Statistical interpretation of the concentrations of 59 elements, determined using solution based inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), was used to establish the provenance of coffee samples from 15 countries across five continents. Data confirmed that the harvest year, degree of ripeness and whether the coffees were green or roasted had little effect on the elemental composition of the coffees. The application of linear discriminant analysis and principal component analysis of the elemental concentrations permitted up to 96.9% correct classification of the coffee samples according to their continent of origin. When samples from each continent were considered separately, up to 100% correct classification of coffee samples into their countries, and plantations of origin was achieved. This research demonstrates the potential of using elemental composition, in combination with statistical classification methods, for accurate provenance establishment of coffee. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.