• Nearly two thirds of Americans drink coffee every day, but many don't know where the coffee beans come from.
  • If you sip your morning joe from major brands like Starbucks, Dunkin’, or McDonald’s, chances are it comes from one of several countries in Latin America.
  • Companies source from different regions to reduce risk, maintain a steady supply of beans in different seasons, and serve different flavours to their customers (different countries tend to produce beans with different flavours).
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za. 


If you sip your morning joe from major brands like Starbucks, Dunkin’, or McDonald’s, chances are it comes from one of several countries in Latin America. If there's one thing these companies have in common, it's that they source beans from a lot of different countries.

6 out of 10 American adults drink a cup of coffee every day. And many of them come from Starbucks, Dunkin', Tim Hortons, or McDonald's: four of the most popular coffee spots in the country.

Starbucks sources its coffee from more than 30 countries in the three major growing regions of the world. The company's breakfast and house blends come from Latin America. And their popular Pike Place roast comes from Colombia and Brazil. After sourcing the beans, Starbucks roasts them in the US and then distributes them among more than 14,000 stores nationwide.

And then there's Dunkin'. Like Starbucks, much of Dunkin's coffee comes from Latin America. These countries include Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. Once the beans arrive stateside, Dunkin' roasts them in one of seven facilities and then brews them to serve at more than 9,000 stores across the country.

And next, we have Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons' coffee comes from several countries in Asia and Latin America, including Brazil and Colombia, and, occasionally, they'll source beans from Africa. The company then roasts the beans in New York and Ontario and brews them to serve at around 700 stores in the US.

And finally, we've got McCafé. That's McDonald's coffee brand, which launched in 2009. McCafé sources a lot of its beans from Colombia and Brazil, and the rest comes mostly from other countries in Latin America. Those beans are then brought back to the US for roasting and serving at one of the chain's 14,000 locations nationwide.

If there's one thing these companies have in common, it's that they source beans from a lot of different countries. But why?

Well, it starts with flavour. Geography can greatly affect the taste of coffee beans. Colombian coffee, for example, tends to be sweet and nutty, whereas coffee from Indonesia often tastes more earthy.

And the second reason is risk, which there's a lot of when it comes to growing coffee. Droughts and bug infestations, for example, are common and can easily decimate a country's harvest. So companies source from different countries to prevent a sudden drop in supply.

And the third and final reason is that companies want to ensure a more steady supply. You see, beans are ready for harvest at different times in different parts of the world. So by sourcing coffee from several different countries, companies will always have a steady source of beans to buy.

And that's a good thing, because Americans without coffee are not people you want to face. 


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