What is the World’s Best Coffee?
As a coffee expert, I am always asked about the world’s best coffees. We are all looking for the best coffee experience and to tell you the truth, the list is endless!
Obviously, you will easily find lists decribing in details why these coffees are the best in the world.
The truth is, it’s quite complicated and almost impossible to answer you with a specific name or brand. Why? Because the best coffee in the world is the one that suits you best!
My experience tasting the best coffee in the world
There’s not one but many best coffees! We don’t have the same sensibilities to the same aromas, tastes and intensities with coffees.
I’ve been in the coffee world for the past 9 years and I have tried all types: coffee pods, coffee beans, instant coffee… for better or for worse!
Additionally, I’ve had the chance to work hand in hand with other coffee experts and baristas and I was able to learn more about bean to cup espresso machines, manual espresso machines, and filter coffee machines. Thanks to these passionate coffee experts, I’ve tried a lot of different coffees and learnt many new ways of coffee brewing.
One thing in particular: the best coffees are not necessarily the most expensive ones.
However, they all have one thing in common. They are all coffees that are respectful of the environment and the producer. This is because at Maxicoffee we believe coffees that are cultivated with the greatest ethical and environmental care will always taste the best.
So today let’s talk about the best rated coffees out there: the most renowned and valued coffees by my peers. Additionally, we’ll also look at the different appellations for coffees.
So, here’s a few keys to enter safely the world of the best coffees:
Specialty Coffees: High Scored Coffees
There is an easy way to spot the world’s best coffees thanks to the Speciality Coffee Association of America’s 100 points grading scale. Indeed, with this notation method, plantations are rated according to a variety of criterias:
- Traceability: the varieties cultivated and the plantations are correctly identified.
- Selective Harvest: the cherries are harvested riped and carefully hand selected.
- A Quality Aromatic Profil: from growing to brewing.
Unfortunately, these precious pieces of information are often left unknown.
Most of our coffees are graded by our experts. Of course, the higher the grade the better! Coffees that have scored over 80 points on a 100 point scale by the SCAA are known as Specialty Coffees. It is the appellation for the world’s best coffees. Specialty coffees represents 1% of the world’s coffee production.
Coffees receiving over 88 points are the finest, the top of the range. They do not present any visual, olfactory and gustatory defects and offer a unique tasting experience. Theses coffees represent 3% of the previous 1%. For example, the Panama Geisha is one of the 88+.
At MaxiCoffee, we made the choice to offer you some of these specialty coffees. We also specify their exact score too.
A Gourmet Coffee
A Specialty coffee is a Gourmet Coffee without imperfections (also know as rare coffee). Thus, these coffees are grown by producers which use treatment and exploitation methods that are particularly respectful of the plant in order to obtain the best coffee beans possible.
So what constitutes a flaw with coffee? Flaws are elements that will alter the result in the cup and bring uneven aromas (too acidic or to bitter, etc).
Specialty coffees come from a traceable terroir, or a distinct soil with a distinct identity. That’s why, we can say that each coffee has its own “story to tell” depending on its origin. Its story can be found in cup, with its acidity, its bitterness or its sweetness or with a variety of fruity, spicy or rich aromas.
The World’s Best Coffees
The limited aspect of some of these rare specialty coffees make them even more looked after. Indeed, rare and exquisite coffees such as the Panama Geisha for example, is bought before its harvest and sometimes years in advance. In 2018, Panama Geisha was the world’s most expensive coffee: up to 100$ the cup for some lots due to its use in the World Barista Championship with the outstanding grade of 92.5/100.
Kopi Luwak : a Controversial Coffee
Usually, the process methods consist of depulping the coffee cherries, of gathering the green beans and drying them. Therefore, the coffee process is either industrial or handmade in processing stations. However, for some coffees, (fortunately they represent a small percentage), animal process is being used.
It is the case of the Kopi Luwak who is known for its atypical fermation process: through the digestive system of the Asian palm civet. Indeed, the coffee cherries are eaten and partly digested by the animal, releasing the coffee beans also as they are…yet altered in a very unique process.
Unfortunately, this unique way of processing coffee beans also brings up the bleak reality of the Kopi Luwak coffee production.
Kopi Luwak Coffee and Animal Abuse
Indeed, in order to obtain this coffee, the civets are often kept in battery cages (which is the case of 80% of the production) and kept in isolation with poor diet and living conditions.
These animals are exclusively fed with coffee cherries so that farmers only have to pick up their feces only made from coffee beans.
At MaxiCoffee, our experts tried it and we decided to not sale this coffee, primarily because it is simply a substandard product that does not share our ecofriendly vision of ethical coffee production. In our opinion, no coffee is worth the lifelong pain and trauma inflicted on these animals, especially Kopi Luwak.
Finally, this type of process can also be recreated with other animals such as elephants in Thailand with the Black Ivory Coffee, also deemed one of the rarest and most expensive coffees.
MaxiCoffee believes that this product’s poor quality reflects its cruel and questionable production practices, which we do not support. That’s why we refuse any coffee resulting of this type of process.
There are two main methods for processing coffee post-harvest: natural and washed.
The process can be divided into two parts: the de-pulping of the coffee beans and the drying methods used for the green coffee beans.
However, these methods have been modernised and have diversified in the last few years. Each method brings out its unique aromatic notes. For a same batch of coffee beans, the aromatic profil will be different depending on the drying method used: whether it is with the natural method where the coffee beans are dried in the full cherry prior to the de-pulping, with the wet method also known as washed, or other drying methods such as honey and anaerobic.
This is the case for the following two Microlot coffees. They come from the same region, Oromia, in the Guji forest, (one batch is organic though!) but they went through a different drying process.
Some methods borrow the same treatment as viticulture: the winemaking process. It is the case for the Aerobic process and the Anaerobic process which use (a few hours of) fermentation to bring some sweetness to the coffee.
Thanks to our friends at Cafés Lugat, we were able to discover these processes on two different Microlot coffees.
The World’s Best Coffee with the Right Roast
Specialty coffee is about preserving a know-how and a high quality from the cherry plantations and to the roasting process. You can have the world’s best green coffee but without the right roast, you won’t end up with the world’s best coffee!
The magic of the roasting process
Always opt for a fresh roasted coffee! Serious roasteries will let you know when exactly their coffee was roasted on the bag. A few weeks after being roasted, coffee beans, even properly store and sealed off, lose their flavour.
At MaxiCoffee, we want to guarantee you a fresh coffee! We’ll send you your coffee within 10 days following the roasting process. You will find our whole range of Cafés Lugat‘s coffee right here.
Finally, if you want to discover more specialty coffee, check out our range of coffees from artisanal roasteries, right here!
Don’t forget, the best coffee is the one that suits you best! Expand your horizon and check out our endless range of coffee beans.
See you soon on MaxiCoffee.com :)