Like everything bought and sold, coffee can be a vehicle for profit or a tool for changing the world. Sometimes, it is both. 2020 was, unequivocally, a difficult year for the coffee industry, globally speaking, as it was for many of us working in that industry. One response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic is to help others make it through the storm. Our report this month
For most of the world, the first months of 2020 have been a challenging season, with millions across the globe either anticipating, in the throes of, or rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past two months, Berkeley, California, where Coffee Review is based, has been under a statewide shelter-in-place order. Whether we’re too busy or not busy enough, we’ve all had time at home to
Each year we spotlight local roasters in the U.S. specifically by regional geography, choosing one region of the country to look at in depth. This year, we invited roasters from the Northwest states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to submit coffees for a blind cupping, and we report here on the nine top-scoring entries. In many ways, the Northwestern U.S. was the birthplace of
Opening a new coffee roastery today seems like a daunting idea. There's the increasingly troubled U.S. economy, but even more alarming is the unprecedented turmoil in the global coffee industry, which includes insultingly low prices paid to farmers, infrastructure challenges, and climate change, which has virtually wiped out some regional coffee industries, put many more under extreme stress, and
Mao Zedong’s famous statement that “women hold up half the sky” became central to the zeitgeist of the Western feminist movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, when identity politics began to foreground the plight of women—economically, socially and politically—both in the U.S. and abroad. Regardless of one’s position on the merits of focusing on gender-based affiliations versus shared values as tools for
Produced by the Kiamaina Cooperative, which currently has 600 members, led by factory manager Jane Mahinda and machine supervisor Purity Wanjiku. From trees of the admired SL28 and SL34 varieties of Arabica This coffee tied for the third-highest rating in a tasting of women-produced coffees for Coffee Review‘s June 2017 tasting report. Seattle Coffee Works is a small-batch retail and wholesale
This distinguished blend is comprised of a wet-processed Colombia, a natural or dried-in-the-fruit-processed Ethiopia and a wet-hulled Sumatra. Seattle Coffee Works is a small-batch retail and wholesale roasting company focused on quality and green coffee sourcing without compromise. Visit www.seattlecoffeeworks.com or call 206-340-8867 for more information.
Wet-hulling is not an obscure Olympics sailing event nor (at least to my knowledge) a special trick in waterskiing or wakeboarding. It is a fruit removal and drying variation that contributes much of the distinct character of traditional Indonesia coffees, particularly those from Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is also practiced on other Indonesian islands, almost everywhere in Indonesia where small
Ulos Batak is the name applied by the cooperative exporter Klasik Beans to a premium grade of its small-producer wet-hulled coffee from the Lintong region south of Lake Toba. Lintong is one of the longest-established growing regions in Sumatra and arguably the most admired. Coffees from the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra are valued for their complex earth and fruit notes that
This holiday season may mark the definitive return of the blend to the high-end specialty coffee scene after years of almost exclusive dedication to ever-more-refined single-origin offerings. The excitement and ingenuity of many of the holiday-themed blends we sampled this past month certainly suggest such a revival. The holiday blend, a long-standing staple of the specialty coffee business in the
This distinctive blend consists of two wet-processed or “washed” coffees, a Kenya and a Panama, plus a dried-in-the-fruit or “natural” Ethiopia coffee. Seattle Coffee Works is a small-batch retail and wholesale roasting company focused on quality and green coffee sourcing without compromise. Visit www.seattlecoffeeworks.com or call 206-340-8867 for more information.
This is a certified organic dry-processed or “natural” coffee, meaning the beans were dried inside the fruit rather than after the fruit has been removed, as is the case with wet-processed or “washed” coffees. Farmers Francesca Cabillo and Oscar Chacon Solano process all of their coffees using alternative processing methods (honey, natural) to compensate for relatively low growing elevations.
View list of Top 30 Coffees of 2013 Coffee Review introduced 100-point reviews to the specialty coffee industry in 1997. Over the years since then we’ve cupped tens of thousands of samples and produced reviews for nearly 3,500 coffees. We are often asked, “What is the best coffee?” To which we give the obvious answer: “There is no single ‘best’ coffee.” Of course, visitors to our website
The thirty Guatemala coffees we sampled for this month’s article overall were remarkably true to form for this storied and celebrated origin. For the most part they were beautifully structured and balanced, yet surprising and original in detail. Most likely it is the traditionalist nature of Guatemala coffee production – the often unpredictable mix of traditional varieties of Arabica making up
Composed entirely of beans from the yellow-fruited strain of the heirloom Bourbon variety of Arabica, this coffee was produced by farmers Jorge and Javier Recinos on their farm Nueva Armenia. Seattle Coffee Works is a small-batch retail and wholesale roasting company focused on quality and green coffee sourcing without compromise. Visit www.seattlecoffeeworks.com or call 206-340-8867 for more
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 have reason to be more optimistic. Over the past three years, we have
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 coffee from a single origin would always be too limited in its sensory properties to
Most Yirgacheffe coffee is prepared by the conventional wet method, in which the skin and pulp are removed from the beans or seeds before they are dried, encouraging a cleanly high-toned, often intensely floral- and citrus-toned cup. This Yirgacheffe is a "natural" or dry-processed version, however, meaning the beans/seeds were dried inside the fruit, encouraging a deeper-toned floral and fruit
Produced in the central highlands of the colorful island of Bali, this is a dry-processed or "natural" coffee, meaning the beans were dried inside the fruit rather than after the fruit has been removed, as is the case with wet-processed or "washed" coffees. Max Fulmer of Royal Coffee helped establish this style of coffee in Bali. Seattle Coffee Works is a small-batch retail and wholesale roasting