Highest Rated Espressos

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We found 120 espressos that earned an outstanding score of 94 points or higher. The espresso reviews below appear in reverse chronological order by review date. Older reviews may no longer accurately reflect current versions of the same espresso.

Review Date: Nov 2012

Price: NTD $1,000/16 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Balanced, richly complex, distinctive. Vanilla, hazelnut, candied ginger, dark chocolate and ripe, orangy raspberry in aroma and small cup. Full, round mouthfeel; raspberry, ginger and dark chocolate particularly saturate the finish. Preserves richness and complexity two parts milk.

Review Date: Oct 2012

Price: $15.00/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Bright, complex, floral-toned. In the small cup gently tart citrus, stone fruit, vanilla-toned chocolate with lush floral top notes. Full, creamy mouthfeel. Flowers, fruit and chocolate all persist in a resonant finish. Two parts milk round the fruit and flowers toward chocolate.

Review Date: Jun 2012

Price: NT $1600/8 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Crisp, delicate, refreshingly and cleanly fruit-toned. Tart cherry, ripe orange, cedar, baker’s chocolate in aroma and small cup. Light in body but surprisingly silky-syrupy in mouthfeel; deep, flavor-saturated finish. Continued delicate but very complex in two parts milk, with both chocolate and fruit rounding and sweetening.

Review Date: Feb 2012

Price: $17.75/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Crisp, sweetly gentle, suave. Honey, orange, grapefruity citrus, fresh-cut fir in the aroma. Light, silky mouthfeel. Turns chocolaty and more distinctly citrusy in the light-bodied, silky cup. Superb flavor-saturated, sweetly clean finish. In two parts milk the chocolate is nuanced by ripe citrus and a deeper, apricot-toned fruit.

Review Date: Feb 2012

Price: NT$1400/16 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Impressive range and complexity. Pungently sweet grapefruit, blackberry, rose-like flowers, fresh-cut fir in aroma and small cup. Full, buttery mouthfeel. Rich, flavor-saturated finish; a hint of astringency in the short smoothes out to cocoaish chocolate in the long. Delicate, berryish fruit and sweet milk chocolate dominate in two parts milk.

Review Date: Dec 2011

Price: $16.00/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Rich, sweetly tart, very complex in the small cup: mandarin orange, layered suggestions of milk chocolate, apricot, brandy, fresh-cut fir, anise. Syrupy mouthfeel. The orange note turns ripe and sweet in the finish. Soft, delicate and impressively complex in two parts milk: chocolate-toned orange, apricot, a continued hint of fir.

Review Date: Aug 2011

Price: $13.95/12 ounces

JBC Coffee Roasters Logo

Evaluated as espresso. In the small cup roundly balanced but engagingly complex. Melony fruit, apple, brandy, dark chocolate suggestions in both aroma and cup. Light-footed, creamy mouthfeel; deep, cleanly resonant finish with particular persistence of the dark chocolate note. Strong presence in two parts milk, dominated by a fruit-toned bittersweet chocolate.

Review Date: Aug 2011

Price: $12.95/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Great depth and complex range in aroma and flavor: crisp walnut and dark chocolate, cedary anise, lemon and floral top notes. Heavy, satiny mouthfeel; long, rich, sweetly resonant finish. Surprisingly delicate in two parts milk, but ultimately a sweet but complex chocolate, toffee- and mint-toned, impresses.

Review Date: May 2011

Price: CAD $13.00/16 ounces (454 grams)

Evaluated as espresso. Great depth and range of sensation. Between Ken (94) and co-taster Sean Kohmescher (94) about a dozen aroma/flavor descriptors surfaced, most circling around fruit (stone fruit, wine grape, berry) and nut-toned dark chocolate. Medium to full body; silky/syrupy mouthfeel; crisply dry, flavor-saturated finish. Balanced, chocolaty and berryish in two parts milk.

Review Date: May 2011

Price: $16.00/12 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Co-taster Sean Kohmescher (94) and Ken (94) both admired this sample’s refined complexity and chocolate-toned depth. Ken cited crisp fir and lemon complication, whereas Sean’s reading of nuance inclined more toward berry and wine. Both found the sample slightly more impressive in the small cup than in milk, but nevertheless honored its sweet chocolaty balance in two parts milk, nuanced (for Ken) by hints of flowers and lemon.

