooning had an accidental beginning. 

Coffee sent from India to Europe during the British Raj was shipped in wooden boxes and exposed to monsoon rains. The raw coffee took in a lot of water, dramatically altering the finished product’s flavor.

As export operations improved, the market for moonsooned coffee remained. West coast factories duplicated the technique to keep up with the demand. 

Only organically processed coffees undergo the monsooning process, which leaves the raw coffee looking very pale and brittle. Since monsooned beans are so brittle, it’s common for a good portion of them to be broken during the roasting and packaging, leaving you with a bag of unevenly roasted coffee. It is normal and not comparable to the damaged parts you can find in cheap coffees that you should avoid.

There are two types of quality classifications for Indian coffee. The first is specific to India and divides coffee beans into Plantation Coffee, Cherry Coffee, and Parchment Coffee.

In India, there is a size-based grading scale as well. AAA is the highest, followed by AA, A, and PB (peaberry) is the lowest.

The larger bean sizes are typically linked with higher quality, but this is not always true.

Flavor Profile

In my experience, Indian coffees tend to be rich and creamy, with low acidity. But, they often lack the complexity found in other types of coffee. I wouldn’t call them the best coffee beans in Asia, but they have unique qualities.

Coffee Growing Regions

India grows most of its coffee in four states with several smaller districts.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu, sometimes known as the “land of the Tamils,” is located in India’s extreme southern tip. Chennai is the capital, and the area is well-known for its impressive Hindu temples.

There was a time when the working class in the state drank tea while the upper middle class and the elite drank coffee. There was initial cultural apprehension when coffee was introduced to Tamil Nadu, but the locals soon embraced it.

  • Harvest Time: October – February
  • Varieties: Coorg, Kodaikanal, Pulney Hills, Baba Budangiri


This region accounts for the majority of the country’s coffee harvest. Leaf rust is common, limiting coffee growers’ options for which types to cultivate, and there are also labor constraints, absentee owners, and a shortage of water for post-harvest treatment.

  • Harvest time: October–February
  • Varieties: S795, Selection 5B, Selection 9, Selection 10, and Cauvery


Many farmers in these mountains are members of indigenous communities. They choose to cultivate small plots of land due to economic restrictions. High rains, pests, and coffee berry borer plague this region. It is the westernmost growing zone, abutting Karnataka and Kerala, producing twice as much Robusta as Arabica.

  • Harvest times: October–February
  • Varieties: S795, Kent, Cauvery, and Robusta


The vast majority of the world’s Arabica comes from this area. While most of the region’s farmers are smallholders, the land they have access to is disproportionately allocated to large farms. Only about 5% of farms produce coffee on 75% of the land. 

A significant issue with the region’s vast farms is the prevalence of silver oak monocultures, used almost exclusively to provide shade for the coffee. Many people believe that a wide variety of shade trees are essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems and ensuring the long-term viability of agricultural practices.

  • Harvest Time: October–February
  • Varieties: S795, Cauvery, and Selection 9


The bulk of the country’s coffee comes from this state. Once known as Mysore, this region changed to Karnataka in 1973. There is some debate about what the name means. Some say it means “elevated lands,” while others say it means “the black region,” a nod to the black cotton soil that is common there.

  • Harvest Time: November-March
  • Varieties: Kents, S795, Cauvery, Selection 9, Chandragiri, S274, CxR, S5B, and S288


It was here that Baba Budan, after smuggling coffee seeds from Yemen, first planted them, making this area the spiritual and cultural epicenter of Indian coffee.

  • Harvest Time: October–February
  • Varieties: S795, Selection 9, Cauvery”


Bababudangiri is a part of this broader region. The city of Chikmagalur serves as its focal point and namesake. Robusta is slightly more abundant than Arabica in this area.

  • Harvest Time: October–February
  • Varieties: S795, Selection 5B, Selection 9, Cauvery, Robustas


Britain established many plantations here in the 19th century, only to sell them to the natives once India attained independence in 1947. Robusta, which yields more, is grown on roughly twice as much area as Arabica.

  • Harvest Time: October–February
  • Varieties: S795, Selection 6, Selection 9, Robustas


Although Arabica is the region’s main focus, several farms have won awards for their high-quality Robustas at Coffee Board of India contests.

  • Harvest Time: October–February
  • Varieties: S795, Selection 6, Selection 9, Cauvery


Almost a third of India’s coffee comes from this southern state. Most of Kerala’s coffee comes from the Wayanad, Idukki, and Palakkad regions. The Malabar coast is also found there, and with it comes the Monsooned Malabar coffee beans. 

Organic coffee cultivation has been most successful in this area. The first Portuguese arrived in this region in 1500, and the commercial route they built to export spices led to the European colonization of India.

  • Harvest Time: November-March
  • Varieties: Robusta and Arabica


The Indian state of Travancore has a rich history of coffee production. Growing coffee there began in the 19th century when British farmers introduced the practice.

