By June 20, 2013 Read Article

What Does a 96-Point Coffee Taste Like?

What does a 96-point coffee taste like?  Well, you can find out for yourself.  Three coffees in 2013 have received ratings of 96 points… and at least two of them are still available from the roasters.  Our blind assessments of these remarkable coffees appear below.

La Esmeralda Mario Carnaval 2012 Panama by George Howell Coffee/Terroir Coffee

“Delicate but lush; piercingly sweet. Honey, jasmine-like flowers, tangelo-like citrus, hints of chocolate and fresh-cut fir in aroma and cup. Lyric, flower-saturated acidity; full but lively mouthfeel. The tangelo note in particular resonates inside immense sweetness in the finish.” – Kenneth Davids, February 2013

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Note that another 96-point coffee reviewed in 2012 is still available at George Howell Coffee:

Kenya Mamuto by George Howell Coffee/Terroir Coffee

“Crisp, sweetly pungent, elegant. Guava, citrus, backgrounded caramel and dark chocolate in aroma and cup. Rich, active, juicy acidity; syrupy but lively mouthfeel. Very sweet, long, flavor-saturated finish.” – Kenneth Davids, October 2012.

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In March, Papa Lin’s Coffee Roasting earned 96 points for its Ethiopia Ninety Plus Kemgin W2:

Ethiopia Ninety Plus Kemgin W2 by Papa Lin’s Coffee Roasting

“Succulent, richly intricate. Wild strawberry, dried blueberry, rich mousse-like chocolate, fresh ginseng, lush flowers in aroma and cup. Complete, exhilarating acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. Flavor-saturated finish, crisply drying with a persistent ginseng note.” – Kenneth Davids, March 2013.

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Finally, Temple Coffee also produced a 96 point Ethiopian coffee:

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe ECX by Temple Coffee and Tea

“Immense and intricate in flavor and aroma, balanced in structure. Crisp, nut-toned chocolate; lush night-blooming flowers; ripe tangerine; pungent sandalwood in aroma and cup. Sweetly tart acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. Quietly but profoundly flavor-saturated finish.” – Kenneth Davids, April 2013.

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We understand that Temple may have sold out of this lot but check on their current Yirgacheffe.

Posted in: Coffee News

About the Author:

Kenneth Davids is a coffee expert, author and co-founder of Coffee Review. He has been involved with coffee since the early 1970s and has published three books on coffee, including the influential Home Roasting: Romance and Revival, now in its second edition, and Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying, which has sold nearly 250,000 copies over five editions. His workshops and seminars on coffee sourcing, evaluation and communication have been featured at professional coffee meetings on six continents.

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