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The 10 Best Coffees in the World

A huge amount of coffee is drunk every day, all over the world. There are so many types of coffee. Some people are simply happy to drink cheap instant coffee, but there are plenty more people who see themselves as coffee connoisseurs, seeking out the very best coffee no matter what the cost, or how far they have to travel to find it. While for most of us, buying a good coffee simply means buying the best our local store has to offer, there are some truly special coffees that are thought to be the best in the world. They’re certainly not cheap, but the taste, for anyone who loves coffee, is out of this world. Once you’ve tasted one of these truly special coffees, it can be very hard to go back to standard ordinary coffee that we all tend to drink on a regular basis. Unless you are particularly rich, it may be best to try to accept that these coffees are for special occasions and try not to feel disappointed when your ordinary morning coffee suddenly doesn’t seem as tasty as it used to before you’d tried some of the best coffee in the world! Ever wondered what is the best coffee? Here are the top ten best coffees in the entire world…

1 Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee This most popular coffee is named after the area where the beans are grown, in the Blue mountains of Jamaica. The beans are grown at an altitude of 5000 feet in an area that gets a lot of rainfall. That of course means that the plants are well watered. This is a milder coffee that is packed full of flavour. It doesn’t have that bitterness that is often associated with coffee. It also has a high caffeine content, so if you want a buzz, this is one to opt for, but it wouldn’t be wise to drink it before you go to bed, you may well find that you just can’t get any sleep at all! It’s a coffee that is particularly popular in Japan. There is only a limited amount of this highly sought after coffee produced each year, and a large amount of this goes to the Japanese market. If you get a taste for it, it’s probably fair to warn you that this is also one of the most expensive coffees in the world!
2 Black Ivory Coffee A clue to how this coffee is made is in the name. Do you remember the craze for coffee made from beans that had passed through the digestive system of the civet cat? Well this is similar, but it is made from Arabica beans that have been eaten by elephants! It is the stomach acid of the elephants that breaks down the proteins in the beans and gives the coffee a particularly appealing flavour. It’s made in Thailand by the Black Ivory Coffee company and due to the complicated production process, and the limited availability, it’s also incredibly expensive. If the fact that your coffee has passed through an elephant doesn’t put you off, then this is an amazing drink that’s well worth a try. However, due to the rarity of this coffee, it can be pretty hard to get hold of. It certainly isn’t a drink you’ll be having every day with your breakfast.
3 Hacienda La Esmeralda Coffee This coffee has a beautiful name, and a taste to match. This is an award winning coffee and has attained first prize in many coffee competitions around the globe. It’s a highly sought after coffee that people will travel a long way to try. It’s grown at 1850 meters above sea level, under guava trees on Mount Baru in Panama. This coffee is also famous for the record breaking prices it has sold for at auction. You certainly need deep pockets if you’re going to drink Hacienda La Esmeralda! Why is it so delicious and craved for by coffee connoisseurs around the world? Well it has a particularly special flavour that no other coffee gives you. It’s rather fruity. We usually associate fruit with teas, rather than coffee, but when you savour a cup of Hacienda La Esmeralda you’ll notice notes of stone fruit and jasmine as well as bergamot, which you’ll be familiar with if you drink Earl Grey tea.
4 Finca El Injerto Coffee In fourth place on our list is Fina El Injerto coffee. These beans are very rare and so the coffee is hard to come by, and also very expensive. The beans are particularly rich and they’re very small, so you need a lot of these beans to make just a small amount of Fina El Injerto coffee. The beans go through a special process which involves washing them in a single channel, and breaking them twice. It is believed that this time consuming process improves the quality of the beans even further. As well as being one of the world’s best coffee producers, The Finca El Injerto coffee estate in Guatemala is also the first ever Guatemalan coffee estate to be certified as carbon neutral. Often, with high end products, the green credentials can be rather lacking, but you don’t have to feel guilty when you enjoy a cup of Finca El Injerto coffee.
5 Saint Helena Coffee This coffee is named after St. Helena island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa where it is grown. Because it is grown in such a remote location, on an island without an airport, the transport costs for this coffee alone are very high, but it’s well worth it to savour this beautiful drink full of caramel and citrus flavours. This coffee has been grown for a long time. Napoleon Bonaparte was known to be very keen on this particular type of coffee, so that’s certainly some recommendation! He is known to have said of St Helena during his exile there… “The only good thing about St. Helena is the coffee”. Which is rather unfair on the beautiful island of St. Helena, but it certainly speaks volumes for the quality of this coffee. The beans are a single type of Arabica – Green Tipped Bourbon Arabica. It was thought these beans were lost to time and neglect, but luckily they were rediscovered and nurtured to produce these stunning beans again. We’re very lucky to be able to taste these beans. They were very nearly gone forever.
