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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Natural-Process Espressos: Fruit and Chocolate Exalted

Natural-Process Espressos: Fruit and Chocolate Exalted

I recently led a tasting of fine coffees at a consumer event. Only one of these coffees was natural-processed, i.e., had been prepared at the mill by drying the coffee seeds or beans inside the whole fruit. The other samples were all washed coffees, processed by drying the beans after the fruit skin and flesh […]

By August 14, 2018 |Reviews Tasting Report
Cold-Brewed Black Coffees: Quality in a Can?

Cold-Brewed Black Coffees: Quality in a Can?

As we sweat our way into summer 2018, enjoying coffee chilled on ice is peaking as the latest specialty coffee trend. Espresso, of course, has long appeared in various cold-blended café concoctions like frappés and smoothies, as well as in bottled ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages heavy on sweetener, milk and flavorings. But this latest cold coffee […]

Origin Overview: Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, D.R. Congo

Origin Overview: Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, D.R. Congo

Origin Overviews is a series of reference articles on prominent coffee regions written by editor-in-chief Kenneth Davids. They are posted regularly in Coffee Review and will appear in print form in Kenneth Davids’ latest comprehensive book on coffee. This Origin Overview focuses on the regions clustered around the African Great Lakes region, and supports our […]

By June 29, 2018 Read Article
Coffees from Brazil: Chocolate, Simplicity and Some Surprises

Coffees from Brazil: Chocolate, Simplicity and Some Surprises

For more than 150 years, Brazil has produced more coffee than any other country in the world. Coffee prices worldwide fall and rise on the slightest whisper of good news or bad news about Brazil’s next coffee crop. Brazil also is among the world’s most technologically advanced coffee producers. Nevertheless, for buyers of high-end single-origin […]

Value Coffees: Searching for the Exceptional at Everyday Prices

Value Coffees: Searching for the Exceptional at Everyday Prices

At Coffee Review, we often feel conflicting impulses and pressures in regard to coffee retail prices. On one hand, we feel strongly that high retail prices are essential to support producers as well as to honor our commitment to coffee as an extraordinary beverage. On the other, we want to be inclusive and recognize that many […]

Top 30 Coffees of 2017

Top 30 Coffees of 2017

We are pleased to present our list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2017, Coffee Review’s fifth annual ranking of the most exciting coffees we reviewed over the course of the past year. Coffee Review’s goal, as always, is to celebrate coffee roasters, farmers and mill-owners who make an extra effort to produce coffees that […]

By January 1, 2018 Read Article
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
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 […]

Reflecting on Two Decades of Coffee Review

Reflecting on Two Decades of Coffee Review

Twenty years ago, Ron Walters, my colleague and co-founder of Coffee Review, arranged a meeting with me at a bar in a San Francisco hotel to discuss an idea he had for starting a publication that reviewed coffees with the same seriousness that other magazines reviewed wines. That was 1996. Some may recall that in […]

By March 14, 2017 Read Article
Coffee, Yemen, and Trump’s Travel Ban

Coffee, Yemen, and Trump’s Travel Ban

Coffee is, in its very nature, an international beverage, the product of a global community of producers, exporters, importers, roasters and coffee-loving consumers. Coffee is a continual, ongoing collaboration that brings together tens of thousands of individuals at international events, and that generates millions upon millions of emails, phone calls and face-to-face meetings among people […]

By February 8, 2017 Read Article
Top 30 Coffees of 2016

Top 30 Coffees of 2016

We are pleased to present our list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2016, Coffee Review’s fourth annual ranking of the most exciting coffees we reviewed over the course of the past year. In 2016, we cupped thousands of samples and published nearly 400 coffee reviews. Approximately 90 of the reviewed coffees scored 94 points […]

By December 31, 2016 Read Article
2017 Cupping Calendar

2017 Cupping Calendar

At the beginning of each month, we publish a new tasting report with reviews. The planned calendar for 2017 tasting reports is now available. The schedule is subject to change. Professional roasters are encouraged to nominate their own coffees. The window during which we accept coffees for these review articles is usually the fifth day […]

By December 22, 2016 Read Article
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
June Tasting Report: Coffees from Australia

June Tasting Report: Coffees from Australia

Australia is one of the most vibrant of the consuming world’s coffee cultures. I recall visiting Sydney some years ago and being astounded by the size of the crowd of consumer visitors and the quality of the espressos being served in the booths of roasters and cafés at a local coffee festival. But despite the […]

By March 5, 2016 Read Article
CoffeeCon in Los Angeles Saturday

CoffeeCon in Los Angeles Saturday

This coming Saturday, January 30, CoffeeCon, the consumer coffee festival/event, arrives in Los Angeles at The Magic Box@The Reef, 1933 South Broadway. The event is a genuine consumer-facing event that combines a casual, intimate feel with coffee-obsessive rigor. Most of the LA area’s leading roasters will be represented with tables or booths. There are hands-on […]

By January 26, 2016 Read Article
How Coffee Review Works

How Coffee Review Works

Coffee Review is an online publication that reviews coffees and comments on them in formally written tasting reports and informal blogs. Kenneth Davids and Ron Walters founded Coffee Review in 1997. Today it hosts over one million unique visitors per year. All of Coffee Review’s past seventeen years of reviews, tasting reports and blogs are […]

By December 31, 2015 Read Article
The 100-Point Rating Paradox

The 100-Point Rating Paradox

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 […]

By December 31, 2015 Read Article
New June Tasting Report

New June Tasting Report

We know the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle is a thoroughly conceived and unprecedentedly spectacular coffee space and facility. But what about the coffees it produces? For our June article we have changed direction rather radically, and in place of our originally planned survey of “Big Box” store coffees, we will publish the results […]

By May 26, 2015 Read Article
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 […]