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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Is Coffee Bad For Your Health?: “Better is More”

Is Coffee Bad For Your Health?: “Better is More”

This week, the highly respected Mayo Clinic published findings that suggest excess coffee consumption, defined as more than four cups per day every day, increases the likelihood of early death in people under the age of 55.  The study concluded, in part: “On the basis of these findings, it seems appropriate to suggest that younger […]

By August 16, 2013 Read Article
Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Currently the predominant style in high-end, artisan roasting is certainly light roasting or medium-light roasting, which allows the roaster to highlight the character of the bean rather than the roast.  However, there is no question that many coffee lovers still prefer the bittersweet bite of dark roasts, even if the subtle varietal characteristics have been […]

By August 13, 2013 Read Article
A Focus on the Classic: Coffees of Honduras

A Focus on the Classic: Coffees of Honduras

With this review of coffees from Honduras the excitement may reside more in the story than in the cup itself. The story is how this Central American nation, long considered mainly a source of low-to-decent quality, commercial-grade coffees, has stepped up over the past five years or so and is producing significantly better coffees and […]

Sneak Peek: Honduras Cupping

Sneak Peek: Honduras Cupping

Our August issue, featuring specialty coffees from Honduras, should post tomorrow, Sunday, August 4.  The cupping is complete.  Nine coffees scored 90 points or higher.  We’ll include all of them in the article.   If you can’t wait until tomorrow to read about Honduran coffees, there are 4 dozen Honduran coffee reviews on the site […]

By August 3, 2013 Read Article
What’s the Deal with Decaf?

What’s the Deal with Decaf?

We haven’t published an article about decaffeinated coffee since July 2010.  At the time, the samples we cupped “tested my optimism,” to quote Kenneth Davids.  Only one of the 50 decafs we cupped earned a score of 90 points, namely Decaf South America Blend by Cafe Valverde. However, it appears that decaf drinkers in 2013 […]

By July 16, 2013 Read Article
Three New Capsule Espresso Systems

Three New Capsule Espresso Systems

Convenience-first single-serve coffee brewing devices are on a roll in North America, fueled by the success of the Keurig and its K-cup capsules. In Europe, where espresso rules, the Nespresso espresso system has had similar blockbuster success. Both systems use rigid capsules rather than tea-bag-like paper pods that characterized earlier (and less commercially successful) single-serve […]

How Does One Rate Milk!?

How Does One Rate Milk!?

We’re currently testing new capsule espresso systems for July’s featured article.  There are three: the Starbucks Verismo, the Keurig Rivo (with coffee capsules produced by Lavazza), and a dark horse, the Singolo, with machine and capsules produced in Italy and imported by a Canadian company with distribution in the United States. We are benchmarking these […]

By July 3, 2013 Read Article
What’s the Best Hawaiian Coffee?

What’s the Best Hawaiian Coffee?

Perhaps as we approach the All-American holiday of Independence Day, it’s appropriate to consider what the “best” American coffee is.  And, given that Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows commercial quantities of coffee, it might naturally lead to the question “What’s the best Hawaiian coffee?” That is a question raised in a recent […]

By July 2, 2013 Read Article
Single-Serve Coffee and Espresso Reviews

Single-Serve Coffee and Espresso Reviews

Machines that utilize a pod, capsule, or K-Cup packed with ground coffee to brew a single serving of coffee (or espresso) are very popular.  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. We first evaluated coffees brewed on single-serve machines […]

By June 28, 2013 Read Article
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
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 […]