Tasting Reports

Below you can browse hundreds of Coffee Review tasting articles with reviews. To refine your results, you may use the key word search box at the upper right by selecting the 'Articles' drop-down.

Organic-Certified Coffees from Africa: Benefits, Challenges, Complexities

Organic-Certified Coffees from Africa: Benefits, Challenges, Complexities

Certified organic coffees must be propagated, grown, processed, transported, stored, and roasted without contact with synthetic chemicals—particularly without contact with pesticides and herbicides. The certification process (carried out by a variety of organizations operating inside a common framework) is lengthy, thorough, rather expensive, but apparently reliable and free of abuse. The use of the term […]

By November 11, 2017 |Reviews Tasting Report
The New Nicaragua: Direct Trade Coffees Rule

The New Nicaragua: Direct Trade Coffees Rule

When we first reported on coffees from Nicaragua, in 2004, the overarching theme was economic development. Specialty coffee was viewed as a way of opening access to economic and social benefits for Nicaragua’s many small- to medium-holding coffee farmers, most of whom had been decimated by the global drop in coffee prices during 1999-2003, and […]

By October 9, 2017 |Reviews Tasting Report
Gesha Coffees 2017: Still Pricey, Still Amazing

Gesha Coffees 2017: Still Pricey, Still Amazing

I was at one of the Specialty Coffee Association’s Re:co Symposia a couple of years ago, where Jay Ruskey of Goodlands Organic, the pioneer of California coffee-growing, was displaying fresh branches of two varieties of coffee trees at his table outside the meeting rooms. Some of the branches were from the respected mainstream Caturra coffee […]

By September 8, 2017 |Reviews Tasting Report
Darker-Roasted Coffees: Confessions and Amends

Darker-Roasted Coffees: Confessions and Amends

Those readers sensitive to language and to shifting, overlapping tastes in the coffee world may have noticed the nuance in the title of this report: “darker–roasted” coffees rather than “dark-roasted.” When titling this report we wanted to avoid encouraging a polarization between those coffee drinkers who prefer at least a little (perhaps a lot) of […]

By August 10, 2017 |Reviews Tasting Report
Cold-Brew Coffee Makers for Home Use, Four Tested and Rated

Cold-Brew Coffee Makers for Home Use, Four Tested and Rated

Summer is upon us, and our July report features reviews of four cold-brew coffeemakers. These are devices that brew coffee using cold water and extended coffee-water contact times rather than hot water and short contact times, as is the case with conventional coffee-brewing devices. The cold or iced coffee we enjoy in cafés and stores […]

Holding Up (More Than) Half The Sky: Coffees From Women Producers

Holding Up (More Than) Half The Sky: Coffees From Women Producers

Mao Zedong’s famous statement that “women hold up half the sky” became central to the zeitgeist of the Western feminist movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, when identity politics began to foreground the plight of women—economically, socially and politically—both in the U.S. and abroad. Regardless of one’s position on the merits of focusing on gender-based […]

Aged, Casked and Cured: Innovations in Green Coffee Conditioning

Aged, Casked and Cured: Innovations in Green Coffee Conditioning

Green, unroasted coffee beans are porous and absorbent. As anyone in the industry knows from painful experience, green beans easily pick up odors from almost anything in their environment — paints stenciled on coffee bags, for example, concrete floors, petroleum residue in shipping containers, cardamom stored in the same warehouse. But where there is a […]

Equipment Report: Five French Presses, Tested and Rated

Equipment Report: Five French Presses, Tested and Rated

For this survey of French presses, we selected a representative cross-section of widely available units from this popular brewer category. We tested one example for each of five key sub-categories: a classic model (Bodum Chambord), a budget-friendly option (Mr. Coffee Coffee Press), a high-tech addition to the market (KitchenAid Precision Press), a technically refined premium […]

Exploring Roasters in the American Southwest

Exploring Roasters in the American Southwest

For Coffee Review’s monthly tasting reports we typically focus on coffee-producing countries or regions, or certain tree varieties or processing methods, or innovations that arise from the creativity of today’s specialty coffee world. It’s less often that we look at roasters, collectively, by geographical location. But this month we decided to focus on roasters of […]

