Tree Variety

El Salvador Coffees 2019: Pacamaras, Bourbons and Change

El Salvador Coffees 2019: Pacamaras, Bourbons and Change

When we focus a report on a single origin, in this case El Salvador, we try to time the report so that we are testing mainly freshly arrived coffees, coffees that represent the best of the year’s new crop. This year, however, we were a bit too early with our report timing. Many of the […]

“Big-Bean” Coffee Varieties: Novelty, Scarcity, and Atypical Sensory Pleasures

“Big-Bean” Coffee Varieties: Novelty, Scarcity, and Atypical Sensory Pleasures

Among the hundreds of coffees we review each year at Coffee Review, a very small percentage represent what we’ve come to affectionately call “big-bean” varieties, coffee from tree varieties that produce beans that are dramatically larger than average. The most common of these are Pacamara, Maragogipe and Maracaturra, though there are some even more obscure […]

By November 13, 2018 |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
Geshas and the Rest: Single-Variety, Single-Lot Coffees

Geshas and the Rest: Single-Variety, Single-Lot Coffees

The variety play – marketing coffee by the botanical variety of the tree that produced the coffee – is one of the latest trends in the high-end specialty world. True, some roasters who submitted samples for this month’s article still confused tree variety (botany) with origin (geography), and sent us coffees from a single growing […]

By November 6, 2014 |Reviews Tasting Report
Not Your Same Old Panama Coffees

Not Your Same Old Panama Coffees

It’s a tribute to how much the specialty coffee world has changed over the last ten years that the style of coffee traditionally associated with Panama – clean, soft, balanced, gently fruit- and floral-toned – hardly showed up among the coffees nominated by roasters for this month’s article. True, Panama coffees of any kind very […]

Botany and the Cup: The Bourbon Conundrum

Botany and the Cup: The Bourbon Conundrum

We know that the species of the tree that produces our coffee profoundly influences how it tastes. And we know to the point of cliche that the arabica species produces all of the world’s finest coffees. But what about the various botanical varieties of arabica, the coffee equivalents of wine grape varieties like the Cabernets, […]

2007 Prize-Winning Coffees from Central America and Colombia

2007 Prize-Winning Coffees from Central America and Colombia

This month we review ten prize winners from green coffee competitions held this year in Central American countries and in Colombia. These competitions, “during which a jury of international cuppers spends several well-caffeinated days slurping, spitting and obsessing over a gradually narrowing group of fine coffees from a given growing country,” to quote my own […]

The Tanzania Peaberry Mystery

The Tanzania Peaberry Mystery

Actually two intertwined mysteries – why peaberry, a grade of coffee that is potentially available from any coffee growing region in the world, is so firmly associated with a single origin – Tanzania – that it is 1) usually the only coffee available from Tanzania in specialty stores, and 2) often the only pure peaberry […]

The Mocha Taste

The Mocha Taste

The eleven coffees the Coffee Review panel cupped this past month represent the essence of coffee romance and history. They are representatives of the world’s original coffees, quite literally embodying history in the cup. Ethiopia is the botanical home of the coffee arabica tree, and Yemen, just across the Red Sea from Ethiopia at the […]