Top 30 Coffees of 2018
We are pleased to present our list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2018.
Each year, our editors rank the most exciting coffees from the thousands we cupped over the course of the past year. We evaluate these 30 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.
Price: $12.00/25.4-ounce bottle (seasonal)
A ready-to-drink bottled black coffee tested over ice. Richly sweet with an umami undercurrent. Baker's chocolate, ripe tomato, vanilla, tangerine zest, lavender. Vivacious, sweet-tart structure with a compelling umami anchor. Crisp, full mouthfeel. Notes of ripe tomato, baker's chocolate and lavender carry the long, layered finish. Adding whole milk mediates the umami impression, while amplifying the chocolate and spicy floral notes.
Richly sweet, spice-toned. Mango, clove, lime zest, dark chocolate, fragrant pipe tobacco in aroma and cup. Crisply sweet in structure with bright acidity; lightly creamy mouthfeel. The rich-toned finish leads with notes of lime zest and clove in the short; both mango and pipe tobacco return in the long.
Elegant, bright, very sweetly pungent. Starfruit, frankincense, lime zest, roasted cacao nib, narcissus in aroma and cup. Richly sweet in structure with balanced, vivacious acidity. Delicate, silky mouthfeel. The floral-toned finish starts and ends with notes of narcissus, punctuated by starfruit, cacao nib and bittersweet citrus suggesting lime zest, all enveloped in perfumy aromatic wood redolent of frankincense.
Evaluated as espresso. Rose-like flowers, chocolate fudge, cannabis flower, black cherry, fresh-cut cedar in aroma and small cup. Syrupy, vibrant mouthfeel; richly drying, sweet-savory finish. This coffee levitates in three parts milk, with rich notes of rose-like flowers ensconced in deep chocolate and a cannabis-like muskiness.
Vibrant, rich-toned, sweetly-tart. Tart berry, roasted cacao nib, crisp, bittersweet hop flowers, sandalwood, agave syrup in aroma and cup. Sweetly tart structure with engaging, juicy acidity; syrupy-smooth mouthfeel. The savory-leaning finish is driven by hop flowers, with cocoa nib as another throughline supporting the dried fruit and spicy aromatic wood notes.
Resonant, sweet-savory, original. Baker’s chocolate, fragrant fresh-cut cedar, green grape, almond, wisteria in aroma and cup. Roundly tart, sweetly savory in structure; plushly syrupy mouthfeel. Flavor, particularly green grape and flowers, carries into a drying finish.
Price: $18.00/12 ounces
Evaluated as espresso. Bright, richly sweet, fruit- and cocoa-toned. Pomegranate, dark chocolate, narcissus, hazelnut, vanilla in aroma and small cup. Plush, creamy mouthfeel; sweetly tart finish with notes of pomegranate and hazelnut. Resonant and flavor-saturated in three parts milk; chocolate and tart fruit lead, with narcissus-like flowers ringing into the long finish.
Delicate, intricately sweet. Dried mango, roasted cacao nib, honeysuckle, freesia-like flowers, a hint of cumin in aroma and cup. Deeply rich, balanced structure; crisp, satiny mouthfeel. The finish is animated by lively mango and freesia notes in the short, quieting to cocoa-toned honeysuckle in the long.
Richly sweet, chocolaty. Dark chocolate, caramel, date, gardenia, cedar in aroma and cup. Deeply sweet structure with round, gentle acidity; velvety mouthfeel. The chocolate-toned finish leads with notes of date and caramel in the short and cedar and gardenia in the long.
Price: $16.49/12 ounces
Richly sweet, floral-toned. Wisteria, roasted cacao nib, almond, caramel, hint of musk in aroma and cup. Balanced, sweetly tart structure with juicy acidity; crisply velvety mouthfeel. The finish consolidates to a pretty cocoa-toned musk in the short, with almond and caramel resurfacing in the long.