best coffee beans in the world

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Dining' started by jonspencer, Feb 19, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    I liked the discussion about Brazilian coffees as there were specific examples of quality brands

    whenever I travel to a coffee producing region, I usually buy a few different types of beans, I have a supply of +/- 10 kg at any one time

    I usually use a Bialetti type coffee maker or individual cup drip, I will buy a Jura this year to try out

    last week I was in Kenya where I got several bags of Kenya AA from Nairobi Java House chain, this is one of my favorites
    [​IMG]

    at Xmas time I was in Jamaica and purchased some High Mountain beans which I thought were excellent, it has more caffeine than the much abused high-altitude grown Blue Mountain brand (all coffee in China seems to be Blue Mt ;-)

    I also think the Klang brand in peninsular Malaysia has an unique nutty taste and some of the more chocolate-y tasting beans in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam can be interesting

    certainly some of the better Guatemalan / Costa Rican coffee beans rank as some of the best, just a matter of knowing the best brand (if somebody can share their experience?)

    I have had some excellent coffees in Brazil + Colombia at restaurants but I never really found a brand in the supermarket that I really loved

    interested in learning about other coffee beans, MPers favorites
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  2. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    There was an article in one of the Jamaican papers which says the that a high percentage of the coffee being passed off as Blue Mountain is not in fact that product. It even showed a long list of photos of some of the packages from supposed "reputable" distributors.
    Wallenford and any thing that says Mavis Bank (the prime Blue mountain growing area) is likely to be authentic
    With the proliferation of Chinese "investors" now operating out of the island there has been a flooding of the market of so-called "Blue Mountain" coffee.

    A very high percentage of the actual/accredited Blue Mountain production has been pre-bought by the Japanese.

    I know this will shock some the purists but the High Mountain brand (made by Salada Foods) of Jamaican instant coffee (one can also find it in some of the supermarkets with high Jamaican immigrant population say in South Florida) is by far the best of its ilk and tastes better that many bean brewed products one can find on the supermarket shelves.
     
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  3. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    The best beans in the world will not be found in a supermarket, and if you have 10kg of roaated coffee around, you are doing it wrong (unless you consume like a restaurant or like stale coffee).

    For a well-known coffee of consistent high quality I might suggest esmeralda gesha, although the premium can be steep and you are paying for the reputation. COE winners are generally solid as well. Most rosters willing to invest in any of these are competent.

    Blue bottle, intelligentsia, paradise roasters are a few solid ones.roasters.

    Rwandan can be really good, love dry processed east african. Monsooned coffee can be an interesting change of pace. Mocha and java are interesting in their individual imbalance but nice blend. PNG has some really nice stuff too.
     
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  4. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    of course I am doing it wrong :eek:

    I just needed one of the know-it-all's here on MP to straighten me out :D

    my extra coffee is in the freezer and there are many different opinions about this practice

    I also share with friends, family and neighbors + the 20 people in my office, so I go through it fairly quickly

    on my visits to both Rwanda and PNG I bought some local beans but luckily I am not there every other week to pick up a fresh supply :cool: so I take the risk of freezing some surplus beans in vacuum packed bags
     
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  5. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    My personal favorite is Doka Estate from Costa Rica. Of course it is much better when consumed locally!:p

    http://dokaestate.com/
     
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  6. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Mavis JA is good coffee, and yet we find blends even in JA.

    I find my coffee with each cup,any more I just buy Columbia Beans at Costco, stretch the milk and enjoy the cup.

    CiffeeGeek,com has a great following also,many even roast their green beans, talk about fresh, from an old popcorn popper,,
     
  7. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    My wife, just a week ago had me book an estate tour here on March 12th:)
     
  8. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Not to worry, don't sweat the small stuff!

    Putting roasted coffee beans in a zip-lock freezer bag in the freezer or refrigerator once the bag is opened, and then taking the beans out as you use them to grind them fresh is the best way to be able make fresh-tasting coffee!

    I recently told a local coffee roaster shop owner not to grind the fresh-roasted coffee beans that I had just purchased from her shop, and that I was going to store them in the freezer as above. She the began to shake my hand, and was quite pleased that I was going to treat her fresh-roasted coffee beans so well, and to really enjoy her coffee! :)
     
  9. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    of course you are, just as I am too. I'm fairly finicky about the coffee I use. Still, so long as Starbucks aficionados can be happy with the stale bitter brews they quaff I think I ought to be permitted my peccadillos too. So, therefore should you!