New Roasting Companies Carry the Third-Wave Torch

New Roasting Companies Carry the Third-Wave Torch

According to Global Exchange, an international human rights organization based in San Francisco, there are more than 1,200 coffee roasters in the U.S. Aside from the consumer who ultimately purchases, brews and drinks coffee, the coffee roaster is the end of the line in a complex supply chain that involves tens of millions of people, […]

By February 7, 2017 |Reviews Tasting Report
Holiday Gift Coffees 2016

Holiday Gift Coffees 2016

At the end of each year, we ask roasters for coffees they are offering consumers as special holiday selections, whether blends they have composed specifically to commemorate the holidays or single-origin coffees considered special in some way — perhaps because of limited availability, relative rarity or unusual quality. This year, we received 35 samples, ranging […]

By December 4, 2016 |Reviews Tasting Report
New-World Espressos: Single-Origin Espressos from the Americas

New-World Espressos: Single-Origin Espressos from the Americas

We were not sure what to expect when we scheduled this month’s tasting of single-origin espressos from coffees grown in the New World (meaning coffees from the Americas rather than from Africa or the Pacific). Would we receive a run of light-roasted, brightly acidy, perhaps sharp espressos of the style that seems to have become […]

By November 3, 2016 |Reviews Tasting Report
Costa Rica 2016: Innovation and Success in a Changing Market

Costa Rica 2016: Innovation and Success in a Changing Market

It has been more than a decade since Coffee Review explored Costa Rica coffees in depth, though we cup many individual samples each year from this small, coffee-celebrated Central American country. In the last year alone, we reviewed 26 Costa Rica coffees at ratings of 91 to 96, including one, Temple Coffee’s Costa Rica Alberto […]

By October 10, 2016 |Reviews Tasting Report
Beyond the Review: Celebrating Coffees in Depth

Beyond the Review: Celebrating Coffees in Depth

This is not your typical Coffee Review tasting report. In fact, it is something of an unplanned improvisation. We originally had scheduled a tasting report on coffees of Costa Rica this month, but we decided to postpone it until next month, October. It turned out that Costa Ricas were slow to arrive in roasters’ warehouses […]

Honey-Processed Coffees: Quiet Adventure

Honey-Processed Coffees: Quiet Adventure

Honey coffee, honey-processing – what wonderful coffee language! It’s a language that sells (after all, most of us like honey), but it sells honestly. I can’t think of a better descriptor than “honey” for a process in which coffee beans are dried with the sticky-sweet, golden layer of fruit flesh still clinging to them, rather […]

Learning from Sumatras

Learning from Sumatras

I’ve been cupping coffee professionally for less than a year. Ken Davids first hired me at Coffee Review last August, given that my background in food and wine writing, as well as in academia, seemed a good enough calling card to dip into the world of coffee. But, of course, in order to properly do […]

Some Single-Origin Coffees from Australian Roasters

Some Single-Origin Coffees from Australian Roasters

Over the last several decades Australia has developed a particularly vibrant specialty coffee scene. Cities seethe with cafés and café-goers. No consumer coffee events I’ve ever witnessed elsewhere have come close to the energy and sheer scale of Australian coffee festivals. And coffee in Australia continues to be appealingly local, as independent cafés considerably outnumber […]

Brazil Naturals: Tradition Meets Trend

Brazil Naturals: Tradition Meets Trend

Although Coffee Review has published a number of articles over the years focusing on coffees from Brazil, we have never specifically focused on the coffee type generally called “Brazil naturals”: Brazil coffees of the Arabica species that have been dried inside the fruit rather than after the fruit has been removed (as is the case with conventional […]

When the Small Get Big (and the Big Try for Small)

When the Small Get Big (and the Big Try for Small)

We know them. These are the coffee roasting companies that made their reputations as innovative locally based roasters, and eventually came to model a new kind of coffee institution, one built around a revived intimacy between coffee and customer, precisely described high-end microlot coffees brought to dramatically light roasts, minimalist café interiors, free public cuppings, […]

Macro-Lots 2016: Everyday Coffees, High Ratings, Good Values

Macro-Lots 2016: Everyday Coffees, High Ratings, Good Values

Many high-scoring coffees we cup at Coffee Review come from micro-lots: small, sometimes tiny, lots of green coffee from a single farm or cooperative, often produced from a single tree variety, and often processed in some special or distinctive way. Given how rare they are, these micro-lots are usually available to consumers for only a […]