6 Kopi Luwak Coffee No list of the best coffee in the world would be complete with mentioning Kopi Luwak coffee which gained in popularity a few years ago and was much talked about, due to the rather unusual way in which it is created. This is the famous civet cat coffee. The civets eat the coffee cherries which ferment in their digestive system. The beans then go through the system of the creatures are deposited in their faeces. They are then collected (perhaps not the best job in the world!), processed and made into the especially delicious coffee that is Kopi Luwak. The secret of the flavour is the digestive enzymes secreted by the civet while the bean is in their system. It may sound pretty disgusting. Do you really want to drink coffee that has passed through the digestive system of an animal? But it’s certainly worth a try, you just need to put out of your mind where it has been while you’re drinking it!
7 Hawaiian Kona Coffee Another of the most popular coffee types is Hawaiian Kona coffee. This divine coffee is made from a particularly rare variety of bean. It has a mellow and smooth taste without too much bitterness. It’s pretty expensive, but you may also spot it in the stores at a more reasonable price. Check carefully. This type of coffee is often actually a blend, consisting of just a small amount of Kona coffee, the rest being made up of cheaper coffee to keep the price down. If you want to enjoy the real Hawaiian Kona experience, look for coffee marked with “100% Kona Coffee” on the label. If it says “Kona Blend” then it is not pure Kona coffee. Only by choosing 100% Kona coffee will you have the full unique flavour of Kona. It is the environment that makes this coffee so special. The Kona belt of Hawaii is perfect for growing coffee, with rich soil and plenty of rain and sunshine.
8 Los Planes Coffee Grown in El Salvador on a family run farm that has been with the family for generations, this coffee has won several awards and is something pretty special. It is processed on the farm and goes through several ‘gourmet’ processes including fermentation, washing in a natural spring, milling and sun drying. It is a traditional, natural processing method that seems to bring amazing results when it comes to the flavour of the beans. When you taste Los Planes coffee, the complex flavour is the first thing you notice. You’ll notice dark fruit flavours such as raisin and plum. Next comes the creamy mouthfeel, it’s a luxurious coffee that really feels special as you drink it. A truly tasty coffee with a lively acidity. This coffee is pretty rare. The farm where it is grown is small, and only a small portion of the farm is given over to the growing of coffee, so there is very little of the end product to go around, especially when it’s so popular and sought after! If you can manage to get hold of some Los Planes Coffee, you’re in for a real treat.
9 Fazenda Santa Ines Coffee If you like your coffee more on the sweet side rather than bitter, then you’ll love Fazenda Santa Ines Coffee as it is both sweet and fruity. It’s been grown for over a hundred years, at the foot of the Mantiquera mountains in Brazil. The fruity flavour comes about due to the coffee cherry being allowed to fully dry within its skin, so the fruit flavour seeps into the bean itself, within the cherry. The farm where this coffee is grown, was taken over by the Sertao Group back in 1979. They improved the facilities and they are also very committed to conserving the environment. The property includes native forest, springs and creeks, all of which they preserve and maintain. The coffee cherries are hand picked, due to the location, there is no other choice. They are collected on a cloth to ensure that no quality is lost due to contact with any contaminants. Any touch from the skin could potentially alter the taste of the final product and with this supreme coffee bean, they certainly don’t take any chances.
10 Yauco Selecto AA Coffee Yauco Selecto AA Coffee beans are grown in the Yauco area of Puerto Rico. It’s a mild coffee but it’s still full of flavour and is very popular. It has been made in the same traditional manner for over 100 years. The beans are roasted fresh every day over a fire for the perfect taste. It’s a sweet tasting coffee. You’ll notice a distinct taste of butter and when you put your nose to the cup and inhale the beautiful aroma, you’ll pick up a real smell of chocolate. Totally delicious. It is also high in caffeine and gives you a real boost, it’s the perfect mid afternoon wake up call. It has a creamy texture to it and so feels rather comforting to drink. Only a small amount of this coffee is made each year, so it’s very highly sought after. If you manage to find some available, snap it up as it won’t be around for long. It’s the perfect coffee for a special occasion, to savour after a meal and to really appreciate.