  • Harvest Time: December – March
  • Varieties: Kent, S795, CxR, and Selection 274


Southern India is home to the state of Kerala, which includes the district of Wayanad. The stunning scenery and rich soil make it perfect for coffee plantations. However, only Robusta can thrive at the low altitudes found in this region of India.

  • Harvest Time: October−February
  • Varieties: Arabica, Robusta, Peaberry, Catimor, and Selection 9

Andhra Pradesh

The commercial establishment of coffee plantations in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is a recent phenomenon, dating back barely a few decades. On the other hand, the state has made significant progress in coffee production and is emerging as a central coffee-growing region in India.

Andhra Pradesh’s coffee is grown mainly in the districts of Vishakhapatnam, East Godavari, and West Godavari, located in the state’s steep Eastern Ghats region. The elevation of the estates, between 900 and 1,200 meters above sea level, is suitable for growing high-quality coffee.

  • Harvest Time: October−February
  • Varieties: S795, Selection 4, Selection 5, Cauvery

3. Indonesia

Coffee cultivation in Indonesia has a long and storied history, dating back to the 17th century. Due to the introduction of coffee by the Dutch during colonial times, Indonesia has become one of the world’s largest coffee producers.

In the late 1600s, Java was the site of Indonesia’s first coffee plantations, and from there, the industry swiftly extended to the islands of Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Bali. Back in the day, Dutch colonialists grew coffee on massive plantations and sent it across the Atlantic.

There was a dramatic shift in Indonesian coffee output in the nineteenth century. By the early 20th century, coffee cultivation had become a vital source of revenue for many rural families.

The traditional post-harvest method of giling basah is one of the distinguishing features of Indonesian coffee cultivation; it is also the reason for the widely polarizing flavor of Indonesian coffee. This hybrid method has components of both the washing and natural processes. 

The semi-washed procedure drastically improves cup quality. It lessens the coffee’s acidity and gives it more body, making for a more mellow, rounded, and heavy brew. But it also brings various new tastes, including vegetal or herbal, woodsy or musty, and earthy.

Kopi Luwak is the name given to coffee roasted in Indonesia made from the feces of civet cats that have feasted on coffee cherries. We next process and dry this semi-digested coffee after removing the feces and other waste. The recent decade has seen it become a humorous fad, with unverified claims of its outstanding flavors and astronomically high prices.

Flavor Profile: Spices, chocolate, and fruit

Coffee Growing Regions


A vast island in Indonesia, Sumatra is home to some of the country’s most productive coffee plantations. The cultivation of coffee beans on the island of Sumatra has a rich history dating back to when the region was under Dutch colonial rule.

Sumatra Mandheling, cultivated in the North Sumatra province’s highlands, is the most well-known type of Sumatran coffee. The coffee has a robust, earthy flavor with hints of dark chocolate and spices, for which it is renowned. As a result of the volcanic soil’s high nutrient content, Mandheling coffee beans have a distinct flavor profile.

Sumatra is well-known for producing several other types of coffee in addition to Mandheling, including Gayo, Lintong, and Aceh. Grown in Aceh’s mountainous interior, Gayo coffee is known for its fruity, spicy aroma and flavor. Lintong coffee is distinctive for being medium-bodied and flavorful. It grows in the Lintong district of North Sumatra. The Aceh province is home to the robust and mildly acidic coffee known as Aceh.

  • Harvest Time: September–December
  • Varieties: Typica, TimTim, Ateng, Onan Ganjang


Java is home to the most expansive coffee plantations in Indonesia. They boast of four government estates that total over 4,000 hectares. The island’s coffee had an excellent reputation for quite some time. Many roasters used them in the famous “Mocha-Java” blend.

Javanese coffees were once sought after and considered some of the best coffee beans in Asia. But this began to change near the end of the twentieth century. Nonetheless, most of Java’s coffee is still grown in the region east of the island’s Ijen volcano. Some farms are also located on the western shores.

  • Harvest Time: July−September
  • Varieties: Typica, Ateng, USDA


Sulawesi has been a major player in the global coffee trade for over a century. It is home to some of the best coffee beans in Asia with manys unique coffee varietals. The most renowned cultivar is Toraja. It is grown in South Sulawesi’s highlands where beans are planted in volcanic soil and harvested by hand.

Coffee from Toraja has a robust, earthy flavor with hints of dark chocolate and spices. It is a delight for coffee lovers. Sulawesi’s rich coffee culture is evident in the widespread presence of warung kopi. They offer a cozy spot for coffee aficionados to unwind.

Several coffee farms and plantations in Sulawesi offer tours and tastings. They let visitors observe farmers at work and chat with them about the trade. They can also try a few different kinds of coffee. It’s no wonder the island’s yearly coffee festival attracts visitors from far and wide.

