New England Coffee Roasters: Embracing (and Reinventing) Tradition
The very day we spoke with several roasters in New England whose coffees are featured in this month's tasting report, Dunkin' Brands, parent company of Dunkin' Donuts (now rebranding simply as Dunkin’) and headquartered in Massachusetts, announced plans for expansion. And the company's "Blueprint for Growth" centers not on doughnuts, but coffee, including the relaunch of the Dunkin’ espresso
The New (and Old) Instant Coffees: Convenience Aspires to Quality
It sounds easy enough. Brew the coffee, take out the water, keep the stuff that’s left, package it, and let the consumer put the water back in later. Coffee … instantly. But judging from the 24 soluble coffees we tested for our September tasting report, it isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. It has always been difficult to judge whether the generally dreadful quality of instant coffee sold in
Rayos del Sol Peru Light Roast (Instant Coffee)
This coffee earned the fourth-highest rating in a tasting of “instant” or soluble coffees for Coffee Review’s September 2018 tasting report. The green coffee was produced by farmer Percy Pintado from trees of the Red Caturra, Yellow Caturra and Bourbon varieties of Arabica. This is a wet-processed or “washed” coffee, meaning the fruit skin and pulp were removed from the beans immediately after
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 fashionable over the past few years among some smaller, leading-edge
When the Small Get Big (and the Big Try for Small)
We know them. These are the coffee roasting companies that made their reputations as innovative locally based roasters, and eventually came to model a new kind of coffee institution, one built around a revived intimacy between coffee and customer, precisely described high-end microlot coffees brought to dramatically light roasts, minimalist café interiors, free public cuppings, and pedagogical
Bolivia Finca La Linda Honey Java
Finca La Linda is a farm operated by the innovative Bolivia specialty coffee producer Agricafe. This is a honey-processed coffee, which means that the outer skin is removed as it is in the wet or “washed” process, but at least some of the sticky fruit residue is allowed to dry on the bean and is later removed by machine along with the parchment skin. Java refers, not to the Indonesian island, but
Benti Nenqa Ethiopia
Produced by the METAD farm and mill in southern Ethiopia. Southern Ethiopia produces distinctive coffees from traditional varieties of Arabica long grown in the region. Coffees like this one processed by the wet or washed method (fruit skin and pulp is removed before drying) typically express great aromatic complexity and intensity with a particular emphasis on citrus and floral notes.
Trolling the Supermarkets for Single-Origin Coffees
Every month Coffee Review publishes reviews of exceptional, often extraordinary single-origin coffees: green coffees produced in a single country, from a single crop, from a single farm or cooperative and, often, from a single variety of tree. These coffees are usually roasted and packaged by smaller roasting companies, however, so unless you happen to live in the immediate neighborhood of one of
Peet’s Buys Stake in Intelligentsia
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 Intelligentsia's coffees is an excellent
Direct Trade La Tortuga Honduras
Produced at an elevation of around 5,000 feet from trees of the Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai and Typica varieties of Arabica. This coffee continues a nine-year relationship between Intelligentsia Coffee and Honduras farmer Don Fabio Caballero. This sample was roasted at Intelligentsia’s Los Angeles facility. With operations in the Chicago and Los Angeles areas, Intelligentsia is a distinguished
The practice of roasting a coffee from a single farm or cooperative for espresso brewing is a tactic that appears to be carrying the day at the higher end of the North American specialty coffee world. The old argument against single-origin espressos and in favor of blends ran: Put a single, unblended coffee under the magnifying intensity of espresso brewing and the coffee is liable to come out
Peru Cruz Del Sur
Certified organically grown by the Producer Association of La Palma. Part of its Black Cat Espresso program, this sample was roasted at Intelligentsia’s Los Angeles facility. With operations in the Chicago and Los Angeles areas, Intelligentsia is a distinguished specialty roaster and a leader in sourcing and roasting small, exceptional lots of coffee like this one. Visit
What’s a Cortado?
Recently a Coffee Review reader sent in a request that we post information on our website about cortado, a relatively obscure coffee beverage in North American cafés. I searched the reference pages, thinking some mention of it had to be buried in the “espresso cuisine” section. But no, no cortado was to be found. Most serious coffee drinking café denizens are able to precisely define the
Gichathaini is one of three cooperative green-coffee processing centers run by the Gikanda Cooperative Society. With operations in the Chicago and Los Angeles areas, Intelligentsia is a distinguished specialty roaster and a leader in sourcing and roasting small, exceptional lots of coffee like this one. Visit www.intelligentsiacoffee.com or call 888-945-9786 for more information.
American Espresso Blends: Boutique and Bigger
Specialty espresso is currently in the throes of a creative explosion. I think of it as "post-Italian" espresso, a dynamic community of baristas, blender/roasters and motivated aficionados remaking espresso as a global connoisseur's beverage with passionately contested barista competitions, non-traditional brewing innovations, and freshly conceived blend designs. The goal of this month's
Juan Valdez’s Progeny: Micro-Lot and Other Fine Colombias
This month's cupping of coffees from Colombia confirms that this giant among coffee producers has successfully turned at least a portion of its industry from supplier of immense quantities of good-but-not-great generic "100% Colombian" coffee to prized source of smaller (sometimes tiny) lots of subtly distinctive specialty coffees. Handsome symbol Juan Valdez and his photogenic mule are being
Tres Santos Micro-Lot La Dorada Cauca
Tres Santos is a coffee competition in Colombia organized by Intelligentsia green coffee buyer Geoff Watts designed to uncover the finest lots of coffee from participating small-holding farmers from the harvests of the Huila (and in the case of this coffee) Cauca growing regions, rewarding them with recognition and high purchase prices. This prize-winner is from the farm of Alvaro Quintero.
Colombia Tres Santos Micro-Lot El Portal
Tres Santos is a coffee competition in Colombia organized by Intelligentsia green coffee buyer Geoff Watts designed to uncover the finest lots of coffee from small-holding farmers on a seasonal basis in the Huila (and in the case of this coffee) Cauca growing regions and reward them with recognition and high purchase prices. This prize-winner is from the farm of Javier Ladino. Intelligentsia is a
Black Cat Espresso
Intelligentsia is a leading Chicago-area roaster with a contemporary attitude, excellent coffee, and a commitment to quality epitomized by the practice of printing roast dates on coffee packaging. Black Cat is its signature espresso blend. Visit www.intelligentsiacoffee.com or call 888-945-9786 for more information.