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Coffee in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Research Guide

This guide is intended as a starting point for research on coffee, coffee culture, and the coffee industry in Latin America and the Caribbean. It includes primary and secondary sources available at the Library of Congress, as well as external resources.


Consumed by millions of people across the globe, coffee is the second largest traded commodity after petroleum. In Latin America and the Caribbean, coffee contributes to the livelihood of millions of families, and, of the top 50 coffee-producing countries in the World, 19 are located in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the International Coffee Organization, Brazil is the top world producer of coffee, followed by Vietnam, and then Colombia.

This guide lists sources for those who want to read and learn about the coffee industry, both generally, and focused on Latin America and the Caribbean, while taking into account the expansive notion of the industry, and the different elements of the commodity chain: farm production, exchange/trade, and consumption. Books reflect a range of themes, including political conflict, farming, fair trade, barismo, coffeehouses, labor, among others. The resources available are in both English and Spanish.

Not meant to be a comprehensive bibliography, but a tool to get you started in your research, this guide includes suggested books, periodicals, photographs and maps, recorded lectures from events, and suggested websites that offer information on government, private, and community-based entities related to agriculture policy, coffee growers/farmers, and international trade.

About the Science Section

Part of the Science & Business Reading Room at the Library of Congress, the Science Section is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of science, medicine and engineering. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of science and engineering  assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of science, medicine, and engineering materials.