Author Archive: Kenneth Davids

Kenneth Davids is a coffee expert, author and co-founder of Coffee Review. He has been involved with coffee since the early 1970s and has published three books on coffee, including the influential Home Roasting: Romance and Revival, now in its second edition, and Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying, which has sold nearly 250,000 copies over five editions. His workshops and seminars on coffee sourcing, evaluation and communication have been featured at professional coffee meetings on six continents.

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Low Acid Coffees

Low Acid Coffees

We track the search terms that readers use to find CoffeeReview.com.   Recently I noticed quite a few readers looking for information about low acid coffees.  One reader was even trying to find out what acid was added to coffee. Well, to answer the question, acid is generally not ADDED to coffee.  It occurs naturally and […]

By June 27, 2013 Read Article
Hype Meets the Cup: St. Helena Sandy Bay Estate

Hype Meets the Cup: St. Helena Sandy Bay Estate

Some interesting green coffees have come into the lab recently. These were green samples, but you can probably find roasters who offer them via an Internet search. Those who have some history probably are aware that St. Helena, a tiny island located in the middle of the South Atlantic roughly between Brazil and Africa, is […]

By June 24, 2013 Read Article
A Brief, Early History of 100-Point Coffee Reviews

A Brief, Early History of 100-Point Coffee Reviews

I was curious who received the first 90-point coffee review, which lead me to re-read the first Coffee Review article from 1997. Wow! “I have been convinced that the time has come to start assigning numerical rankings to cuppings as my counterparts have been doing for some time with wines, beers and cigars. These rankings […]

By June 21, 2013 Read Article
What Does a 96-Point Coffee Taste Like?

What Does a 96-Point Coffee Taste Like?

What does a 96-point coffee taste like?  Well, you can find out for yourself.  Three coffees in 2013 have received ratings of 96 points… and at least two of them are still available from the roasters.  Our blind assessments of these remarkable coffees appear below. La Esmeralda Mario Carnaval 2012 Panama by George Howell Coffee/Terroir […]

By June 20, 2013 Read Article
Top-Rated Espressos from the First Half of 2013

Top-Rated Espressos from the First Half of 2013

As we approach the mid-way point of 2013, we decided to take a look back at the top espressos from the first half of the year.  Six espressos earned 94 points, the highest score for an espresso so far in 2013.  Three of these coffees are from U.S. roasters: Thirty-Thirty Coffee Co. by Momma Bear […]

By June 19, 2013 Read Article
Are Espressos A Bargain?

Are Espressos A Bargain?

Coffee Review evaluates and rates coffees that are intended for both espresso and non-espresso brewing.  We are agnostic on brewing method from the point of view of rating a coffee.  So, it’s reassuring to see that the average posted score for espressos (92.10) by American roasters in the first half of 2013 is nearly identical […]

By June 18, 2013 Read Article
Better and Better: Sumatras 2013

Better and Better: Sumatras 2013

Sumatra coffees continue to amaze. Aside from Ethiopia, I can think of no other origin currently producing fine coffees displaying as much sheer range and distinction of sensory association. But whereas Ethiopia’s range of sensory surprise is owing to a rich store of ancient plant varieties, Sumatra’s range and diversity of sensation is primarily achieved […]

Some 2013 Best Value Coffees Still Available

Some 2013 Best Value Coffees Still Available

Highly rated coffees that are also affordable sell quickly. We did a little checking around for you…. Some of this year’s best value 90+ rated coffees are still available: Johnson Brothers – Ulos Batak Sumatra Peaberry – 95 points – $14.99/12 ounces – http://bit.ly/18D4gMC Lexington Coffee – Sumatra Mandheling Wahana – 94 points – $13.50/12 […]

By June 13, 2013 Read Article
The High Price of Coffee in Taiwan

The High Price of Coffee in Taiwan

Yesterday, we noted that the average price of a 90+ point coffee from U.S. roasters in 2013 is $22.13 per pound.  Count your blessings if you’re a consumer in the United States. In 2013, we’ve reviewed 23 coffees rated 90+ from Taiwan.  The average score was nearly identical to the U.S. average: 92.0 vs. 92.1 […]