  • Harvest Time: May−November
  • Varieties: S795, Typicas, Ateng


Flores, a small island located about 200 miles east of Bali, was one of the last of the Indonesian islands to begin growing coffee and gain international recognition for its product. 

The island’s soils have benefited from the presence of both active and dormant volcanoes. Bajawa is one of the most important agricultural areas. While some wholly washed coffee is common in the region, the semi-washed method is the norm.

  • Harvest Time: May−September
  • Varieties: Ateng, Typicas, Robusta


Bali’s unique history and stunning scenery draw tourists. The island may not be a large coffee producer, but it does have a strong coffee culture.

Most Bali coffee is grown on small farms run by single families. Moreover, the Kintamani district of Bali is home to the highest-quality coffee beans, including the world-famous Kintamani varietal. Mild in flavor with undertones of chocolate and spices, Kintamani coffee is farmed traditionally.

Aside from its Kintamani coffee, Bali is also famous for its luwak coffee.

Many of Bali’s coffee farms and plantations host tours and tastings for curious tourists. Tours like these let you see where your coffee comes from, chat with farmers, and try a few different coffee flavors in Bali.

  • Harvest Time: May−October
  • Varieties: Typica and Typica derivatives, Robusta

4. Papua New Guinea

In the early 1900s, Papua New Guinea has been a thriving coffee producer. The German colonists who planted coffee in the area did so on a small scale in the eastern highlands. Papua New Guinea became one of the world’s leading coffee producers by the 1970s after experiencing significant growth in the industry following World War I.

Over the years, several obstacles have plagued Papua New Guinea’s coffee sector, such as fluctuating prices, lacking necessary infrastructure, and the spreading of plant diseases. However, coffee farming is still significant because Papua New Guinea is known for its high-quality specialty coffee.

Most of Papua New Guinea’s coffee is grown on small farms owned by individual families. Arabica and Robusta are the two most common coffee species cultivated there. Arabica coffee beans are produced at higher altitudes, giving the brew a more robust and flavorful profile, often with hints of chocolate or fruit. Robusta coffee, on the other hand, has a more powerful, bitter flavor since it is grown at lower altitudes.

The coffee trade in Papua New Guinea has gained recognition for its dedication to ethical business methods. Most of the coffee growers in this country belong to cooperatives that promote sustainable agriculture, high yields, and equitable pricing for their products.

Overall, Papua New Guinea has a rich history of coffee production, and the country’s distinctive coffee types and dedication to sustainability have helped to establish it as a prominent participant in the international coffee business.

Papua New Guinea’s coffee rituals reflect a deep connection between the people and the land. It is incredible to witness coffee’s integral role in the culture here. And women are at the forefront of all aspects of production, from farming to brewing and serving.

In some areas, the beans are roasted over an open fire, ground by hand, and boiled in a pot on the stove. The process creates a rich and smoky brew called “bush coffee.” In other areas, the coffee is brewed using a “bilum.” It’s a traditional woven bag of natural fibers filled with hot water and coffee grounds, tied up, and left to steep for several hours. This method, called “bilum coffee,” is often served during social gatherings and ceremonies.

Beyond its cultural significance, coffee is also used in traditional medicine in PNG. Coffee leaves treats headaches, while brewed coffee relieves digestive issues.

It’s impressive how this drink has become a symbol of Papua New Guinea’s strength and resilience.

  • Flavor Profile: Buttery, sweet, and complex
  • Coffee Growing Regions

Eastern Highlands

It is well-known that Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands province has a thriving coffee culture and numerous award-winning coffee types. Province in the country’s east; home to the Goroka coffee region, one of the nation’s major coffee-growing areas.

Most Eastern Highlands coffee is grown on tiny, family-run farms. And many coffee farmer associations and cooperatives in the Eastern Highlands are raising standards in agriculture, boosting crop yields, and guaranteeing fair prices. These groups are also crucial in spreading awareness about the importance of eco-friendly farming methods.

  • Harvest Time: April–September
  • Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Arusha

Western Highlands

The Western Highlands are well known for their coffee production, which has contributed significantly to the region’s economy and culture for over half a century.

Most of the coffee in the area comes from smallholder farmers who cultivate it on their own or their families land. High altitudes give the coffee a unique flavor that connoisseurs worldwide love.

In the Western Highlands, coffee is more than a cash crop; it’s a way of life. Coffee cultivation is an intrinsic part of local culture, and the beverage is central to numerous rituals and celebrations. Many farmers find joy in their coffee plants because of the good fortune they bring and because of the coffee plant’s symbolic value.

  • Harvest Time: April–September
  • Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Arusha

Simbu Province

Many residents of Simbu Province rely heavily on the lucrative coffee industry. The coffee produced in this region is known for its exceptional taste.

Arabica, a kind of coffee prized for its subtle and complex flavors, accounts for the vast majority of coffee produced in the area. Coffee thrives in this location due to the high altitude, fertile soil, and reliable rainfall.

