Top 30 Coffees of 2014
Coffee Review introduced 100-point reviews to the specialty coffee industry in 1997. Since then, we’ve cupped tens of thousands of coffee samples and published reviews of nearly 4,000 coffees and espressos.
Coffee Review’s Top 30 Coffees of 2014 appear below. We selected and ranked these 30 (actually 31) notable coffees and espressos based on quality (represented by overall rating), value (reflected by most affordable price per pound), and other factors that include distinctiveness of style, uniqueness of origin or tree variety, certification, and general rarity.
Opulent, huge, sweet, juicy. Honey, flowers (lavender, lilac), mango, blood orange, roasted cacao nib in aroma and cup. Balanced, juicy acidity; syrupy mouthfeel. Rich, long, deeply flavor-saturated finish.
Price: $12.95/12 ounces
Evaluated as espresso. Opulent, sweet, carnal. Brown sugar, fresh-cut cedar, rich chocolate, apricot, cinnamon, a hint of narcissus-like flowers in aroma and small cup. Full, syrupy mouthfeel. Flowers, chocolate and cinnamon in particular saturate a crisp finish. Flavor softens but carries relatively intact into three parts milk.
Sweetly and lyrically bright. Peach, tangerine, vanilla, rose-like flowers, hints of musk and fir in aroma and cup. Sweetly and richly tart acidity; syrupy, lively mouthfeel. The peach, tangerine and rose notes carry into a pleasingly tart finish.
Price: $30.00/12 ounces
Extravagant, complex; immense sweetness. Honey, cocoa-butter, sweetly tart fruit (loquat, tangerine, strawberry), violet-like flowers, incense-like pungency (saffron, myrrh, sandalwood). Rich, lyrical acidity; smooth, silky mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates but rings on in a long, layered finish.
Intense yet delicate; crisp, graceful. A tightly layered, utterly pleasing fusion of lavender-like flowers, roasted cacao nib and a hint of blood orange carries with clarity and consistency from aroma through finish. Lyrical, animated acidity; light but silky, lively mouthfeel. The finish never seems to stop; the floral-cacao-citrus notes ring on and on.
Deep, sweetly and richly bright. Honeysuckle, mulberry, black sage, a crisp hint of roasted cacao nib in aroma and cup. Brisk, delicately lively acidity; silky/syrupy mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates but persists in a rich, resonant finish.
Price: $27.00/5 ounces
Pungent, deep, sweetly nut-toned. Brown sugar, cashew, orange, cherry, a hint of lily-like flowers in aroma and cup. Quiet, rich acidity; lightly syrupy mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates around the cherry-like fruit note in a sweet, resonant finish.
Intensely floral, deeply complex. Rose- and lavender-like flowers, honey, cacao nib, apricot, a delicate hint of cashew in aroma and cup. Gently buoyant, lively acidity, light but very silky mouthfeel. Lavender and cashew in particular persist in a sweet-toned, balanced finish.
Deep, sweetly pungent, intricate. Black currant, jasmine, banana sweetness, minty dark chocolate in aroma and cup. Richly rounded acidity; full, buttery mouthfeel. Flavor, particularly chocolate and black currant, lasts far into the long finish.
Price: $18.00/12 ounces
Exotically pungent, deep, intricate. Strawberry, mint, dark chocolate, banana, musky flowers, a faint hint of brandy in aroma and cup. Deep, backgrounded but vibrant acidity; syrupy, lively mouthfeel. Chocolate in particular carries into a sweet, resonant finish.
Price: HK $178/200 grams
Distinctly brandy-toned, sweet yet briskly pungent. Cleanly expressed brandy, strawberry-like fruit, dark chocolate, night-blooming flowers in aroma and cup. Round, gently vibrant acidity; lightly syrupy, very buoyant and lively mouthfeel. Rich, deep, profoundly flavor-saturated finish.