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.

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 […]

Trolling the Supermarkets for Single-Origin Coffees

Trolling the Supermarkets for Single-Origin Coffees

Every month Coffee Review publishes reviews of exceptional, often extraordinary single-origin coffees: green coffees produced in a single country, from a single crop, from a single farm or cooperative and, often, from a single variety of tree. These coffees are usually roasted and packaged by smaller roasting companies, however, so unless you happen to live […]

Holiday Coffees 2015

Holiday Coffees 2015

Both from the practical goal of generating gift ideas for coffee aficionados and from the wonkier goal of understanding current trends in high-end coffee, this month’s sampling of thirty-five holiday coffees appears productive. The only criterion we imposed on the coffees we reviewed was availability: We asked that they be on sale throughout the holidays. […]

Fair Trade Certified Coffees

Fair Trade Certified Coffees

Consumers who prefer to buy coffees that promise to reconcile pleasure with generosity toward the people and environment responsible for that pleasure, and who want to feel some solid confirmation regarding the generosity part, should find useful recommendations among the ten coffees reviewed this month. Nine of the ten are Fair Trade Certified, meaning that, […]

Traditional Coffees of Central America: Quest for the Classic

Traditional Coffees of Central America: Quest for the Classic

We’ve seen two conflicting, yet overlapping, trends at the growing end of specialty coffee over the past decade. On one hand, greater and greater homogeneity. Traditional coffee tree varieties, varieties that may not taste unique, but do taste subtly different, are being replaced by disease-resistant, higher-yielding varieties that incorporate robusta genes and, well, usually don’t […]

Coffees of Kenya 2015: Still Great, Still Kenya

Coffees of Kenya 2015: Still Great, Still Kenya

One thing that can be said about this month’s survey of 32 Kenya coffees from 26 specialty roasters is that the good samples — and there were many — were not just exceptional, but exceptional in a thoroughly Kenyan way. In fact, the 23 Kenya samples that rated 90 or better often provoked rather repetitive […]

Decafs 2015: The Splendid, The Strange, The Listless

Decafs 2015: The Splendid, The Strange, The Listless

Some observations about decaffeinated coffees prompted by this month’s modest sampling of decafs from twelve American specialty roasters. Observation one: Most decaffeinated coffees continue to be bad, in some cases close to foul. Not only are the sensory profiles flattened and simplified by the brutality of the decaffeination process, but this process often adds mysterious […]

Blends 2015: Quietly Agreeable with Some Fireworks

Blends 2015: Quietly Agreeable with Some Fireworks

Blends (particularly those designed for regular brewed coffee) have been out of fashion at the top end of in American specialty coffee for some time now – say for the last ten to fifteen years. The excitement has been focused on “single-origin” coffees, meaning coffees from a single growing region (the broadest definition), or (a […]

New Starbucks Reserve Coffees

New Starbucks Reserve Coffees

For the past ten years or so smaller, hipper, more nimble roasting companies have dominated the coffee conversation in America, outflanking Starbucks in roast style (lighter than Starbucks), freshness (roast-dated packaging), coffee selection (precisely identified seasonal small lots), brewing (by the cup, often by hand), and even design sensibility (usually blunt, simple and utilitarian, often […]

Open Source Espresso Blends

Open Source Espresso Blends

With this espresso tasting we focus on what appears to be a new trend in espresso blending – the open disclosure to customer and competitor of the identity of the specific green coffees that compose a blend, as opposed to the deliberate secrecy around blending that has prevailed in the coffee industry for decades. The […]

Elegant Earth: Wet-Hulled Sumatras and One Sulawesi

Elegant Earth: Wet-Hulled Sumatras and One Sulawesi

Wet-hulling is not an obscure Olympics sailing event nor (at least to my knowledge) a special trick in waterskiing or wakeboarding. It is a fruit removal and drying variation that contributes much of the distinct character of traditional Indonesia coffees, particularly those from Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is also practiced on other Indonesian islands, almost […]

The Everyday Exceptional: Macro-Lots 2015

The Everyday Exceptional: Macro-Lots 2015

Coffees that attract a high rating on Coffee Review are often produced from very small, or “micro” lots of green coffee, specially selected for quality and distinctiveness, precisely described in regard to botanical variety and other details, and not likely to be available for more than a couple of months before they’re sold out. And […]