Farmers in Simbu Province grow coffee on small parcels of land. Hand-harvested coffee is processed using traditional practices, including sun-drying on mats or patios.

  • Harvest Time: April–September
  • Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Arusha”

5. The Philippines

The Philippines boasts a vibrant coffee culture that holds a plethora of unique rituals and traditions. As I sip on my “kapeng barako,” a traditional Filipino coffee made with some of the best coffee beans in Asia, I can’t help but appreciate the special pot used to brew it – the “kawa.” Whenever I attend social gatherings or special occasions, I’m greeted with a cup of coffee, which is considered a sign of hospitality in this beautiful country.

The narrative of coffee in the Philippines is similar to that of many other once-dominant economic pillars that have all but vanished. The most well-known account of events began in 1740. A Spanish friar planted the first coffee trees in Lipa in the Philippine province of Batangas. It thrived and expanded throughout the Philippines under Spanish colonial control.

The Philippines became the world’s fourth-largest coffee producer by the late 1800s, with most coffee plantations based in the Batangas province. Yet in the late 1800s, a fungal disease called coffee rust wiped off coffee plants nationwide, dealing a significant blow to the industry.

The government introduced Robusta, a variety resistant to coffee rust, to coffee farmers in the early 20th century. Due to this revitalization, coffee farming in the Philippines resumed in the 1950s.

The quantity of coffee grown waxed and waned over time in response to market conditions and the relative cost of production worldwide. Due to the Brazilian frost in 1975, the Philippines were once again able to become an exporting nation.

Coffea liberica and Coffea excelsa are two varieties of coffee grown in the country that are less common elsewhere. Neither is particularly appealing taste-wise, but you should check them out if given a chance.

Related: What Are the Best Coffee Beans in the Philippines for Women?

Flavor Profiles

Full-bodied, low acidity, light florals, and fruity

Coffee Growing Regions

Cordillera Administrative Region

I’m thrilled to share with you the significant coffee industry in this region. Thanks to the hilly geography and cool environment, the Cordillera provinces produce some of the best coffee beans in Asia.

Kalinga coffee is a beloved variety grown here. It has a delightful aroma and velvety, flavorful texture. This gem comes from the northern Cordillera province of Kalinga.

And we can’t forget about Benguet coffee, famous for its robust flavor and grown in the region of Benguet. Its nuanced flavor profile makes it a popular choice for blending.

Traditional coffee brewing techniques and coffee output in the Cordillera are well-known. One example is the classic wooden coffee maker, the batirol. You use it to crush roasted coffee beans and brew ground coffee with hot water. It’s the secret behind a typical Cordilleran coffee drink.

  • Harvest Time: October–March
  • Varieties: Red Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon, Typica, Mondo Novo, Caturra


I recently had the pleasure of exploring the Calabarzon region. You can find it in the southern part of the Philippines’ Luzon island. The region is famous for its rich volcanic soil. Hence, it’s the perfect location for growing some of the best coffee beans in Asia.

One particular coffee bean that caught my attention is the Batangas-grown barako. This Filipino coffee bean is famous for its robust and rich flavor. Many coffee enthusiasts liken it to espresso.

The traditional way of brewing barako coffee involves steeping a “sock” made of muslin cloth in a kettle of boiling water. This process continues until the coffee reaches the desired strength.

As I delved deeper into the coffee culture of Calabarzon, I discovered that several coffee fields in the area date back to the Spanish colonial era. Today, some of these farms have opened their doors to the public. They allow curious sightseers like myself to learn about the region’s coffee heritage. You can witness firsthand where your favorite beverage comes from.

Overall, my journey through Calabarzon was a delightful and eye-opening experience. I recommend it to anyone who wants to savor some of the best coffee beans in Asia and explore the fascinating history and culture of the Philippines.

  • Harvest Time: October–March
  • Varieties: Robusta, Excelsa, Liberica


The MIMAROPA region (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) is home to several coffee farms, which produce a variety of coffee beans, including the robusta and liberica varieties.

Amadeo coffee is among the most popular coffee varieties in the MIMAROPA region. It grows in the Cavite province but is popular in the neighboring areas. Amadeo coffee is known for its mild, nutty flavor and is often blended with other coffee varieties.

  • Harvest Time: October–March
  • Varieties: Robusta, Excelsa


As I delve deeper into the world of coffee in Asia, I am fascinated by the history of the Visayas, Batangas, and Cavite. They were important coffee-producing regions during the Spanish colonial era.

But, the mid-19th century brought devastation to the coffee plantations across the Visayas. Coffee rust destroyed their productivity. The government prioritized sugarcane over coffee, leading to a decline in production.

The islands of Negros and Panay saw a resurgence in coffee production in the late 19th century. The region’s rich soil was perfect for growing beans. And with high demand, farmers were incentivized to start growing coffee again.

