Top 30 Coffees of 2016

Coffee Review‘s Top 30 Coffees of 2016 appear below.

We selected and ranked these 30 exciting coffees and espressos from the thousands we cupped throughout the year.  The rankings are 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.


Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: $23.99/12 ounces

Coffee of the Year: Bird Rock Kenya Guama Peaberry

Luscious, deeply sweet, sumptuous. Blackberry, lavender, marjoram, roasted cacao nib, grapefruit zest in aroma and cup. Rich, juicy acidity; smooth, syrupy mouthfeel. The long, flavor-saturated finish is zesty and sweet, offering a surprise appearance of tropical fruit notes (coconut) that resonate for a long while.

Review Date: Jun 2016

Price: $16.80/12 ounces

No. 2 Coffee of 2016: Deri Kochoha Espresso by JBC Coffee

Evaluated as espresso. Delicate, exotic, profoundly floral. Star jasmine, tamarind, saffron, bittersweet orange blossom, dark chocolate in aroma and small cup. Sumptuous, levitating mouthfeel. Bittersweet, citrus-driven short finish; dark chocolate enveloped in jasmine in the resonant long, with waves of saffron notes best described as umami-floral. Maintains its nuance in three parts milk, where dark chocolate and saffron round and deepen.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: $44.95/8 ounces

No. 3 Coffee of 2016: Hula Daddy Laura's Reserve

Lush, sweetly savory, deeply floral. Black currant, hops, coriander, kola syrup, violet in aroma and cup. Juicy, round acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. The flavor-saturated finish consolidates around fruit and floral tones in the short, modulating to crisp, resonant notes of hops and kola in the long.

Review Date: May 2016

Price: $19.50/12 ounces

No. 4 Coffee of 2016: Temple Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Reku

Delicate, intricate, refined. Lychee, pink peppercorn, candied ginseng, jasmine, honey in aroma and cup. Lyrical, complex, balanced acidity; juicy, silky mouthfeel. The finish, saturated with sweet and spicy tones (lychee, pink peppercorn), is resonant in the short and elegant in the long, where candied ginseng reappears and an intriguing coconut note surfaces.

Review Date: Sep 2016

Price: $18.95/12 ounces

No. 5 Coffee of 2016: Paradise Kenya Gatomboya Peaberry

Big, intricate; vast but coherent. Black currant, vanilla, sandalwood, violet-like flowers, hints of chocolate and coconut, more in aroma and cup. Forceful but juicy sweet acidity; delicately syrupy mouthfeel. Sandalwood and coconut, in particular, resonate in a richly drying finish.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: $15.00/250 grams

No. 6 Coffee of 2016: Coava Mr. David Mburu Kenya

Deeply pungent, richly sweet-savory. Pink grapefruit zest, cashew, red currant, butterscotch, fine musk in aroma and cup. Intense, crisp but juicy acidity; delicate, silky-smooth mouthfeel. The finish consolidates around floral-toned musk notes in the short while an attractive new element, coconut, emerges in the long.

Review Date: May 2016

Price: $13.99/16 ounces

No. 7 Coffee of 2016: Willoughby's Brazil Fazenda Passelo

Deeply sweet, layered complexity. Dried papaya, gardenia, baker’s chocolate, fine musk, almond in aroma and cup. Juicy, balanced acidity; creamy, nectar-like mouthfeel. The seemingly infinitely long cocoa-toned finish is resonant and deep, with lingering hints of dried papaya, gardenia and almond.

Review Date: Sep 2016

Price: $15.25/12 ounces

No. 8 Coffee of 2016: Kena Coffee Sumatra Tano Batak

Intense, exotic, exhilarating. Moist, fresh-fallen leaves, ripe watermelon, blackberry, nut-toned chocolate, jasmine-like flowers, considerably more in aroma and cup. Pungent, juicy acidity; plushly soft mouthfeel. Deep, balanced, thoroughly flavor-saturated finish.

Review Date: Aug 2016

Price: $18.00/12 ounces

No. 9 Coffee of 2016: Dragonfly Kenya Karatina AA

Deep, savory, yet profoundly sweet and floral. Magnolia, lavender, mulberry, oak in aroma and cup. Rich, roundly ringing acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. Flavor deeply saturates a crisply dry finish: flowers, oak, mulberry.

Review Date: Dec 2016

Price: $18.00/12 ounces

No. 10 coffee of 2016: Kickapoo Ethiopia Charbanta

Delicately lush, deeply sweet. Blueberry, bergamot, wisteria, chocolate fudge, a hint of whisky in aroma and cup. Bright, lively acidity; syrupy but buoyant mouthfeel. The resonant, flavor-saturated finish carries through on all the promises of the cup, including the suggestion of highlands Scotch whisky, a discreet touch of elegant, fruit-toned sweet ferment.