Review Date: May 2011

Price: $9.50/8 ounces (227 grams)

Evaluated as espresso. Both Ken (94) and co-taster Sean Kohmescher (94) remarked on and enjoyed distinct and subtly unusual roasted nut and fudgy (Sean’s term) chocolate notes in aroma and small cup. Also some fruit complication (orange for Ken, berry for Sean). Medium to full body, smooth mouthfeel, and a superb finish that just keeps coming, carrying subtly transforming flavor notes far into the reaches of sensory memory. Fades just a bit in two parts milk, but remains pleasing and balanced.

Review Date: Dec 2010

Price: $37.95/12 ounces

Notes of tea rose, honey and orange in the aroma. Long, sustained flavors in the small cup, displaying a deeper, more complex variation of the aroma profile (including brandied fruit, flowers and chocolate) with the flavors persisting in the long, sweet-toned finish. Lean but smooth mouthfeel. Retains impressive complexity in two parts milk: lemon and flowers softly layered on deeper chocolate, nut and caramel tones.

Review Date: Dec 2010

Price: CAD $44.07/1 kg. (2.2 lbs.)

Evaluated as espresso. Savory-sweet, syrupy and deep in the small cup: cherryish fruit, dark chocolate, brandy, aromatic wood. Simplifies a bit but remains rich in two parts milk: Dark chocolate and aromatic wood dominate; the fruit rounds toward apricot.

Review Date: Oct 2010

Price: NT$600/8 oz.

Evaluated as espresso. Opulent, complex and big-bodied. Night flowers and a pronounced brandy-like fruit dominate aroma and the small cup, with a crisp, drying hint of cedar. Plump, syrupy mouthfeel. Long, flavor-saturated finish. Two parts milk turns the brandied fruit toward a minty dark chocolate with a continuing floral complication.

Review Date: Aug 2010

Price: CAD $15.00/16 oz.

Resonant, big-bodied, aromatically complex espresso. Dark chocolate, aromatic wood, and a lush, brandy-toned fruit in both aroma and small cup. The flavor softens in two parts milk, with the chocolate taking on a minty sweetness, but still maintains grown-up power and complexity.

Review Date: May 2010

Price: CAD $12.00/12 oz.

Evaluated as espresso. A complete, big-bodied straight shot. Caramel, toast, flowers and orange in the aroma. All carry into a cup further complicated with deeper suggestions of brandy and chocolate. Flavors linger in the finish, developing solid sweetness in the long. Flavor notes consolidate nicely in two parts milk: turning even sweeter but maintaining complexity.

Review Date: Apr 2010

Price: $18.50 / 500 g. (17.6 oz.)

Coava Logo

Evaluated as espresso. Distinct floral- and citrus-toned aroma, lightly syrup mouthfeel and crisp, concentrated fruit that combines suggestions of citrus, flowers, aromatic wood and a cocoaish chocolate. Clean, very rich finish; the cocoa rounds to a sweet lemony chocolate. The intense flavors simplify in two parts milk but retain character and balance.

Review Date: May 2009


Co-taster Byron Holcomb (94): “On the nose, I got inviting, complex floral and strawberry notes. The body was vivacious – I could have said round, sweet, with a little savory edge, comforting, but vivacious will do.” Both Ken (94) and Byron found chocolate and malt in the flavor, with an assortment of additional descriptors that testify to the complexity of this blend: “cedar, butter” (Ken), “lemon bar, spice” (Byron). Both were impressed by the big, sweet, chocolaty bloom in milk, which Byron found was complicated by a continued, brightening hint of lemon zest. It appears that a very controlled, judicious use of cleanly fruity-fermented dry-processed coffees contributed to the round, sweet, complex richness of this versatile blend.

Review Date: May 2006


Klatch Coffee logo

Intense aroma: brandy, chocolate, caramel. In the small cup medium in body but smooth in mouthfeel, crisply pungent yet caramelly sweet, with a tightly knit, understated complexity: brandy, caramel, cedar and flowers, hints of which persist in the roundly rich finish. Masters milk with a gentle, brandied chocolate authority.

Review Date: May 2006


Deep, very sweet-toned aroma, with chocolate, flowers, walnut, and a hint of carnal fruit – peach or papaya. In the small cup very full body, but not heavy – the mouthfeel is lively, almost effervescent. In flavor very sweet, very deep, with cedar and a gently spicy semi-sweet chocolate. Superb finish: long, caramelly, rich. Exerts a simple but powerful presence in milk: sweet milk chocolate with perhaps a shimmer of flowers.