The Visayas became a major coffee producer in the early 1900s. The province of Negros alone handles over 60% of the country’s coffee output. But, the middle of the twentieth century brought cheaper and more available imports. And the coffee industry began to lose ground.

Despite decreased production, businesses in the Visayas remain dedicated to the coffee industry. As demand for high-quality Arabica coffee grows, local farmers are promoting its cultivation. The Visayas’ coffee industry may have seen better days. But its heritage remains, and there is still potential to produce some of the best coffee beans in Asia.

  • Harvest Time: October–March
  • Varieties: Catimor, Robusta

Mindanao’s rich cultural heritage includes hundreds of years of coffee production. Spanish conquerors in the late 1800s likely brought Arabica coffee trees from neighboring countries to the island for the first time. Since then, Mindanao has grown some of the best coffee in the Philippines.

In the late 19th century, the provinces of Bukidnon, Davao, and Cotabato began growing coffee plantations. It marked the beginning of a long history of coffee production in Mindanao. 

After the Spanish-American War, American businesses ran these plantations. Coffee became a significant export, and Mindanao became one of the country’s top coffee producers. 

Mindanao’s varied topography, rich soil, and mild year-round temperatures made it a perfect location for coffee growth. The island is home to many different types of coffee, including Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica.

The spread of the coffee rust disease in the early 20th century wiped off many farms in  Mindanao. Despite this setback, the Mindanao coffee business thrived. Now, many local coffee farmers produce high-quality specialty coffee beans.

Mindanao’s unique and tasty coffee varietals include South Cotabato’s T’boli, Sultan Kudarat’s Matutum, and Davao’s Mount Apo. The island’s coffee trade is flourishing, with more farmers using sustainable and eco-friendly methods to grow high-quality beans.

  • Harvest Time: October–March
  • Varieties: Mysore, Typica, SV-2006, Catimor, Robusta, Excelsa

6. Thailand

I am pleased to share my newfound knowledge of Thailand’s coffee culture. One unique offering is the “Oliang” or “Thai iced coffee.” It combines coffee beans with roasted corn, soybeans, sesame seeds, and condensed milk. This creates a sweet and refreshing beverage that’s perfect for a hot day.

Thai coffee shops often serve Oliang with pandan sweets or mango sticky rice. These small touches elevate the coffee-drinking experience and add a distinctive Thai flair.

King Chulalongkorn, commonly known as King Rama V, brought coffee to Thailand in the late 19th century. He dispatched young princes to nearby nations like Java to study coffee farming techniques. Later, he imported coffee beans to Thailand. To this end, the monarch tried his hand at growing coffee in Chiang Mai and other provinces of northern Thailand.

In the early 20th century, farmers from hill tribes like the Akha and the Lahu introduced coffee production to much of northern Thailand. Many communities started cultivating coffee as a cash crop to supplement their income.

To diversify agricultural output and improve rural livelihoods, the Thai government began encouraging coffee planting in the 1970s. There are now coffee plantations in various provinces in Thailand, including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Tak, and Surat Thani.

Northern Thailand’s Doi Chang, Doi Tung, and Doi Inthanon produce excellent arabica coffee. Bright acidity, flowery and fruity flavors, and a chocolaty aftertaste are hallmarks of Thai coffee.

More and more Thai farmers have turned to organic and sustainable farming methods in recent years, while more and more coffee shops and cafés have opened up in the country’s major cities.

Flavor Profile

Sweet, clean, low in acidity, spicy and chocolaty

Coffee Growing Regions

Northern Region

Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, and Phayao are among northern Thai provinces with distinct coffee cultures.

A growing number of independent coffee shops, cafes, and roasteries have made Chiang Mai the de facto coffee capital of Northern Thailand. Most of these businesses get their beans from farms in the nearby highlands, where growing coffee has become a significant industry.

Northern Thai coffee has fruity and flowery flavors; a medium to light roast brings out these qualities. Unique brewing methods like Thai coffee sock filters or slow pour-overs enhance the coffee-drinking experience at several local coffee establishments.

  • Harvest Time: November–March
  • Varieties: Caturra, Catimor, Catuai

Southern Thailand

Production of coffee in southern Thailand dates back many decades. The Thai government promoted coffee planting in the early 1970s to diversify the economy and offer alternatives to traditional agriculture.

Coffee grows well in southern Thailand, including Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Phatthalung. Rich soil and plentiful rainfall contribute to the region’s ability to grow premium coffee beans.

Farmers in Thailand’s southern region began planting coffee trees alongside other products like rubber and coconut on a modest scale. Yet, as the need for Thai coffee increased, farmers began devoting more time and resources to coffee farming, and the industry grew drastically.

Currently, southern Thailand produces high-quality Arabica coffee beans with unique flavors and aromas. Small-scale farmers in the region are at the heart of the coffee industry since they are the ones who use time-tested techniques to cultivate their beans and handle them with care throughout the entire process, from planting to roasting.