    I am simply shocked! Shocked, I say, shocked! Ahem, 'instant' and 'coffee' in the same phrase? OMG!


    Now that I have provided not one, but two histrionic moralistic totalitarian outbursts in the same post I feel very self-righteous indeed.

    That said, a high-end coffee producer friend tells me that there is quite a variety of really high quality instant coffee, even though there is not a large quantity of it. The general disdain, as I understand it, is that the mass market instants are normally cheap robusta beans with poor quality arabica sometimes added. thus they tend to have a pretty insipid taste. i personally have had a fair number of instant coffees that I thought were quite good, all of them in France or Japan. For me anyway, I would never choose them over a good brewed coffee, but they were quite acceptable when needed.

    Just to preserve my self-righteous creds:
    1. I would never drink coffee from a paper cup.
    2. Partly because of (1) I do not ever drink Starbucks swill, I'd rather go without.
    3. Even though I, as does jonspencer, store too much coffee for too long, I still insist on having the highest quality I can find, with vacuum packing serving as a reliable life extender. I also share the disgusting immoral habit of jonspencer in another way; I too store my opened coffee in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

    in defense of our mutual peccadillos I must say some of us do not live in sophisticated urban settings where we can roast our own beans just prior to each daily tipple. thus we are forced to adopt some quite distasteful daily habits.

    Finally, I apologize to mattsteg, although even he must admit he offered a superb opportunity for a sarcastic rejoinder:

    I know mattsteg to be a considerate, reasonable person. However, just as with wine and whisky, there are things which cannot brook argument.

    I do like this thread!!





     
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  10. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    for the record I am not a Starbuck's hater, they roast many types of beans, some of them are quite good :eek:

    however I have been "price gouged" at many an airport Starbucks and all their food seems to taste like their cardboard cups, Starbucks is my last choice for a cup of joe if there are other decent options :rolleyes:

    when I visit my place in Miami, I always opt for Dunkin Donuts coffee in Coconut Grove rather than Starbucks, far better value IMO
     
  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    When i visit my place in Coral Gables I opt for the small Nespresso machine that I keep there, using refills that I obtain from a variety of sources. It may be heresy but I find excellent results from those, albeit far too expensive for day-to-day use considering my advanced addiction to what I regard as fine coffee.
     
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  12. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    I am not an Nespresso hater either, enjoyed many a good cup in various hotel rooms and lounges :eek:

    there are many pre-ground products that I find completely acceptable when on the road from Illy, Lavazza, Segafredo, Davidoff........
     
  13. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I am a fan of several Illy options, including their whole roasted beans. As always I reserve my snob certificate by arguing that because Ernesto Illy invented modern Espresso machines(in Trieste when it had just become part of Italy as war booty), pressurized coffee preservation not to mention the pods most associated with Nestlé, only Illy can be considered genuine. One must always remember that espresso has Hungarian, not Italian, origins:
    http://www.famousscientists.org/ernesto-illy/
     
  14. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    My wife bought some beans back from IST, I did not like the taste, yet many tell me it is great coffee, I gave some of the beans out as gifts,

    No one said anything negative,

    Still using my Seaco Incanto, bought many years ago,
     
  15. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    and mocha has Yemeni origins, derived from the port of "al Mukha", a major market for Arabica beans for hundreds of years :eek:

    Illy does has some of the best containers :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  16. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I think that was "thousands" rather than "hundreds" of years. As an aside yemeni 'coffee' is typically really a tea of sorts, made by steeping the husks in hot water. Somehow i became rather fond of that arabic coffee, which is even today served with great flourish in many places, not least of which is the before takeoff service on EK first class (maybe it's done in Business too, but I've never flown EK Business so i do not know). In Yemen, however the preferred substance is khat, a leaf with mild intoxicating effects, allegedly similar to cocaine. While a resident of Yemen I tried khat with no effects other than mild indigestion due to the disgusting taste chewing the bitter green leaves. As yet another aside Sana'a rivals Damascus as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The port at Mocha became well-known very recently, in the 15th century when it became the base for exporting coffee to Europe, and gave it's name to the variety of beans often called Sanani by Yemenis themselves.
     
