Top 30 Coffees of 2019
We are pleased to present our list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2019.
Our editors ranked this year’s most exciting coffees from the thousands we cupped over the course of the past 12 months. We rank 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, tree variety, processing method, certification, and general rarity.
Price: $100.00/21 grams
Vast yet intimate in its layered intricacy: complete and perfectly balanced. Complex flowers (citrus blossom, ginger blossom, aromatic orchid), bright, fresh fruit (pear, peach, tangerine), sweet cocoa, sandalwood, a hint of candycap mushroom in aroma and cup. In structure, juicy and lyrically bright with a subtly pungent umami base; light-footed, satiny mouthfeel. Pear leads into long, vibrantly flavor-saturated finish.
Lavish, captivatingly complex, deeply savory-sweet. Candycap mushroom, lilac, dark chocolate, dried coconut, frankincense in aroma and cup. Structurally, the savory component, which is typically an undertone, occupies the top of the aromatic and flavor range, with deep sweetness (fruit, florals) underneath. The mouthfeel is lively and richly syrupy. The seemingly eternal finish is a quiet mirror of the cup.
Price: $37.50/8 ounces
Shifting, original, startling in its giddy intricacy. Winey pine (think retsina wine), cocoa powder, green apple, Concord grape, ginger blossom, much more in aroma and cup. Sweetly and delicately pungent in structure. Lightly syrupy and almost effervescently buoyant in mouthfeel. The winey pine character and a floral sweetness carry persuasively into a crisp finish.
Price: NT $1,300/8 ounces
Evaluated as espresso. Attractively roast-prominent, deeply sweet and complex. Scorched cedar, baking chocolate, blackberry jam, blood orange zest, marjoram, violet-like flowers in aroma and small cup. Lightly creamy, almost fluffy mouthfeel. Finish consolidates around an herb-toned chocolate enveloped in a smoky resonance. In three parts milk, intensely sweet and aromatically vibrant, supported by a rich, smoky depth.
High-toned, richly sweet-savory. Red currant, dark chocolate, tangerine zest, hop flowers, sandalwood in aroma and cup. Richly bittersweet structure with vibrant, juicy acidity; plush, syrupy mouthfeel. Deep, flavor-saturated finish with red currant and dark chocolate carrying well into the long.
Price: $18.00/12 ounces
Lush, deeply floral, resonantly tropical. Plumeria, coconut, dark chocolate, tamarind, frankincense in aroma and cup. The structure is superbly balanced among sweet, savory and tart, with juicy-bright acidity. Plush, syrupy mouthfeel. The seemingly eternal finish sustains all of the flavor notes from the cup in ringing harmony.
Deeply sweet, resonantly savory, exceptionally vibrant. Apricot, honeysuckle, cannabis, wild honey, fresh-cut oak in aroma and cup. Sweet-umami in structure with crisp, bright acidity; lively malic acidity. The balanced finish leads with notes of honeysuckle and cannabis with undertones of wild honey.
Price: $44.95/8 ounces
Delicately fruit-toned, richly cocoa-driven. Ripe strawberry, dark chocolate, almond, freesia-like flowers, a hint of wine barrel in aroma and cup. Sweet-tart structure with crisp, high-toned acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. The flavor-saturated finish sustains all of the aroma and flavor notes promised by the cup.
Bizarre, beautiful, shocking, intricate. Tropical fruit (lychee, passionfruit), sweet herb (clove, cilantro, dill, spearmint), dark chocolate, musk, yogurt. In structure quite sweet, roundly tart (think unsweetened yogurt), deeply savory. Lightly syrupy in mouthfeel. Passionfruit, chocolate, dill all make distinct appearances in the drying but sweetly and richly complex finish.
Price: $60.00/8 ounces
Elaborate, vibrant, exhilarating. Dark chocolate truffle, strawberry guava, candied ginger, lilac, myrrh in aroma and cup. Crisply sweet-tart structure with bright, succulent acidity; very syrupy mouthfeel. The finish is zesty in the short and cocoa- and floral-toned in the long.
Price: $25.00/150 grams
Vibrant, high-toned, exhilarating. Floral medley (lavender, rose, wisteria), grapefruit zest, ripe passion fruit, cocoa, a hint of ginger in aroma and cup. Sweetly and brilliantly bright in structure; lightly syrupy in mouthfeel. Flavors consolidate but ring on in a long, resonantly layered finish.
Price: AUD $18.00/18 grams
Brightly fruit-toned, tropical, and aromatically vibrant. Lychee, passionfruit, dark chocolate, frankincense, star jasmine in aroma and cup. Deeply sweet-tart structure with high-toned, juicy acidity; lush, syrupy mouthfeel. Resounding flavor-saturated finish with layer after layer of fruit far into the long.
Richly sweet, cocoa- and fruit-toned. Concord grape, cocoa nib, sandalwood, maple syrup, lilac in aroma and cup. Sweet-toned structure with bright, juicy acidity; plush, syrupy mouthfeel. Resonant, flavor-saturated finish that highlights fruit and cocoa tones.
