If you’re out for the very best coffee beans in the world, everyone has their own unique opinions. Nevertheless, stick with the recommendations of the experts and you’ll usually find half a dozen names that always outshine others.
What exactly is it that qualifies a coffee for the title of ‘best in the world’? Well, the first thing to note is that there isn’t always a direct correlation between price and quality. While some of the highest-priced coffees on the market are nothing more than palatable, some of the best coffee beans in the world are reasonably affordable.
Some score huge points for their complexity, others for delivering remarkable smoothness and then there are those that are prized simply for being rare. In all instances, it’s about finding something that’s not only wonderful, but also sets the beans in question apart from everything else that’s out there.
With thousands of options to choose from, knowing where to start in the first place can be tricky. So to help set you off in the right direction, here’s a quick rundown of seven of the very best coffees in the world, which consistently outshine the competition in the eyes of experts worldwide:
First up, Tanzania Peaberry Coffee is every bit as delightful as its name suggests. These highly sought-after coffee beans are grown on Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro, where the unique climate and conditions produce a medium-bodied and gorgeously bright arabica coffee with just the right amount of acidity. The flavour is unmistakably rich, deep and presents an initial hit of berries, leaving behind a long-lasting aftertaste with notes of chocolate. Medium roast varieties come highly recommended, which along with dark currant flavours often exhibit notes of coconut or even pineapple. A highly complex coffee for true connoisseurs with a refined palate.
It’s widely known that Hawaii is responsible for growing some of the best coffee beans in the world - Hawaii Kona Coffee in particular standing out as an unmissable variety to try. Once again, it’s the unique climate and conditions at which Hawaii Kona Coffee beans grow that make it such a remarkable specimen. Perched on the often treacherous slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai Volcanoes, the fertile soil produces a light, delicate and refreshing coffee with a rich and satisfying complexity. Medium-bodied with perfect balance and zesty acidity, there’s a subtle hint of wine with a semi-spicy aftertaste and a wonderful buttery smoothness you just can’t get enough of. Though an absolute hit with true coffee experts, Hawaii Kona Coffee is also smooth and enjoyable enough for anyone to get a real kick out of.
For those on the lookout for something that packs a somewhat heavier punch, Sulawesi Toraja Coffee never disappoints. A revered coffee with many dimensions to its profile, it comes from the southeastern highlands of Sulawesi and is very much uncompromising in terms of flavour. Ripe fruit notes blend with the deepest, darkest chocolate and comparatively low acidity. It has an earthy, rich flavour with a consistently sweet undertone and plenty of spiciness on the aftertaste. It bears a lot of similarities to some of the best Sumatran coffees on the market, though with a character all of its own.
Exclusive to a tiny Caribbean region and produced in the smallest batches annually, Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee has a huge and dedicated global following. The unique growing conditions perched at least 3,000 feet above sea level in volcanic soil result in a coffee unlike anything you’ve tasted.
Likewise, the quality control process is also unique – every single bean is hand-picked and hand-verified for total quality. Given the fact that 80% of the annual crop immediately makes its way to Japan, it’s hardly surprising the remaining 20% is a product of such huge demand worldwide.
For more info, you could check our exclusive post on the Blue Mountain coffee beans
Rare, exclusive and unashamedly expensive, Geisha is commonly associated with Panama, though actually owes its origins to the Southwestern town of Geisha, Ethiopia. The coffee, just like the trees themselves, is distinct and unmistakable – an incredible range of complex flavors including berry, citrus, mango, papaya, peach, pineapple, guava and jasmine. A true coffee for connoisseurs on the lookout for something complex and rewarding, not to mention reserved for the privileged few only!
Quite a bouquet for some palates. They are also recognized by the distinctive bergamot oil and orange peel taste, often described as Earl Grey tea! Others at Perfect Daily Grind have experienced strange notes of marshmallows and vanilla!
If you wish to learn more about this exclusive coffee, you can read one of our previous article entirely dedicated to the fascinating history of Geisha coffee beans.
Certainly the most famous entry to the list, Mocha Java Coffee brings together two simply outstanding coffees to create something that’s out of this world. The blend of Mocha Java includes Arabian (Yemen) Mocha coffee and Indonesian Java Arabica coffee produces a unique coffee with the perfect balance of wild intensity and characteristic smoothness. A coffee that absolutely anyone can enjoy, while Mocha Java Coffee is certainly well-known and revered, few realise that it was actually created entirely by accident. Far from a work of careful engineering and blending, it was simply a case of the two types of beans being mixed up by accident in the hull of a ship during transportation.
Last up, Ethiopian Harrar Coffee definitely deserves a place on the list for its wonderfully exotic characteristics. This extraordinary coffee is grown exclusively at elevations between 4,500 and 6,300 feet above sea level in the south of Ethiopia, which in combination with dry processing results in a seriously powerful cup with heavy notes of red wine. Floral, fruity and with a perfectly punchy acidity, Ethiopian Harrar Coffee is nothing if not an intense experience. Sometimes a little too intense for those not used to hard-hitting coffees, some examples of Ethiopian Harrar leave behind a long-lasting chocolate aftertaste, while others veer more towards spicy cinnamon and cardamom.
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