CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA
Mexico: Coatepec, Oaxaca, Chiapas
These coffees come from the mountainous regions of Mexico rather than the lower parts of southern Mexico. If you drink your coffee black and like a light acidy cup, you will love the best of Mexican coffees.
Guatemala: Antigua, Coban, Huehuetenango
The central highlands of Guatemala produce some of the world’s finest coffees. The best coffees are distinguished by grade. The finest being the highest grown at 4,500 ft. or higher and graded as SHB (strictly hard bean). The next is grown between 4,000 and 4,500 ft. and is graded as HB (hard bean).
The best Guatemalan coffees have a very distinct, spicy, or better yet, smoky flavour that sets them apart from other coffees. They are of medium to full body and rich in flavour, with a good acidity and spiciness.
Nicaragua: Grower Direct
For many years because of political differences between the United States and Nicaragua, Nicaraguan coffee was not imported. It is now widely available again.
We have found a small beneficio (processing facility) and finca (farm) where the high grown coffees are carefully shade grown and then hand processed. We feel this Nicaragua coffee is one of the finest we’ve been able to offer.
Costa Rica: Tarrazu
Costa Rica coffee is classically a “complete” coffee. It is said it has everything and lacks nothing. The best displays an excellent body and robust richness. It is rich and hearty, analogous to a rich burgundy.
Colombia is the giant of fine, mild coffee producing countries — about 12% of the world’s coffee. The best Colombia coffees are produced in the central and eastern mountain regions., mainly the regions of Medellin, Armenia and Manizales.
The highest grade of Colombia is Supremo and the next is Excelso. This coffee is full bodied and richly flavored.
Brazil: Grower Direct
Brazil produces 30–40% of the world’s coffee. Despite all the coffee produced in Brazil, none of it ranks among the world’s best. The Brazilian coffee industry has concentrated from the beginning on producing inexpensive yet adequately palatable coffee.
The original Arabica tree originated in the mountain plateaus in Ethiopia where the tribespeople still harvest the wild berries. Ethiopian coffees are now among the world’s most varied and distinctive. These coffees have a wine-like or fruity acidity characteristic of African coffees and exhibit a range of variations.
The main growing area stretches from the slopes of Mt. Kenya almost to the capital Nairobi. Most Kenyan coffees sold in specialty markets come from the central region around Mt. Kenya. Grades are designated by the size of the bean, with AA being the largest.
Kenyan coffee, like the Ethiopian to the north, has a distinctive, dry, wine-like aftertaste. It has a full-bodied richness that Ethiopian lacks.
Most Tanzanian Arabicas are grown on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. Most Tanzanian coffees are similar to African and Arabian coffees, sharp with a wine-like acidity.
Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) has been exporting excellent coffees in recent years. It is a washed coffee and a variant on the acidy, wine-like coffees of east Africa.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
These coffees are noted for their richness, full body and long finish. Many consider Sumatran Mandhelling as one of the world’s finest. Mandhelling is probably the most full bodied coffee in the world; you can feel the richness settling in the corners behind the tongue. It has a relatively low acidity, but still enough to give a vibrant cup. The flavor is rich, smooth and full.
Sulawesi or Celebes
The island of Sulawesi (formerly Celebes) in the middle of the Malay archipelago produces coffee very similar to the best of Sumatran coffees. It is perhaps a little less rich and full bodied, but is a bit more acidy and vibrant. Like Sumatran, it is arguably one of the world’s finest coffees.