Top 30 Coffees of 2021
Each year, our editors rank the 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.
We’re pleased to share our list of the 30 most exciting coffees of 2021:
High-toned, resinously nutty, intensely sweet. Wild honey, plum, magnolia, mesquite, pistachio in aroma and cup. Sweet-tart structure with savory-leaning acidity; viscous, nectar-like mouthfeel. Gentle, sweetly rich finish with notes of wild honey, pistachio and mesquite into the long.
Price: NT $500/4 ounces
Focused, gently bright, complex. Dried goji berry, vanilla bean, clementine, baking chocolate, fresh-cut oak, lemon verbena in aroma and cup. Balanced structure (sweet, tart, savory) with richly pungent but juicy acidity; plushly syrupy mouthfeel. Deep and multi-layered in the finish.
Price: NT $560/227 grams
Delicately bright, balanced, crisply sweet. Bing cherry, cocoa nib, lemon yogurt, lavender, fresh-cut oak in aroma and cup. Sweetly tangy with gently lactic, savory-edged acidity; silky, buoyant mouthfeel. A fruit-driven finish is supported by cocoa nib with a continued gentle lactic tang.
Richly aromatic, complex, multi-layered. Lychee, lavender, cocoa nib, hazelnut butter, lemon-thyme in aroma and cup. Sweet-savory with lively, juicy acidity; plush, very syrupy mouthfeel. Long, resonant, flavor-saturated finish.
Gently fruit-toned, harmonious and balanced. Strawberry, almond nougat, sandalwood, narcissus, lemon verbena in aroma and cup. Sweetly tart with juicy, bright acidity; vibrant, syrupy mouthfeel. Nicely composed finish centered around strawberry and sandalwood notes.
Subtly complex, delicately sweet. Red plum, hazelnut, agave syrup, honeysuckle, fresh-cut oak in aroma and cup. Balanced structure with pert acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. The gently fruit-toned finish is supported by hazelnut and oak notes.
Soft, round, quietly vibrant. Cashew, red plum, tea rose, baking chocolate, cedar in aroma and cup. Sweet structure with crisply bright acidity; lightly syrupy mouthfeel. The finish consolidates to notes of baking chocolate and cedar.
Richly sweet, deeply spice-toned. Toffee, plum blossom, tangerine zest, almond butter, sandalwood in aroma and cup. Juicy-sweet structure with high-toned, balanced acidity; syrupy-smooth mouthfeel. The finish centers around notes of almond, tangerine zest and sandalwood.
Citrusy and cocoa-toned. Lemon verbena, baking chocolate, black raspberry, hazelnut, fresh-cut oak in aroma and cup. Sweetly tart structure with crisp, vibrant acidity; smooth, syrupy mouthfeel. Lemon and raspberry notes carry the finish, supported by deep hazelnut tones.
Rich-toned, deeply sweet. Dried apricot, molasses, almond brittle, freesia-like flowers, cedar in aroma and cup. Sweet structure with gently brisk acidity; very full, syrupy-smooth mouthfeel. Sweetly nut-toned, long finish with notes of almond brittle and molasses.