Review Date: Aug 2016

Price: $22.00/16 ounces

No. 11 coffee of 2016: Kakalove Kenya Muranga

Sweetly tart, spicy, mesmerizing. Red currant, roasted cacao nib, lantana-like flowers, thyme, pink peppercorn in aroma and cup. Balanced, juicy, sweet-tart acidity; plush mouthfeel. The resonant cocoa-toned finish begins with herb-toned red currant and ends with pink peppercorn.

Review Date: Feb 2016

Price: $15.75/12 ounces

No. 12 Coffee of 2016: JBC El Aguila Pacamara Espresso

Evaluated as espresso. Lush yet deeply savory; original. Honey, dark chocolate, roasted pine nut, horned melon, wisteria in aroma and small-cup. Full, syrupy mouthfeel. Fruit and flowers carry into a resonant short finish that turns richly drying in the long. Fills out milk with a complexly savory-sweet chocolate and peach- and melon-toned fruit.

Review Date: Mar 2016

Price: $17.45/12 ounces

No. 13 Coffee of 2016: Barrington Hambela Ethiopia

Delicately sweet and intricately composed. Black currant, dried jasmine, frankincense, cocoa butter, candied ginseng in aroma and cup. Buoyant, juicy acidity; luxuriously silky mouthfeel. Black currant and cocoa butter in the rich, elegant short finish, candied ginseng in the sweet, resonant long.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: $39.95/8 ounces

No. 14 Coffee of 2016: Hula Daddy Mokka

Seductively pungent, richly sweet, tropical. Cognac, almond butter, frankincense, lychee, sandalwood in aroma and cup. Bright, juicy acidity; full, satiny mouthfeel. The crisp finish is richly nut-toned in the short, while tropical fruit notes (lychee) return in the long, along with a pleasing new coconut (the fruit flesh) note.

Review Date: Nov 2016

Price: $50.00/8 ounces

No. 15 Coffee of 2016: Temple Panama Finca Las Brujas

Sweet, crisp, deeply floral. Wisteria, dried mango, blood orange, almond butter, clove in aroma and cup. Bright, juicy-tart acidity; silky-smooth mouthfeel. The crisp, clean, deeply flavor-saturated finish is sustained and resonant.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: NT $2616/227 grams

No. 16 Coffee of 2016: Creation Ninety Plus Silvia

Evaluated as espresso. Extravagant, intricate, yet balanced. Strawberry guava, tangerine zest, lilac-like flowers, sandalwood, roasted cacao nib in aroma and small cup. Velvety and honeyish in mouthfeel. Deeply fruit-toned and sweet in the finish. Superb in three-parts milk: juicy, fruit-toned, chocolaty.

Review Date: Jul 2016

Price: $16.00/12 ounces

No. 17 Coffee of 2017: Oceana Kenya Ichamara

Richly sweet-savory, intricate. Sweet chocolate, juniper, red currant, a violet-like floral top note in aroma and cup. Resonant, low-toned acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. The juniper note is crisply bright and almost gin-like in the finish, though cushioned by sweet chocolate and a continued shimmer of violet.

Review Date: Oct 2016

Price: AUD $16.00/250 grams

No. 18 Coffee of 2016: Campos Coffee Blade Runner

Evaluated as espresso. Lively, complex, deeply expressive. Red currant, wisteria, hazelnut butter, lemon zest, chocolate fudge in aroma and small cup. Full, syrupy-smooth mouthfeel; crisp cocoa- and citrus-toned finish. Chocolate fudge leads in three parts milk, complicated by continued floral resonance.

Review Date: Jul 2016

Price: KRW $10,000/250 grams

No. 19 Coffee of 2016: Crescnendo Sumatra Black Panther

Crisply and deeply sweet. Mango, blood orange, fermented tobacco, baker’s chocolate, sweet lilac in aroma and cup. Round, balanced acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. The rich, resonant finish is saturated by tobacco and mango notes.

Review Date: Apr 2016

Price: $17.95/12 ounces

No. 20 Coffee of 2016: Lexington Coffee Congo

Sweetly bright, balanced, complete. Pomegranate juice, tangerine zest, wisteria, hazelnut butter, roasted cacao nib in aroma and cup. Gentle, buoyant acidity; velvety mouthfeel. Clean, floral finish with notes of wisteria and tangerine zest that go long.