Top 30 Coffees of 2017
Coffee Review‘s Top 30 Coffees of 2017 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.
Price: $85.00/8 ounces
Intricately layered, sweetly tart, harmoniously composed. Aromatic orchid, candied ginger, frankincense, Concord grape, roasted cacao nib in aroma and cup. Bright, juicy, fruit-toned acidity; elegant, satiny mouthfeel. The flavor-saturated finish fulfills the promise of the cup, amplifying all aroma and flavor notes in the short and introducing coconut tones in the long.
Spectacularly sweet and hugely aromatic. Meyer lemon marmalade, cedar, pistachio, guava, jasmine in aroma and cup. Crisply sweet/tart and massively juicy in structure; plush, buoyant mouthfeel. The juicy structure and complex aromatics persist in a long, lingering finish.
Intensely rich, complex, vast. Plumeria, chocolate fudge, white grapefruit, perique (fermented) pipe tobacco, white truffle in aroma and cup. Juicy, bright acidity; plush, syrupy mouthfeel. The resonant, flavor-saturated finish is long, balanced, and reiterates all of the tendencies in the cup: sweet (plumeria, chocolate), tart (white grapefruit), savory (pipe tobacco, truffle).
Delicate, subtle, intricately vibrant. Honey, strawberry guava, lilac, roasted cacao nib, fine musk in aroma and cup. Buoyant, juicy acidity; lush, velvety mouthfeel. The finish is distinctive in its richly drying, yet flavor-saturated originality. All of the aroma and flavor notes from the cup are sustained in the short finish, and strawberry guava and lilac, in particular, persist far into the very long.
Price: $68.50/4 ounces
Delicate yet deeply aromatic, gloriously and almost impossibly complex in its fruit and floral expression. Fruit ranges from grapefruit through lychee to passionfruit; flowers suggest lavender, rose, more. There is chocolate and a grapy Cognac reduction, and finally a savory resonance we called sweet mushroom. Juicy, floral-tart acidity; viscous, syrupy mouthfeel. The finish is laden with complex floral top-notes in the short, rounding to hints of sweet fruit and deep Cognac-toned chocolate in the long.
Price: $35.00/12 ounces
Intensely sweet, intricate. Dark chocolate, aromatic orchid, strawberry guava, almond butter, frankincense in aroma and cup. Juicy, savory-sweet acidity; delicate, satiny mouthfeel. A bonus coconut note surfaces in the resonant, flavor-saturated finish.
Richly sweet/tart, crisply complex. Dark chocolate, roasted cashew, pink grapefruit, sandalwood, Chinese five-spice in aroma and cup. Structure is drying but sweetly juicy; buoyant and plump in mouthfeel. Nut-toned chocolate with a hint of sandalwood and spice saturate a sweet, richly dry finish.
Price: $55.00/12 ounces
Complex, uniquely sweet, tropical. Plumeria, roasted cacao nib, mango, sandalwood, nougat in aroma and cup. Sweetly tart structure with bright, juicy acidity; syrupy mouthfeel. The finish carries through on the promise of the cup, with rich florals in the short and deep fruit notes in the long, where a new element, a soft fruit tone suggesting coconut, surfaces.
Price: $50.00/8 ounces
Rich, lavish, elegantly sweet-tart and complexly layered. In aroma and cup, intricately expressed citrus (sweet lime, grapefruit, blood orange); spice (coriander, mace); lilac-like flowers; almond; cocoa. Grand but balanced in structure; plump and delicately syrupy in mouthfeel. Everything rounds and deepens in a flavor-saturated finish.
Price: $44.95/8 ounces
Sweet, deep, intense but balanced. Peach, maple syrup, sandalwood, grapefruit zest, almond, magnolia in aroma and cup. Round, resonantly and sweetly bright in structure. Silky and buoyant in mouthfeel. Deep, long, flavor-saturated finish.
Price: NT $450/16 ounces
Evaluated as espresso. Deeply floral, chocolate-toned. Wisteria-like flowers, ripe passion fruit, dark chocolate, blood orange zest, frankincense in aroma and small cup. Lively, silky-smooth mouthfeel; resonant, flavor-saturated finish. In three parts milk, the floral and chocolate notes are particularly amplified in harmonious balance.
Crisply sweet, intricately layered. Grapefruit, cocoa nib, honeysuckle, white sage, a suggestion of wild mushroom in aroma and cup. Juicy, balanced acidity; velvety-smooth mouthfeel. The sweet-savory finish is flavor-saturated, leading with fruit and floral tones in the short and culminating in umami-toned intrigue with hints of white sage and wild mushroom.
Evaluated as espresso. Raspberry jam, juniper, dark chocolate, candied tangerine zest, tea rose in aroma and small cup. Lively, syrupy body; flavor-saturated, resonant finish. In cappuccino-scaled milk, notes of raspberry, chocolate, spicy florals, and sweet-toned citrus zest harmonize with balanced complexity.
Sweetly tart, delicately spicy. Pomegranate, cocoa nib, brown sugar, clove, grapefruit blossom in aroma and cup. Big, juicy, sweet-tart acidity; crisp, velvety mouthfeel. All aroma and flavor notes carry harmoniously into a resonant, flavor-saturated finish.