International coffee buyers are increasingly interested in Thai coffee, and the southern region of Thailand has become a powerful player in the global coffee market. Thai coffee will dominate the specialty coffee market in the future due to its unique flavor and commitment to sustainable production.

  • Harvest Time: December–January
  • Varieties: Robusta

7. Vietnam

Vietnam coffee style, Drip coffee, Dropping water on Ground coffee in stainless filter with wooden table background
Vietnam coffee style, Drip coffee, Dropping water on Ground coffee in stainless filter with wooden table background. top view and copy space.

Vietnam’s rich coffee culture has become an integral element of the country’s heritage. After a century of steady growth in the coffee sector, it is now one of the world’s leading coffee producers.

The French conquerors brought coffee to Vietnam in the 19th century and set up plantations in the central highlands. However, Vietnam’s coffee industry didn’t start until the 20th century.

The Vietnamese government saw coffee farming as a method to improve the country’s economy in the 1950s and 1960s. Quickly surpassing rice in importance as an export commodity, Vietnam’s coffee industry took off.

Consumption of coffee by American troops stationed in Vietnam increased production throughout the war. Many Vietnamese farmers grew coffee during the conflict to help sustain their families.

During the 1990s, Vietnam was one of the world’s leading coffee producers due to government investment in the business after the war. Vietnam is now the world’s foremost producer of Robusta and the world’s second-largest producer of coffee overall, behind Brazil.

As I explored Vietnam’s urban and suburban areas, it’s hard to miss the plethora of coffee shops that have sprung up. It indicates the beverage’s growing cultural importance. What makes Vietnamese coffee stand out is its preparation method. They use a unique phin, a tiny metal filter that brings out the best coffee beans in Asia. To add a sweet twist, sweetened condensed milk is often added. This makes it a globally recognized and beloved phenomenon.

Flavor Profile

Sweet, balanced acidity, nutty, and chocolaty

Coffee-Growing Regions

Central Highlands

As I travel through Asia searching for the best coffee beans, I cannot help but be enamored by Vietnam’s Central Highlands. This region has become synonymous with the country’s coffee industry, and for a good reason. The French brought coffee to Vietnam in the nineteenth century, importing seedlings from Africa and growing them in the highlands of Vietnam, which had a climate similar to that of coffee-growing African regions.

Coffee production in Vietnam peaked in the Central Highlands at the turn of the twentieth century. The farmers here increased their coffee production in the 1920s and 1930s, making their country a key supplier of beans to the French market. However, the Vietnam War and farmer relocation had a severe impact on coffee production. Still, as the war ended, the Vietnam government worked to revive the coffee business, and output rose again in the 1980s.

Today, Vietnam is one of the world’s leading coffee producers, thanks to the sustained growth of the business in the years following the war’s conclusion. The Central Highlands, specifically the Dak Lak, Lam Dong, and Gia Lai provinces are responsible for much of Vietnam’s coffee production. Coffee beans from Vietnam are now among the best in Asia and the world and are frequently blended with beans from other countries. The coffee trade has become a vital part of the country’s history and culture, helping to propel Vietnam to new heights of prosperity.

  • Harvest Time: November–March
  • Varieties: Robusta, Arabica, Bourbon

South Vietnam

In the 20th century, coffee cultivation was a significant industry in South Vietnam.

French occupiers first introduced coffee to Vietnam in the early 1900s. By the 1920s, large-scale coffee plantations sprung up across the country. The French once owned most of the coffee farms, but after they left in 1954, the Vietnamese took over much of them.

The South Vietnamese administration saw coffee production as an opportunity for economic growth throughout the war. As a result of government subsidies in the 1960s and 1970s, many farms shifted from producing rice to producing coffee.

It’s worth noting that coffee cultivation in South Vietnam increased even though the country was at war. Unfortunately, many coffee estates were either damaged or abandoned.

After the war ended in 1975, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam seized command of the coffee industry. The country focused on growing robusta coffee, cheaper than arabica coffee.

 During the 20th century, coffee production was not a significant economic activity in North Vietnam. The local climate and topography made it unfavorable to grow coffee, so most farmers focused on growing rice, tea, and other crops instead.

I recently traveled to Northern Vietnamese provinces like Son La and Lao Cai. The emerging coffee culture in the region was surprising.

They’re not traditionally known for their coffee production. But the local farmers have been experimenting with coffee farming in recent years. And let me tell you, they have produced some of the best coffee beans in Asia!

Government programs have spurred the growth of small-scale coffee farms in the region. They use traditional methods to grow Arabica, the prevalent variety in northern regions. They sell their coffee to local markets or specialty coffee shops. And it’s a testament to the quality of their produce.

Coffee farming is still a niche business in North Vietnam. But it shows promise for future expansion and the creation of new jobs.

