As a Master Spokane Coffee Roaster, I’m often asked, “What country is the best coffee grower in the world”? To answer that question, I’m reminded of the old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder”. It’s really a matter of personal preference. Some people like Ethiopian, others like Kona, others like Columbian, and the list goes on and on.
To Each His Own
I have my preferences as to what I think is the best. But I tell people to drink whatever they like. If you like burnt industrial coffee, then drink it.Keep in mind that I didn’t get into the coffee roasting business to please anyone but myself. So, I roast what I like. So what country do I think has the best coffee beans? Well, like everything else with me, that leads to a story.
Like you, I was wondering what country had the best specialty gourmet coffee. So, I ordered 1 pound of whole bean organic coffee from each of 7 different countries. I then roasted each of the 7 samples exactly the same. Additionally, I brewed each sample exactly the same. And I poured each sample into an identical cup. With pen in hand, I began testing.
So, what was the result? Keep in mind that I’m a coffee professional. I’ve been trained and educated in coffee. And not surprisingly, I’ve taste-tested coffee from hundreds of coffee shops all over the Spokane Coffee and Coeur d’Alene coffee markets.
- The initial pass through each of the seven different coffee beans and I couldn’t tell the difference.
- The second pass; and again, I couldn’t tell the difference.
- On the third pass, I found two of the seven, that tasted a little smoother.
- The fourth pass resulted in one with a very subtle nutty flavor.
- Finally, by the fifth pass, I could barely discern minor differences between each of the seven.
Best Coffee Grower
After more and more research, here’s what I found. The taste of your coffee has far more to do with how it was roasted and brewed, than where it was grown. I like super smooth coffee. So, that’s what I roast.
I found that Central American coffee beans are some of the smoothest coffee beans on the planet. And of the Central American coffee beans, I think Costa Rican coffee is the best. Not only is Costa Rican Coffee smooth, but it also has subtle flavors of chocolate and spice.
Those of you that know me, I’m not a tree huger, but I have to admit that the whole country of Costa Rica is treated like a nature preserve. They’ve turned environmentalism into a business. Good for them! And their best export is super smooth coffee.