Latin American coffee will keep you busy for years. Brazil and Colombia are two of the world’s largest coffee producers, responsible for most of the coffee you see on the grocery store shelf…but what about Venezuela?
This extremely obscure coffee region is starting to gain more attention as a must-try origin. Located right next to more industrious neighbors like Colombia and Brazil, Venezuela has long since born a reputation of favoring local coffee over global prominence.
With specialty markets starting to pick up single-origin Venezuelan beans, more drinkers are starting to get curious about what else is out there.
Are Venezuelan coffee brands good? What makes it stand out from other Latin American countries? We’re going to take a look at the history of this developing origin and the Venezuelan coffee brands that are working hard to bring their beans to the world.
A Rundown of Venezuelan Coffee
Venezuela is one of the smallest coffee producers today, creating less than one percent of all coffee in the industry.
Believe it or not, this wasn’t always the case! Venezuela used to boast record levels of production until government intervention.
Due to the Venezuelan government introducing fixed prices and growing restrictions back in the 2000s, Venezuelan coffee production ground to a screeching halt. To this day, coffee in the country is either consumed locally or sold to the occasional specialty roaster.
Its proximity to high production origins such as Brazil and Colombia (as well as increasingly popular origins like Peru) has also contributed to this country’s relative obscurity.
Low figures aside, the country is actually well-suited to coffee production due to fertile soil and high altitudes. Arabica and robusta are both grown here, with the most esteemed coffees dubbed ‘maraciabos’.
Still want to learn more? We have a few commonly asked questions about Venezuelan coffee below.
What Does Venezuelan Coffee Taste Like?
Coffee drinkers who are sensitive to higher levels of acid will appreciate Venezuelan coffee. Beans from this origin lean toward a light body and lower acidity, with a tendency toward sweet and fruit-forward flavors.
Where is Coffee Grown in Venezuela?
It’s common for Venezuelan coffee to be named after the municipality or port where it’s shipped. Maracaibos, Cúcuta, and Trujillo are some of the most popular areas to grow coffee.
Why is Venezuela a Major Coffee Producer?
Venezuela used to produce high volumes of coffee in the 1800s and early 1900s. Due to government intervention, they are now an obscure origin that produces less than one percent of global coffee.
Does Venezuela Export Coffee?
Due to economic instability and the restrictions placed by their government, Venezuelan coffee is rarely exported out of the country. That said, the ongoing efforts of their roasters and cafés may soon be changing that!
Is There Starbucks in Venezuela?
While it’s a common joke you can find a Starbucks just about anywhere, Venezuela doesn’t have any stores in operation.
Where to Go to Experience the Best Venezuelan Coffee Brands
Since Venezuela has such low export figures and is still growing its reputation, we’re going to take a look at Venezuelan coffee businesses working on sharing their craft with the world.
Cospe Café is a traditional peek into Venezuelan coffee culture. This eco-focused business is family-owned, descended from a coffee-growing family to eventually expand several cafés throughout Caracas.
Their cafés provide many classic staples such as lattes and cold brews, right alongside unique creations such as espresso sundaes.
Trinidad Coffee Estate
One of the leading businesses in the Venezuelan coffee space is the Trinidad Coffee Estate. Despite the name, this coffee farm and café is located in Tovar Mérida in Venezuela.
This coffee business does it all: they farm, roast, and distribute their work throughout the country. Their coffee portfolio has a sharp focus on the necessities of transparency, which is all the more relevant given Venezuela’s barriers to larger production.
Alongside detailed descriptions for each of their coffee bags, these roasters offer complex diagrams detailing the altitude, origin, bean type, cup score, and process.
If you should ever find yourself traveling to Venezuela, consider stopping by one of the country’s many beautiful cafés. Café Mulata’s business statement is exemplary of what makes this origin so intriguing for many: “History in every cup.”
All of their beans are sourced 100% from Venezuelan coffee producers. Alongside a traditional menu of mochas and black coffee, they provide merchandise and eco-friendly coffee supplies like reusable cups.
One of their many commitments to their community is providing barista training to multiple age groups.
Grupo Paramo Café
Often dubbed the ‘Starbucks Of Venezuela’, this extremely popular café is a go-to destination for both tourists and residents. Their menu is brimming with delicious options that’ll instantly capture the attention of just about any coffee fan.
Want beautifully crafted in-house lattes? Grupo Paramo Café has you covered. If you’re hankering more for baked goods like pastries and chocolate cake, you can also take a few slices home with you.
Last but not least, we have Danubio in the heart of Caracas. This beloved café doubles as a bakery and a lunch spot, offering a medley of food options to enjoy alongside Venezuelan coffee and tea.
We highly recommend swinging by Danubio not only for your caffeine kick but if you’ve got the munchies. They provide handmade sandwiches, fresh pizza, and traditional pastries such as cachitos (a croissant-like baked good).
Why Should You Seek Out Venezuelan Coffee?
Venezuelan coffee is currently difficult to find for many Western drinkers. Between government restrictions and higher demand for Brazilian or Colombian origins, this country has an uphill battle in the coffee industry.
We believe this is a development worth following. Venezuelan coffee is often fruit-forward and low in acidity, creating delightfully mellow cups that stand out immediately.
Today’s leading Venezuelan roasters and cafés offer an exceptionally sharp eye toward transparency and community building, two features that will only grow more prominent in today’s changing industry.
Interested to learn more about Latin American origins? Read our piece on Brazilian coffee brands here!