I appreciate a good cup of coffee. And I am excited to see how the coffee culture in this region will continue to grow and thrive.

  • Harvest Time: November–March
  • Varieties: Bourbon, Sparrow, Catimor, Robusta

8. Yemen

I have savored the best coffee beans in Asia, and let me tell you, Yemen is a place where coffee is truly revered. The traditional way of preparing coffee in Yemen is through a special clay or metal pot called a “jabana.” The beans are roasted and ground fresh before being brewed. And the coffee is often served with sweet dates or other treats.

But coffee in Yemen is more than just a beverage. It is an integral part of the culture. Coffee ceremonies are an essential way to mark special occasions and welcome guests. Hosts would roast and grind the beans before guests, and brew the coffee in the jabana. They then pour the coffee into small, handleless cups for each person. Drinking three cups of coffee is a sign of hospitality and respect.

Women in Yemen also have their own unique coffee rituals. They vary depending on the region and cultural practices. Some may gather to roast and grind coffee together. Women may also prepare and serve coffee for special occasions and gatherings. Through these rituals, the rich tradition of Yemeni coffee culture is passed down from generation to generation.

As far back as the 15th century, Yemen was already a major coffee producer and trade center. Ethiopian traders are credited with bringing coffee to Yemen from the country’s highlands, where it is thought to have originated.

Yemen quickly became a major coffee producer, primarily in Mocha on the Red Sea coast. Mocha coffee, named for the city, was famous in Europe and elsewhere for its peculiar flavor and scent.

Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, Yemen surpassed all other countries as a significant exporter of coffee, and the sale of coffee beans fueled the economy. Yemeni poets, philosophers, and intellectuals frequented coffee houses because of their significance in the society and culture of the country.

The Dutch smuggled Yemeni coffee plants to Java and Sumatra in the 18th century. Because of this, Yemen’s once dominant position in the international coffee market weakened.

I’m on a quest to uncover the finest coffee beans in Asia, and Yemen’s story has been nothing short of enchanting. Yemen has been facing political turmoil and internal strife. But the hilly regions still yield some of the best coffee beans in Asia.

The coffee sector in Yemen has indeed been facing stiff competition. But there’s still something special about the coffee beans grown in Yemen. Despite the challenges they face, farmers continue to take pride in their work. They still produce truly remarkable coffee beans.

Flavor Profile

Winey, mocha notes, low acidity, spicy, earthy, and floral

Coffee-Growing Regions


Yemen exports many quality coffees with local variety names. Mattari is also used to refer to the area around Bani Matar, adding further confusion to the origin of the name of the variety. Sana’a, the region’s capital, is one of the highest and one of the earliest continuously inhabited towns on Earth, at an elevation of 2,200 meters above sea level. This area produces more coffee than any other in the country.

Sana’a’s long history and unique traditions include a thriving coffee culture. Sana’a has many local cafes, or qahwa, where locals congregate to mingle, discuss current affairs, and drink coffee, a ritual that dates back centuries in Yemeni culture.

Yemenis customarily welcome guests by serving them coffee, a hallmark of regional hospitality. Yemeni coffee is served in finjan cups with dates or other desserts.

  • Harvest Time: October–December
  • Varieties: Mattari, Ismaili, Harazi, Dawairi, Dawarani, Sanani, Haimi


Most coffee in Mahweet comes from family-run farms, where growers tend to terraced mountainside plots. Coffee cherries are picked by hand from trees cultivated under shade. Traditional processing methods entail sun-drying the beans and peeling off the bean skins to expose the green coffee bean.

Mahweet coffee has a deep, nuanced flavor profile that includes chocolate, spices, and fruit. Coffee connoisseurs worldwide seek it out in specialty coffee blends.

However, political unrest, conflict, and economic turmoil in recent years posed problems for coffee production in Mahweet and other parts of Yemen. Due to these obstacles, growers cannot get the help and assistance they need to keep and grow their coffee output. Despite these hurdles, many Mahweet farmers continue to produce high-quality coffee and use generations-old methods.

  • Harvest Time: October–December
  • Varieties: Heirloom varieties such as Mahwaiti, Tufahi, Udaini, Kholani


Sa’dah’s Arabica beans are some of the best coffee beans in Asia, grown on small, local farms that have been tended for generations. The coffee possesses a unique, complex flavor, reflecting the care and dedication of the farmers who cultivate it, and is highly regarded in the coffee world.

Most coffee in Sa’dah is grown using time-honored techniques, such as planting trees on terraced hillsides, picking beans manually, and drying them in the sun. Yemeni coffee is expensive due to this laborious process.

Despite its high price, Yemeni coffee, notably Sa’dah’s, is prized by coffee enthusiasts worldwide. Yemen’s climate, land, and farming techniques all contribute to the one-of-a-kind taste and aroma of its coffee. Conflict and political unrest in Yemen have made cultivating and exporting coffee harder, increasing the commodity’s scarcity and high price.