More about coffee…

Coffee is a drink that we tend to take for-granted. Many of us drink several cups of coffee every single day, but coffee is a pretty amazing drink if you take the time to look into it’s origins and history.

The history of coffee

Coffee has grown wild for at least as long as people have lived on this earth. The earliest traces of coffee have been tracked down in Ethiopia, having been discovered during archaeological investigations. But how was coffee discovered and by whom? Legend has it, that it was discovered by a goatherd, and when you hear the story, it does sound pretty plausible. The story goes, that a goatherd, named Kaldi, from Caffa in Ethiopia, couldn’t get his goats to settle at night. He observed them eating the red cherries of a tree and so he tried eating them himself. He also found he couldn’t settle down to sleep and made a link between the cherries and the restlessness of himself and the herd. He later threw the cherries into a fire, and a beautiful scent was given forth. This led on to the idea of crushing the cherries and combining them with hot water to make a drink.

The coffee plant

Coffee plants can grow very tall, up to 10 metres high. that’s why they’re often referred to as coffee trees. When grown commercially, they tend to be kept pruned to a lower height to make them easy to harvest. They’re a member of the Rubiaceae and are related to gardenias. Most of us don’t see coffee plants, but they are actually quite pretty and have white flowers with a lovely scent, similar to jasmine with a hint of orange. The fruit of the plant, which contains the beans looks rather like a cherry and is a deep red or yellow colour. You’ll often hear this called a coffee cherry, and it is the similarity to cherries that gives it that name. Nearly all coffee cherries contain two beans, however, there is sometimes just one single bean contained within the cherry, but this is rarer.

The coffee growing regions

Coffee needs quite specific conditions to grow well. It needs to grow in an area that gets lots of rainfall, but it must also not be allowed to be in a frost as this will kill the coffee plants. It’s well suited to high altitudes and so is often grown in mountainous regions. The main areas where coffee is grown are South America, Central America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. In more detail, the biggest producers of coffee around the world are Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam and India, however, there are 60 countries in the world that produce coffee.

Harvesting the coffee

After flowering, the berries will be ready to harvest around nine months later. The berries don’t ripen all at once, so the same tree will be revisited for harvesting several times over the season. Some coffee is harvested with machinery, but it is much more typical to find it being harvested by hand. This is mainly due to the location of the coffee plantations. Many of the best types of coffee bean are grown at high altitude where the balance of sun, rain and fertile soil is perfect for coffee growth. However, these areas tend to be hard to access and so are impossible to take large machinery to. Hand picking is the easiest option, and often the only option in mountainous areas. Additionally, because the berries don’t ripen all at the same time, you can’t simply remove all the berries at once. It generally takes a human eye to know which berries are ripe for picking and which need to be left on the tree a little longer.

How to make the best coffee

Once you have your top quality beans, the next thing you need to know is how to make the best coffee. If you’ve spent a lot of money on some of the best coffee beans in the world, you’ll want to do them justice and prepare them perfectly to get the most out of your luxurious coffee experience. Firstly, drink it soon. Don’t put your beans at the back of the cupboard waiting for a special occasion. They will only deteriorate. Weigh out 25 grams of beans and grind them. If you’re boiling water in a pan, then the optimum temperature for coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re using a kettle, that’s fine, but just remember that boiling water will be a little too hot, so allow it to cool for around thirty seconds before pouring.

The best way to gauge the perfect coffee proportions is to use a scale. Sit a cup on the scale with a pouring filter cone on top. Put your filter in and first rinse it through with hot water, then discard this water. Set the scale to zero and put the coffee grounds in the filter. Slowly add water, moving the spout of water around the top of the coffee until around 50 grams have been added. Let the grounds settle, then add the rest of the water making the total water content around 350 grams. Of course you may need to alter this slightly to take into account the size of your cup or mug.

Now sit back and relax. Set aside all distractions, turn off the TV and put your mobile phone on silent. This is your special time so savour the moment. Smell the aroma, feel the texture and taste that rich, sumptuous flavour that you can only get from coffee. Think of the beautiful mountains where the beans were grown and be transported to another place, just for a few moments. That is what the ultimate coffee break is all about!