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The 100-Point Rating Paradox

The 100-Point Rating Paradox

| December 31, 2015

This is a revision of an article first published by Coffee Review editor Kenneth Davids in Roast Magazine in 2010. We offer it here as a considered overview from Ken on 100-point ratings systems for coffee and on the problematics and philosophy of coffee evaluation. In 1997, Coffee Review started reviewing coffees for consumers and […]

One Million Readers Strong

One Million Readers Strong

| December 21, 2015

When Coffee Review launched the world’s first-ever 100-point coffee ratings in February 1997, we posted them on the Internet, a novel idea at the time. We didn’t bother emailing a newsletter because, well, most of our potential readers didn’t have email addresses. To make sure a least a handful of people read those early tasting reports […]

Category Rankings

Category Rankings

| December 2, 2015

Over the past couple years, Coffee Review’s annual “Top 30” ranking of the year’s most noteworthy coffees has attracted considerable attention.  As many readers have noted, our rankings tended to favor high-scoring coffees produced from botanical varieties of Arabica with striking sensory properties: coffees of the Gesha/Geisha variety, coffees from the distinctive traditional Ethiopian varieties, […]

Holiday Coffees 2015

Holiday Coffees 2015

| December 1, 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. […]

Best Value Coffees in Top 30

Best Value Coffees in Top 30

| November 30, 2015

Our list of the Top 30 coffees of the year recognizes the skill and hard work of the growers and roasters who produce these fine coffees.  However, as a consumer, it’s only an academic exercise unless you can actually buy and enjoy the coffees on the list.  And, the coffees on the list are often […]

Expanded Rankings in 2015

Expanded Rankings in 2015

| November 20, 2015

Our annual “Top 30” ranking of the thirty most noteworthy coffees of the year has attracted considerable attention over the past two years. As several readers have pointed out, however, our rankings have tended to favor high-scoring coffees produced from botanical varieties of Arabica with striking sensory properties: coffees of the Gesha/Geisha variety, coffees from […]

Fair Trade Certified Coffees

Fair Trade Certified Coffees

| November 6, 2015

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, […]

Peet’s Buys Stake in Intelligentsia

Peet’s Buys Stake in Intelligentsia

| November 3, 2015

On the heels of its acquisition of Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters, California-based Peet’s Coffee & Tea has bought a majority stake in Intelligentsia Coffee.  Read more coverage at Fortune.com. Coffee Review has rated 40 Intelligentsia coffees over the years, starting with their famous Black Cat Blend in way back in 1998. The average rating for […]

Crimson Cup, Propeller Named Roasters of the Year

Crimson Cup, Propeller Named Roasters of the Year

| October 20, 2015

Crimson Cup Coffee and Propeller Coffee Co. were awarded Roaster of the Year honors by Roast magazine, an industry publication for coffee roasters. According to Roast, Roaster of the Year awards “recognize companies that roast coffees of superior quality, exemplify a dedication to sustainability, promote employee and community education, and demonstrate a strong commitment to […]

Zimbabwe Coffee: Once Flourishing, Now Rare

Zimbabwe Coffee: Once Flourishing, Now Rare

| October 7, 2015

We just rated a sample from Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) for the first time since 2008.  The Zimbabwe AAA from New Year’s Gift Estate from Green Dragon Coffee earned a respectable 88 points (see review). In the early years of Coffee Review, coffees from Zimbabwe were certainly not common but they were not unheard of either. […]