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  17. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Coffee snobbery aside - I do often stray from the ideal - much more often than not, but do have rather strong opinions regarding what is truly optimal. Reality insists that it is not always possible to achieve this, especially while traveling too much! On a routine basis, I'll deal with reasonably fresh beans from the local roaster, or whatever I can get while traveling.

    First of all, for espresso - I love the stuff, but am a mere novice at preparation. Unfortunately so is almost every chain with any reasonable distribution (e.g. starbucks et. al.). Intellgensia in Chicago, blue bottle in SFO - both with some expanded coverage now do justice. So do various independent places - either using their own beans or buying from one of the top roasters, that I honestly more recognize than list. There's enough of a benefit from a couple of days of post-roast rest that outsourced roasting, especially if not able to focus on roasting, works well.

    Brewed coffee, I tend to prefer vacuum pot, but find that many places make it too weak. Otherwise pourover is good and easily controlled. Vac pot at home. Brewed coffee in many cases I like very soon after roasting - soon enough to give a big bloom on brewing, and in some cases sooner than some would suggest (with less rest). Maybe a couple of days is ideal, but I'm OK with too freshly roasted, and this varies per bean and per roast, in my experience. When I was more obsessive about these things and more actively roasting, I'd aim to brew within about a 36-120 hour or so window post roast, and at a minimum convinced myself that I could generally discern the taste improving, peaking, and then starting to fade.

    The logistics of managing freezing/separating/avoiding condensation are ones that introduce more complexity than benefit for me - especially given the impracticality of getting most roasted coffees frozen sufficiently quickly. I've seen reports from people whose coffee palates I trust reporting that it can be done and I do not doubt them, but with such a tight window for the "best in the world" I'm more likely to drink up than stick in a freezer!

    Has anyone else sampled monsooned coffee? Very interesting in appearance and also flavor profile. The unroasted beans are almost yellow in appearance.
     
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  18. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    this arabic coffee is not generally served in Business Class on Emirates, however it is served at more formal 5 star hotels and other establishments in Dubai + Abu Dhabi

    few farmers in Yemen are growing coffee these days as they get more $$$ growing qat :eek:

    several years ago the former Yemeni Housing Minister invited me for a qat chewing session that only made me nauseous and supposedly we had the good stuff, these guys with the red teeth that look all "stoned" must chew a bushel of this qat each day :confused:

    [​IMG]

    this silly guy has a cheek full of qat

    [​IMG]

    former coffee-growing region near Taiz
     
  19. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Thanks for the photos. They do bring back memories of board meetings with branches of that stuff feeding the afternoon pleasure of my associates. When I was there nearly all the Khat/Qat was imported from Ethopia and Somalia. the yemenis were too devoted to consumption to be growing much themselves. The coffee and khat grown in North Yemen at the time we mostly produced by immigrant farmers from Vietnam and other non-traditional places. Following the merger of Aden with North Yemen most of that changed.

    Thanks too for pointing out the widespread availability of Arabic coffee in hotels and high end restaurants, throughout the Gulf, not just Dubai, and in a fair number of places in Lebanon and Jordan as well. Well done this 'tea' is delicious, isn't it? Poorly done it is impossible IMHO.
     
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  20. oliviathomas

    oliviathomas Member

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    Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
     
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  21. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    Living in Costa Rica, I like Doka Estate just fine, but really like the roastmaster series of small batch specialty roasts from Cafe Milagro. Finca Rosa Blanca also does some good roasts. w/ great beans.

    I recently (about 4 months ago) began brewing my morning fix w/ Aeropress and am very, very pleased so far....
     
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  22. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Blue Mountain is smooth, Panama, and CR are so close together how do they keep from blending,

    The Aeropress works great, must be the fresh water...

    Sure love to be out if the snow, envy you and the warm weather.
     
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  23. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    Great taste, foolproof method, easy cleanup, I'm a big Aeropress fan... Just no good for big batches w/ guests over
     
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  24. oliviathomas

    oliviathomas Member

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    good taste satman40
     
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  25. Kasano

    Kasano Member

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    have you ever try Dao Coffe (Laos)?
     
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