Okay, so today is all about the best tasting coffee and finding the best tasting coffee beans. And I’m not going to lie to you, if you’ve come here trying to find the definitive best coffee in the world you’ll be a little disappointed. I don’t think anyone can tell you what the best tasting coffee in the world is. I hope to give you some tips and guidelines that will help you find the best tasting coffee for you, but as to the best coffee ever, I just don’t think anyone can put an absolute label on one particular type of coffee bean or roast. I hope this makes sense. Coffee is such a personal experience and we’re also talking about a natural product, and because of that it has its own imperfections and nuances which enhance the experience.
But if you were to push me and ask me “what is the best tasting coffee in the world?” Currently I’d point you to two places. The first is Ethiopia and the second is Colombia. As for Ethiopia and more a fan of Sidamo over the Harrar or other varietals. As for Colombian coffee, I haven’t found a coffee bean from Colombia that really shines above the rest. Those in my opinion are the world’s best tasting coffees.
Why it’s hard to determine the best tasting coffee
For example, if you’ve ever tasted the same coffee beans from the same small farmer, roasted the same way but separated by a year, you’ll notice some subtle and some not so subtle differences. That’s why it is so hard to definitely say which is the best coffee bean that produces the best tasting coffees. I’ve done this, and there are noticeable differences, even when compared right next to each other. And this my coffee drinking friends is the joy of coffee. Heck, in my opinion it’s the joy of wine, chocolate, all these wonderful gifts of nature.
You see, each growing season is different from the next, the soil changes subtly from year to year. The coffee bean tree grows, matures and develops. The roaster roasts each batch every so differently even if trying not to. And all of these things change the profile of the coffee bean’s flavor subtly and not so subtly. And this is why it is difficult to talk about the best tasting coffee. But I’m going to give you some guidelines about what you can expect from certain beans. There are profiles that match the beans grown in certain coffee growing regions around the world. And from there, you can buy wholesale coffee beans or you can buy green coffee beans and roast them yourself to determine the best tasting coffee for your individual tastes.
Now before we go into the regional generalities of the coffee beans, I must confess that I lean more towards African coffee. I love their flavor characteristics. After that, my best tasting coffees come from the Asia and Pacific area. And that leaves my least favorite coffee being those from the Americas. Now, their are some unusual and unique coffees such as the 100 Kona coffee, Brazilian coffee (which is not so unique as it is in practically all well known coffee brands… think Maxwell House etc.), Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and Kopi Luwak for example. But outside of those, the following coffee flavor profiles will help you in determining your best tasting coffee.
Flavor profile generalities of the best tasting coffee growing regions
Starting with my favorite coffee beans, the ones from Africa. African coffees tend to carry floral aromas, with the citrus family and berry flavors. Depending on the depth of the roast, you can find light berries and more citrus to more black cherry and less citrus flavors.
The Asia and Pacific coffees, think Indonesia have clean, crisp profiles with earthy and spicy/herbal flavors. Often you’ll find nutmeg and sometimes even a bit of black pepper in these profiles.
The Americas bring you coffees full of nuts and cocoa or chocolate flavors with clean profiles that finish quickly.
Now that’s just a quick and dirty overview of the best coffee. If you’re making espresso cappuccino of course, then you’re going to include dark roasts like Italian and French in your coffee bean selection. And of course, the roasting of the coffee beans makes a big difference to the flavor profile. For espresso coffee machines, using Colombian and Brazilian darkly roasted coffee beans is a great idea. Not that you can’t use African beans, but you must choose more carefully as the darker you roast them the more they lose their subtle profiles.
the best gourmet coffee in my opinion is the one that you roast at home. There is no best tasting coffee like the coffee you have just roasted the day before from bulk coffee beans. And of course, using a camping coffee press or stainless steel French press like the Bodum coffee makers is the best way to determine the best tasting coffee for your preferences.
Some will say that Kopi Luwak are the best coffee beans, but I’m not so sure. I don’t necessarily believe that the more expensive the coffee bean is the better the coffee bean. But if you want to try the flavor profile of Kopi Luwak without the shit 😉 Then try Coffee Primero. They’ve scientifically created the same flavor profile of Kopi Luwak without the civet’s input or the harm that civet farms are now creating for these poor animals. Plus, instead of up to $600 a pound, you can have a pound for around $15 to $20. Bottom’s up!
There is so much more I could write about the best tasting coffee. Perhaps I’ll write a book lol! But if I can just leave you with the idea that the best tasting coffee in the world is the one you like the most. I prefer dark roasted Ethiopian coffee beans. But you might prefer a light roasted Mexican coffee bean. The joy and the fun is in the experimenting. You’ll find that as the years progress and you’ve tasted more coffee beans that your best tasting coffee changes too. That’s the journey, the coffee journey is the destination.