Price: NT $500/16 ounces
Evaluated as espresso. Richly and roundly bright; chocolaty and floral. Guava, tangerine, dark chocolate, sandalwood, lily in aroma and small cup. Smooth, silky-satiny mouthfeel; dry though flavor-saturated finish. Flowers, sweetly tart fruit and chocolate all carry with rich authority into three parts milk.
Price: $25.00/12 ounces
High-toned, richly sweet. Strawberry guava, roasted cacao nib, lime zest, jasmine, almond in aroma and cup. Sweetly-tart structure with juicy, balanced acidity; plush, syrupy mouthfeel. The finish is long and resonant, with lime zest and strawberry guava in the short, rounding to cocoa-toned jasmine in the deeply sweet long.
Balanced, sweet-savory. Red currant, roasted cacao nib, clove, blood orange zest, frankincense in aroma and cup. Savory-sweet structure with lively acidity; syrupy mouthfeel. The resonant, spice-toned finish leads with intimations of clove and roasted cacao nib in the short, rounding to rich fruit tones with hints of frankincense in the long.
Price: $18.00/12 ounces
Complexly structured; tart, sweet-savory, balanced. Mango, cedar, molasses, fresh pipe tobacco, grapefruit zest in aroma and cup. Gently crisp acidity; plush, syrupy mouthfeel. Tobacco, cedar and the mango-like fruit carry into a quiet finish.
Delicate, balanced, sweetly spice-toned. Strawberry, almond, cocoa powder, fine musk, narcissus-like flowers in aroma and cup. Integrated, juicy, balanced structure. Velvety, lively, almost effervescent mouthfeel. The resonant, flavor-saturated finish leads with notes of sweet berries in the short, rounding to deep florals in the long.
Complex, balanced, floral-toned. Magnolia, tamarind, dark chocolate, molasses, papaya in aroma and cup. Sweet-savory structure with crisp, juicy acidity. The intricately layered finish leads with sweet-spicy floral notes, crescendoing to fruit (tamarind, papaya) in the long, with dark chocolate notes throughout.
Round, crisp but simultaneously deep, complexly layered. Lemon zest, baker’s chocolate, plumeria, incense-like myrrh note in aroma and cup. Balanced in structure: resonant, sweetly tart acidity with a savory edge. Satiny mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates around floral notes in a long, resonant finish.
Crisply sweet, intricate, delicately rich. Jasmine, tangerine zest, sandalwood, sweet ripe banana, roasted cacao nib in aroma and cup. Balanced, roundly and gracefully sweet/tart in structure. Light-footed and plush in mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates around jasmine, sandalwood and banana in a sweet, lasting finish.
Price: NT $550/8 ounces
Subtly intricate, deeply sweet. Star jasmine, roasted cacao nib, dried mango, myrrh, fresh spearmint in aroma and cup. Bright, juicy acidity; plush, velvety mouthfeel. The resonant, flavor-saturated finish leads with notes of star jasmine and dried mango, balanced by suggestions of crisp cocoa tones throughout.
Crisply sweet, fruit-forward. Ripe strawberry, aromatic orchid, honey, toasted pine nut, a hint of sumac spice in aroma and cup. Lavish, elegant structure, with sweet-tart-savory in harmonious balance. Syrupy mouthfeel. The finish is resonant, long and flavor-saturated, maintaining the promise of the complex flavor notes from the cup.
Deeply sweet with a resonantly savory edge; intense and original. Peach, lavender, coconut and oak are complicated by a pleasing alcohol suggestion that no doubt reflects the bourbon-barrel conditioning, but in the sensory context of the coffee reads more brandy- or wine-like. Round, vibrant acidity; satiny mouthfeel. The peach note in particular carries into a flavor-saturated finish.
Price: $19.75/16 ounces
Zesty but deeply and resonantly nut-toned. Roasted cashew, oak, apricot, orange zest, magnolia-like flowers in aroma and cup. Zesty yet sweet, almost sugary, in structure, with a savory hint. Plush, lightly syrupy mouthfeel. Fruit notes in particular persist in a round, resonant, quietly flavor-saturated finish.
Roast-encapsulated complexity; sweetly and exhilaratingly pungent. Richly scorched cedar, rose-like flowers, orange zest, black sage, a hint of cocoa-ish chocolate in aroma and cup. Bittersweet but zesty in structure; light though plush mouthfeel. Flowers and cocoa in particular carry into a roasty but cleanly sweet-toned finish.
Brightly sweet-savory, richly layered. Narcissus, roasted cacao nib, dried apricot, sandalwood, maple syrup in aroma and cup. Juicy, lively acidity; deeply sweet structure with savory undertones. Plush, syrupy mouthfeel. The long, resonant finish consolidates to attractive floral and cocoa tones.
Quiet, complete; complexly chocolate- and fruit-toned. Dark chocolate, ripe black cherry, coconut, cashew, complex flowers (lavender, honeysuckle) in aroma and cup. The structure is sweetly juicy with a slight, deepening bitter edge. Light but satiny, lively mouthfeel. Drying though sweet finish, saturated with chocolate and flowers.
Sweetly pungent, rich-toned, savory. Peach, violet, pistachio, molasses, thyme in aroma and cup. Gentle, backgrounded acidity; syrupy, lean though smooth mouthfeel. The resonant finish is long, leading with attractive floral top notes, followed by hints of stone fruit, finally rounding to cocoa and herb tones in the very long.