By June 13, 2013 Read Article
What You’ll Pay for a 90-Point Coffee

What You’ll Pay for a 90-Point Coffee

At Coffee Review, we cup coffees on a blind basis.  To be completely objective, we hide the identity of the roasters and coffees until after scores are determined and tasting notes are completed. When we cup, we don’t know the price of the coffee either.  It’s irrelevant from a cupping point of view.  However, it’s […]

By June 12, 2013 Read Article
Promising Sumatras

Promising Sumatras

Due to Kenneth David’s rugged travel schedule over the past several weeks, the June issue of Coffee Review, which features coffees from Sumatra, is behind schedule.  We expect to post the article and reviews within the week.  Sorry for the delay. Reports from the Coffee Review lab on the samples we’ve received are very positive.  […]

By June 11, 2013 Read Article
Lighter and Brighter: Single-Origin Espressos

Lighter and Brighter: Single-Origin Espressos

Coffees from a single farm or cooperative roasted for espresso preparation – aka “single-origin” or simply “SO” espressos – are now a familiar presence on high-end coffee menus and counters in North America, and in many East Asian countries as well. But it was not so long ago that the argument ran that a single […]

The (Not Quite Arrived) New World of K-Cups

The (Not Quite Arrived) New World of K-Cups

Yesterday, according to the latest data from the National Coffee Association, thirteen percent of the U.S. population drank coffee made in a single-cup brewer. A significant portion of that thirteen percent undoubtedly used a Keurig brewer and its matching K-Cups to produce their single brewed cup. Keurig and K-Cups were the first single-cup drip-style system […]

The Andes Cup: Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador

The Andes Cup: Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador

For a couple of hours during the early preparation for this article I was haunted by the challenge to a coffee reviewer occasioned when it looks like perhaps a whole category of coffees produced by wonderful, hard-working indigenous farmers may turn out not to taste very good, meaning the reviewer might then have to face […]

Three Trends at the Cusp of the New Year

Three Trends at the Cusp of the New Year

As the New Year settles in I thought it might be worthwhile revisiting some interesting coffees recently reviewed outside the framework of our monthly review articles. All but one were reviewed in either December 2012 or January 2013, and all reflect in one way or another ongoing trends at the top end of the specialty […]

By February 5, 2013 |Reviews Tasting Report
Readers’ Nominations: Trends and Successes

Readers’ Nominations: Trends and Successes

Over the years we have used our annual readers’ nominations story to attempt to find and celebrate regional roasting companies whose coffees we have never reviewed before. This year we ended reviewing six coffees from companies that have never appeared in Coffee Review, and five from companies that have. Overall, we tested forty-three coffees from […]

By January 8, 2013 |Reviews Tasting Report
Holiday Coffees: Solid to Spectacular

Holiday Coffees: Solid to Spectacular

This month’s collection of thirteen holiday coffees splits neatly into two categories: special proprietary holiday blends – suavely comfortable and balanced in profile – and an assortment of distinctive single-origin coffees, very high-rated and quite spectacular in sensory profile (and in some cases rather spectacular in price as well). In all cases these are seasonal […]

By December 5, 2012 |Reviews Tasting Report
Big Box Value Coffees

Big Box Value Coffees

The least expensive coffees by far to be had in the U.S. are offered by the two leading big-box retail chains, Walmart and Costco. For this month’s article we tested twenty-one samples purchased from our local Walmart and Costco outlets. The coffees we found at Costco were offered in largish bulk packaging ranging from two […]

By November 9, 2012 |Reviews Tasting Report
Cause Coffees

Cause Coffees

The specialty coffee movement has always attracted idealists of various kinds, from those obsessed with sensory perfection – the perfect espresso shot, the perfect cup – to those who simply are looking for stuff to sell in a way that will help the world. The two idealisms are usually entwined, of course, at least in […]

By October 6, 2012 |Reviews Tasting Report
Honey and Pulped Natural Coffees

Honey and Pulped Natural Coffees

“Honey” is a relatively new term describing coffee that has been dried with all or some of the sticky fruit pulp or “honey” (miel in Spanish) still adhering to the bean. Those familiar with coffee processing methods will, of course, recognize this practice as a kind of compromise between two more familiar processing methods: the […]

By September 3, 2012 |Reviews Tasting Report