Rich-toned, deeply chocolaty and fruity with savory undertones. Chocolate fudge, ripe wild strawberry, honey, macadamia nut, fine Roquefort cheese. Sweet-savory in structure enlivened by bright, juicy acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. Savory-sweet finish with notes of fine Roquefort, strawberry, and chocolate fudge.
Bright, crisply sweet-tart. Peach, honeysuckle, cinnamon, cedar, cacao nib in aroma and cup. Richly sweet, high-toned structure with citrusy acidity; crisp, silky mouthfeel. Peach and honeysuckle carry the short finish, while cocoa-toned cedar resurfaces in the long.
Intoxicatingly (though cleanly) fruit-toned. Raspberry coulis, halvah, plumeria, pink peppercorn, lemon verbena in aroma and cup. Richly sweet-tart structure with bright, high-toned acidity; delicate, silky smooth mouthfeel. The finish maintains the tart-sweetness of the cup, while intensifying its herby citrus.
Price: $39.95/8 ounces (packaged as a "duo" with Bourbon Rey Guatemala)
Deeply and richly sweet, cocoa-toned. Baker’s chocolate, fig cookie, agave syrup, oak, freesia-like flowers in aroma and cup. Richly sweet structure with brisk acidity; full, creamy mouthfeel. Resonant finish centers around baking chocolate and freesia.
Price: $15.00/10 ounces
Richly spicy, musky, chocolaty. Mexican chocolate (cocoa nib, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar), dried parsley, nutmeg, musk in aroma and cup. Crisp and piquant in structure; light, silky mouthfeel. The impressive finish is drying yet quite sweet, saturated with chocolate, cinnamon and musk suggestions.
Exceptionally high-toned, delicately fruit-centered, intricately balanced. Mulberry, coconut, sandalwood, dark chocolate, lilac in aroma and cup. Richly sweet in structure with balanced, juicy acidity; delicate but plush, mouth-filling texture. The finish is a gentle reminder of everything the cup offers, in particular mulberry, coconut, and lilac.
Evaluated as espresso. Spice-toned, fruit-forward. Dried raspberry, cinnamon, dark chocolate, almond butter, narcissus in aroma and small cup. Crisp, satiny texture; resonant, flavor-saturated finish. In three parts milk, balanced and chocolaty, with lingering spice notes.
Evaluated as espresso. Complex, juicy, richly tart. Almond, dark chocolate, guava, tangerine zest, star jasmine in aroma and small cup. Light, very silky mouthfeel; chocolate, fruit and flowers all carry into a cleanly sweet, delicately drying finish. Flavor-saturated in three parts milk: almond, chocolate, guava, flowers all resonate in rich, custardy balance.
Simultaneously citrusy and floral, yet deeply resonant and tobacco-toned. Cocoa, pink grapefruit zest, perique (fermented) tobacco, sandalwood, aromatic orchid in aroma and cup. Sweetly and exhilaratingly tart in structure; light, juicy mouthfeel. Grapefruit, sandalwood and flowers carry gracefully into a long, layered finish.
Richly and cleanly fruit-toned, chocolaty. Dried fig, chocolate fudge, molasses, oak, narcissus-like flowers in aroma and cup. Deeply sweet-tart in structure with high-toned, crisp acidity; full, creamy mouthfeel. The resonant flavor-saturated finish centers around fig and chocolate suggestions.
Price: NT $360/16 ounces
Evaluated as espresso. Graceful, complex, balanced. Pomegranate, dark chocolate, jasmine, pink peppercorn, fresh-cut cedar in aroma and small cup. Plush, satiny mouthfeel; crisp, spiced-toned, chocolaty finish. In three parts milk, notes of dark chocolate and deep jasmine resonate, with pleasing undertones of aromatic wood.
Spice-toned, complex, richly bittersweet. Blackberry, dark chocolate, blood orange zest, ginger blossom, oak in aroma and cup. Bittersweet in structure with bright, high-toned acidity; plush, syrupy mouthfeel. The resonant finish is redolent with notes of cocoa-toned blackberry and spicy ginger blossom.
Richly and sweetly tart, chocolaty. Dark chocolate, hazelnut butter, lightly scorched cinnamon, date, fir in aroma and cup. Sweet in structure with gentle, rounded acidity; velvety mouthfeel. The chocolaty finish is complicated by date and hazelnut.
Evaluated as espresso. High-toned, sweetly tart; Bing cherry, dark chocolate, tangerine zest, honeysuckle, a hint of fine pipe tobacco in aroma and small cup. Full, syrupy mouthfeel; earthy-sweet finish. In cappuccino-scaled milk, dark chocolate is amplified, as are deep florals, while tart fruit notes round.
Crisply sweet, floral-toned. Orange blossom, blackberry, cooked taro root, cacao nib, cedar in aroma and cup. Sweetly savory structure with gentle, rounded acidity; full, creamy mouthfeel. A pleasing sweet starchiness akin to taro root surfaces in the finish, integrated with rich floral and fruit tones.
Sweetly spice-toned, richly chocolaty. Salted chocolate, hop flowers, Concord grape, ginger, a hint of aged grappa in aroma and cup. Sweet-savory structure with fruit-forward, wine-toned acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. The finish leads with Concord grape and ginger in the short, followed by hops in the long, all bound by a throughline of savory-sweet chocolate and aged grappa.