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Coffee bean origins
Main Coffee Page | Beans | Drinks | Roasts | Nutrition Comparison
ORIGIN
OVERALL QUALITY
CHARACTERISTICS
LOOK FOR
BRAZIL
Average
Sweet (some describe it as "fruity"), neutral
Bourbon Santos
COLOMBIA
Good to excellent
Sweet, good flavor, full body, slight acidity.
Medellin, Armenia, Manizales. Regardless of origin, Supremo is highest grade.
COSTA RICA
Excellent
Hearty, rich
Tarrazu, Tres Rios, Heredia, Alajuela. "Strictly hard bean" is best grade.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Above average to excellent
Varies. Bani is more mellow, while Barahona is heavier and more acidic.
Bani, Ocoa, Barahona
ECUADOR
Average to above average
Sharp acidity. May be hard to find in stores.
N/A
ORIGIN
OVERALL QUALITY
CHARACTERISTICS
LOOK FOR
EL SALVADOR
Average
Medium acidity, neutral to mild flavor
High grown
ETHIOPIA
Inconsistent, in part because of internal political problems
Sweet flavor with floral aroma. Much of the coffee is harvested from wild trees.
Yergacheffe, Harrar, Djimma
GUATEMALA
Excellent
Rich, spicy or smoky flavor (growers burn pitch near the plantations in severe weather to protect their crops; this smoke lends the beans their beans distinctive flavor).
Antigua, Coban, Huehuetenango. "Strictly hard bean" best available grade.
HAITI
Above average
Sweet, mellow, fair-bodied with a soft, rich flavor. Continuing political problems in Haiti may make its coffees difficult to find.
Best grade is "strictly high-grown washed."
JAMAICAN HIGH MOUNTAIN
Excellent
Rich, full-bodied, and well balanced
Wallensford Blue Mountain, Silver Hill Estate Mountain. Watch out for "Blue Mountain style," a blend of beans intended to have the same flavor characteristics as Blue Mountain, but which may contain no beans from that plantation.
ORIGIN
OVERALL QUALITY
CHARACTERISTICS
LOOK FOR
JAMAICAN LOW MOUNTAIN
Average to below average, far inferior to Jamaican high mountain
Often used as filler in cheaper coffee blends
N/A
JAVA (Indonesia)
Good
Spicy or slightly smoky, full-bodied, with a strong flavor and little acidity
Rare Old Java
KENYA
Excellent
Full-bodied, rich, a bit winy, with a hint of black currant
AA is best grade
KONA (Hawaii)
Above average to excellent
Smooth and mild, rich flavor, medium acid
N/A. Watch out for "Kona style," which may have similar flavor but is not required to contain any Kona beans.
MEXICO
Above average
Fine acidity, light, delicate body, and pleasantly mellow flavor.
Chiapas (Tapachula), Coatepec, Oaxaca
ORIGIN
OVERALL QUALITY
CHARACTERISTICS
LOOK FOR
MOCHA JAVA
Usually above average
Mocha Java is actually a mixture of one part Yemen Mocha beans to two parts Java Arabica beans. The combination makes a more complete coffee than either alone.
N/A
NEW GUINEA
Above average
Similar to Java, but more understated
Arona
NEW ORLEANS COFFEE
Usually above average
Coffee isn't grown in New Orleans, but the area has become known for this blend, a dark-roasted coffee blended with the root chicory.
Cafe Du Monde is most well-known brand name
NICARAGUA
Inconsistent, can be above average
Fair acidity, mild flavor, medium to light body
Jinotega, Matagalpa
PERU
Inconsistent, can be above average
Good flavor, with medium body, mild acidity, aromatic
Chanchamayo
SUMATRA
Above average
Very rich, full-bodied, fairly acidic
Ankola, Mandheling
ORIGIN
OVERALL QUALITY
CHARACTERISTICS
LOOK FOR
TANZANIA
Average
Sharp, winy, acidic, rich, medium to full body
Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Arusha; high-grade AA
UGANDA
Above average
Similar to Kenya, but with lighter body
Arabica beans rather than robusto; best region is Bugishu
VENEZUELA
Average to above average
Low acidity, may be sweet, delicate.
Maracaibos: Merida, Trujillo, Tachira. Best grade is Lavado Fino.
YEMEN (Mocha)
Excellent
Small beans, with winy, smooth flavor, spicy aftertaste
N/A
ZIMBABWE
Above average to excellent
Winy, lighter-bodied with spicy aftertaste.
Washed coffee


Main Coffee Page Roasts Drinks Nutrition Comparison

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