Tag: featured

African Great Lakes Coffees: Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, Tanzania

African Great Lakes Coffees: Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, Tanzania

The countries whose coffee regions nestle around the Great Lakes of Central Africa—Rwanda, Burundi, and key growing areas of Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—make appearances in the news cycle more often for conflict than for coffee. But these countries are also longtime coffee-producing lands that have, within the last 10 years […]

Coffees from Brazil: Chocolate, Simplicity and Some Surprises

Coffees from Brazil: Chocolate, Simplicity and Some Surprises

For more than 150 years, Brazil has produced more coffee than any other country in the world. Coffee prices worldwide fall and rise on the slightest whisper of good news or bad news about Brazil’s next coffee crop. Brazil also is among the world’s most technologically advanced coffee producers. Nevertheless, for buyers of high-end single-origin […]

Women in Coffee: Why It Matters That “She’s the Roaster”

Women in Coffee: Why It Matters That “She’s the Roaster”

Last summer, we began our exploration of women’s roles in the complex coffee supply chain by looking at the work of farmers—women who work in coffee production as pickers, managers, members of cooperatives, and owners of small farms. In this month’s report, we turn our attention to those women who are crucial in the next […]

Value Coffees: Searching for the Exceptional at Everyday Prices

Value Coffees: Searching for the Exceptional at Everyday Prices

At Coffee Review, we often feel conflicting impulses and pressures in regard to coffee retail prices. On one hand, we feel strongly that high retail prices are essential to support producers as well as to honor our commitment to coffee as an extraordinary beverage. On the other, we want to be inclusive and recognize that many […]

Blending Coffees: Craft, Intuition and Thematic Riffs

Blending Coffees: Craft, Intuition and Thematic Riffs

Blending any two or more things together is a curious and complex act. In winemaking, grapes are often blended to combine extremes in character while simultaneously softening each. Foods may be blended for contrast: Lemon and butter combined, for example, make a classic sauce for pasta or fish that is both richly creamy and tart, […]

By February 8, 2018 |Reviews Tasting Report
Top 30 Coffees of 2017

Top 30 Coffees of 2017

We are pleased to present our list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2017, Coffee Review’s fifth annual ranking of the most exciting coffees we reviewed over the course of the past year. Coffee Review’s goal, as always, is to celebrate coffee roasters, farmers and mill-owners who make an extra effort to produce coffees that […]

By January 1, 2018 Read Article
2017 Holiday Gift Coffees

2017 Holiday Gift Coffees

Each year, we ask roasters to send us exceptional coffees available only during the holidays, coffees that might make particularly gratifying gifts or splurges for coffee-lovers. In past years, approaches have ranged from particularly fine lots of classic coffees that roasters reserved for the holiday season, to rare and often expensive seasonally available micro-lot coffees, […]

By December 5, 2017 |Reviews Tasting Report
Organic-Certified Coffees from Africa: Benefits, Challenges, Complexities

Organic-Certified Coffees from Africa: Benefits, Challenges, Complexities

Certified organic coffees must be propagated, grown, processed, transported, stored, and roasted without contact with synthetic chemicals—particularly without contact with pesticides and herbicides. The certification process (carried out by a variety of organizations operating inside a common framework) is lengthy, thorough, rather expensive, but apparently reliable and free of abuse. The use of the term […]

By November 11, 2017 |Reviews Tasting Report
The New Nicaragua: Direct Trade Coffees Rule

The New Nicaragua: Direct Trade Coffees Rule

When we first reported on coffees from Nicaragua, in 2004, the overarching theme was economic development. Specialty coffee was viewed as a way of opening access to economic and social benefits for Nicaragua’s many small- to medium-holding coffee farmers, most of whom had been decimated by the global drop in coffee prices during 1999-2003, and […]

By October 9, 2017 |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
Darker-Roasted Coffees: Confessions and Amends

Darker-Roasted Coffees: Confessions and Amends

Those readers sensitive to language and to shifting, overlapping tastes in the coffee world may have noticed the nuance in the title of this report: “darker–roasted” coffees rather than “dark-roasted.” When titling this report we wanted to avoid encouraging a polarization between those coffee drinkers who prefer at least a little (perhaps a lot) of […]

By August 10, 2017 |Reviews Tasting Report
Cold-Brew Coffee Makers for Home Use, Four Tested and Rated

Cold-Brew Coffee Makers for Home Use, Four Tested and Rated

Summer is upon us, and our July report features reviews of four cold-brew coffeemakers. These are devices that brew coffee using cold water and extended coffee-water contact times rather than hot water and short contact times, as is the case with conventional coffee-brewing devices. The cold or iced coffee we enjoy in cafés and stores […]

Holding Up (More Than) Half The Sky: Coffees From Women Producers

Holding Up (More Than) Half The Sky: Coffees From Women Producers

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 […]

Aged, Casked and Cured: Innovations in Green Coffee Conditioning

Aged, Casked and Cured: Innovations in Green Coffee Conditioning

Green, unroasted coffee beans are porous and absorbent. As anyone in the industry knows from painful experience, green beans easily pick up odors from almost anything in their environment — paints stenciled on coffee bags, for example, concrete floors, petroleum residue in shipping containers, cardamom stored in the same warehouse. But where there is a […]

Equipment Report: Five French Presses, Tested and Rated

Equipment Report: Five French Presses, Tested and Rated

For this survey of French presses, we selected a representative cross-section of widely available units from this popular brewer category. We tested one example for each of five key sub-categories: a classic model (Bodum Chambord), a budget-friendly option (Mr. Coffee Coffee Press), a high-tech addition to the market (KitchenAid Precision Press), a technically refined premium […]

Reflecting on Two Decades of Coffee Review

Reflecting on Two Decades of Coffee Review

Twenty years ago, Ron Walters, my colleague and co-founder of Coffee Review, arranged a meeting with me at a bar in a San Francisco hotel to discuss an idea he had for starting a publication that reviewed coffees with the same seriousness that other magazines reviewed wines. That was 1996. Some may recall that in […]

By March 14, 2017 Read Article
Exploring Roasters in the American Southwest

Exploring Roasters in the American Southwest

For Coffee Review’s monthly tasting reports we typically focus on coffee-producing countries or regions, or certain tree varieties or processing methods, or innovations that arise from the creativity of today’s specialty coffee world. It’s less often that we look at roasters, collectively, by geographical location. But this month we decided to focus on roasters of […]

Coffee, Yemen, and Trump’s Travel Ban

Coffee, Yemen, and Trump’s Travel Ban

Coffee is, in its very nature, an international beverage, the product of a global community of producers, exporters, importers, roasters and coffee-loving consumers. Coffee is a continual, ongoing collaboration that brings together tens of thousands of individuals at international events, and that generates millions upon millions of emails, phone calls and face-to-face meetings among people […]

By February 8, 2017 Read Article
New Roasting Companies Carry the Third-Wave Torch

New Roasting Companies Carry the Third-Wave Torch

According to Global Exchange, an international human rights organization based in San Francisco, there are more than 1,200 coffee roasters in the U.S. Aside from the consumer who ultimately purchases, brews and drinks coffee, the coffee roaster is the end of the line in a complex supply chain that involves tens of millions of people, […]

By February 7, 2017 |Reviews Tasting Report
Top 30 Coffees of 2016

Top 30 Coffees of 2016

We are pleased to present our list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2016, Coffee Review’s fourth annual ranking of the most exciting coffees we reviewed over the course of the past year. In 2016, we cupped thousands of samples and published nearly 400 coffee reviews. Approximately 90 of the reviewed coffees scored 94 points […]

By December 31, 2016 Read Article