  • Harvest Time: October–December
  • Varieties: Dawairi, Udaini, Tufahi, and Kholani


The year 2004 marked the beginning of this modest governorate. It produces a fair percentage of the country’s coffee and has become the focus of non-governmental organizations’ water-management programs to boost coffee harvests.

Raymah is home to several historic coffee estates, and the region has a long history of coffee production.

I’ve had the pleasure of tasting coffee from Raymah, and I must say, it’s exceptional. Raymah’s mountaintop farms produce some of the best coffee beans in Asia, grown at over 1,500 meters.

What sets Raymah’s coffee apart is its distinct flavor profile. It boasts a lively acidity and a delightful fruity, floral scent. It’s no wonder that this coffee has earned such a stellar reputation in the coffee world.

I can only imagine the care and dedication that goes into cultivating these beans. Raymah’s coffee represents the very best of what Asia has to offer when it comes to coffee.

  • Harvest Time: October–December
  • Varieties: Raymi, Dwairi, Bura’ae, Kubari, Tufahi, Udaini


Hajjah’s coffee is famous for being cultivated 1,500 to 2,500 meters above sea level on terraced hillside plots. To keep coffee plants alive despite the dry climate and limited annual rainfall, farmers rely on water drawn from wells and springs to irrigate their crops. 

Hajjah’s climate and soil make it ideal for the heirloom varietals of coffee plants farmed in Yemen for millennia. Farmers handpick ripe coffee cherries and sun-dry them on rooftops or patios.

  • Harvest Time: October–December
  • Varieties: Shani, Safi, Masrahi, Shami, Bazi, Mathani, Jua’ari

Asia’s coffee industry has grown considerably in recent years. More Asians can afford coffee or espresso as economies improve. The industry’s biggest difficulty is meeting demand without sacrificing quality.

Having read this, you should know better where to hunt for the best coffee beans in Asia.


What makes coffee beans from Asia unique?

Having tasted coffee beans from around the world, I have found that the best coffee beans in Asia are exceptional. Their distinct flavors and characteristics are a testament to the unique combination of growing regions, climates, soil conditions, and coffee varieties in this vast continent. Take Indonesian coffee, for instance – its earthy, spicy, and full-bodied flavor is truly remarkable. And Vietnamese coffee? Its chocolatey and nutty taste is simply unforgettable.

Are there any health benefits to drinking coffee, especially for women?

As an avid coffee drinker, I’ve often wondered about the health benefits of my favorite beverage. And it turns out, there are quite a few! Moderate consumption of coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and even some types of cancer. And for women, studies suggest that coffee may lower the risk of depression and stroke. So, not only do the best coffee beans in Asia taste great, but they could also have some health perks!

Which Asian countries produce the best coffee beans for women?

As a coffee aficionado, I’m often asked which Asian countries produce the best coffee beans for women. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some factors that may influence a woman’s preference for coffee. For instance, some women may prefer a particular flavor profile or prioritize the origin and sustainability of the coffee beans they drink. Others may prefer low-caffeine or decaf coffee, especially if they’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or sensitive to caffeine. That being said, if you’re looking for the best coffee beans in Asia, you can’t go wrong with exploring the offerings from countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Can I use Asian coffee beans for making different types of coffee drinks, such as lattes and cappuccinos?

As someone who loves exploring the different flavors and nuances of coffee, I can attest that Asian coffee beans are a great choice for making a wide range of coffee drinks, from espressos to lattes and cappuccinos. The best coffee beans in Asia can offer a unique flavor profile and aroma, which can be further enhanced by the roast level and brewing method. Whether you prefer a bold and earthy Indonesian Sumatra or a smooth and nutty Vietnamese peaberry, you can experiment with different grind sizes, brewing techniques, and milk ratios to create your ideal coffee drink.

What are some flavor profiles to look for when selecting Asian coffee beans, and how can I identify them?

The best coffee beans in Asia can offer a plethora of unique and fascinating flavor profiles. From the rich, deep earthiness of Indonesian coffee beans to the nutty and chocolatey notes of Vietnamese coffee beans, there’s no limit to the flavor profiles you can discover. By tasting and smelling the coffee, you can identify the different flavor notes and aromas, which can range from spicy and fruity to floral and herbal.

Where can I find the best deals on Asian coffee beans, both online and in-store?

When it comes to finding the best coffee beans in Asia, there are several options available both online and in-store. Online retailers like Amazon offer a range of roasts and flavors, while specialty coffee websites like Atlas Coffee Club, Coffee Bean Corral, and Happy Mug Coffee provide discounts for bulk purchases and subscriptions. Alternatively, you may find locally sourced and freshly roasted beans at farmers’ markets and specialty food stores in your area.

Got your beans? You might want to find the world’s quietest coffee grinders next.