I (Russell) detest burnt and bitter industrial coffee. But I’m in love with smooth coffee. If you’re looking for the smoothest coffee beans in the world, then you’re going love this story.
The Short Answer
The smoothest coffee beans in the world come from the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica. Now that statement is not coming from some high priced Wall Street marking bull trying to sell you their shit. My name is Russell Volz and I own Lake City Coffee. I buy only one bean; sell only three roasts, and focus on personally connecting with customers that are fanatical about smooth home brewed whole bean coffee.
I can categorically and assuredly say that, this year 2020, the Don Roberto; lot number P5357 beans from the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica are the smoothest coffee beans that you’re likely to find anywhere. These beans produce a cup of coffee that’s creamy and sweet, with notes of milk chocolate and a wonderfully smooth slight citrus aftertaste.
So, how did I end up picking these beans? That’s were a little history lesson will help. Trust me, this is a fun story.
The Boston Coffee Party
Ahh…, you’re not familiar with The Boston Coffee Party are you? Back in the day, they called it the Boston Tea Party. On that momentous night, not one, but two revolutions were started. The first of course you know about; the birth of our freedom loving republic.
The second revolution, of which I speak, is less known. Prior to the American Revolution, American’s, like all good Englishmen, drank tea. What the Boston Tea Party did was to start Americans down the road of drinking coffee instead of tea, which to this day is the number one, consumed drink in this country.
Colonial Coffee Roasting
For hundreds of years, coffee drinkers roasted their own coffee every few weeks. Why every few weeks? They roasted that often because all coffee starts going stale and thus bitter at about 30 days after roasting. Unfortunately, no amount of space-age packaging can change that fact.
Additionally, for hundreds of years, nearly everyone roasted the beans to a medium brown and never every black. Because they knew that the darker the roast, the coffee contained less caffeine and less taste.
Old Fashion Smooth Coffee
Your Great-Great-Grandma made one mean cup of coffee because it was lightly home roasted every few weeks. Great-Great-Grandma’s coffee was super smooth and naturally sweet. With coffee this smooth, she didn’t need to add cream and sugar.
Here’s another very important difference between your Great-Great-Grandma’s coffee and today’s store bought coffee beans. To your Great-Great-Grandma’s generation, coffee was a delicacy. Having a cup of coffee was a time to relax and enjoy God’s good green earth and reflect on his blessings. It wasn’t a grab-n-go shot of caffeine.
First Coffee Revolution
Prior to WWI, (For you Millennials, that’s “World War One” circa, 1914-1919) almost everyone purchased raw green coffee beans and then roasted those beans at home, in an oven or in a skillet. Now here’s a very important and unknown fact.
At the beginning of WWI, the U.S. military wanted to send the Doughboys to Europe with roasted coffee that would last for months if not years. The problem was that all coffee starts going stale in a few short weeks. The army’s solution was to burn the snot out of the beans and then put them in a vacuum-sealed tin can.
And voila! It worked. Unfortunately, the coffee tasted like bitter shoe polish, but the soldiers drank it by the ton. The real tragedy was that the soldiers came home wanting more of this disgusting burnt and bitter industrial coffee; hence the popularity of Folgers, Hills Brothers, Yuban, etc.
Second Coffee Revolution
Circa 1970’s; Pete’s and Starbucks wanted to standout as premier coffee companies. So, they purchased better quality beans. Their big mistake was that they were sticking with the Doughboy taste profile of burnt-n-bitter. So in essence, their customers got a better bean that was burnt to the point of charcoal.
To compound this mistake, even your local small specialty coffee roasters make the same mistake of going for that burnt-n-bitter taste profile. In essence, these specialty coffee roasters are in large part trying to be the next Charbucks.
Third Coffee Revolution
Today, there’s a minor revolution that is taking place in the coffee industry. That would be companies like mine, who gently roast, one-at-a-time, micro-batches of high quality beans, “Low-n-Slow” over an open fire. By gently roasting the best beans to a medium brown or to a dark brown color, you end up with a very smooth coffee bean.
With industrial burnt-n-bitter coffee, you’re tasting the roaster. With “Low-n-Slow”, micro-batch, gently roasted coffee beans, you’re tasting the wonderful oils that God put into those beans. That means that you’re getting more bioflavonoids, more antioxidants, more caffeine, and a lot more taste.
2020 Blind Taste Testing
After years of tasting hundreds of coffees from all over the world, I’m completely convinced, if you’re looking for smooth coffee, then nothing beats coffee from Central America and the best coffee in Central America is from the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica.
This year, like every year, Alisha (my wife and business partner) and I conducted an extensive blind taste testing of a dozen of the Tarrazú regions best coffee beans. This year’s winner was Don Roberto; lot number P5357. As I said above, these beans are creamy and sweet, with notes of milk chocolate and slight citrus. So, we purchased 1,520 pounds with more on reserve for later this year.
As I said earlier, ALL coffee begins to go stale and thus bitter within a matter of 30 days. And all the space-age packaging in the world can’t keep roasted coffee beans fresh for longer than 30 days. It doesn’t matter how they’re packaged or stored, you can really taste the difference between beans roasted within the last few weeks verses beans roasted a few months ago.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of coffee roasted in America has been sitting in warehouses or store shelves for months if not years. No wonder American roasted coffee is well known around the world as the worst coffee.
Brewing The Smoothest Coffee Beans In The World
Believe it or not, having the right beans, roasted just right, and being fresh is only half of the equation for making great coffee. How your coffee is brewed is very important. Any drip coffee, either by machine, or slow drip by hand, at best makes a mediocre cup of coffee. IMHO, espresso machines aren’t much better. Keep in mind that this just my opinion. If you love your espresso machine or Mr. Coffee drip machine, then go for it. Drink what you like.
The brewing methods that make the smoothest coffee are those that steep the grounds directly in the water, much like the process of steeping tea. Here are my top three choices:
- Cold Brew (steep over night) To watch my video Click Here
- AeroPress (steep for 2 minutes) To watch my video Click Here
- French Press (steep for 2 minutes)
Lake City Coffee sells the smoothest coffee beans in the world and those beans all come from the same fields, for 2020, that would be the Don Roberto; lot number P5357 from the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica. I only offer three roasts of whole bean coffee:
- White Lightning
- Majestic Medium
- Delicious Dark
As a side note; in 2019 we only sold Amapola coffee, also from the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica. Our 2020 Don Roberto beans taste almost identical to our old Amapola beans. If you’re a real coffee connoisseur, you might notice and agree with me, that the Don Roberto is just a tad bit better than the Amapola.
For Decaf Lovers
OK, for you decaf lovers (may God save your eternal souls); I do have the best Swiss Water Processed decaf coffee on the planet. No brag, just fact.
Over half of our reviews come from our decaf loving drinkers, who like you are looking for the smoothest coffee.
Because of the natural Swiss Water Processing and that I roast our Delicious Decaf to a medium brown, you’ll be quite surprised at how this decaf almost rivals our Majestic Medium regular coffee.
Lake City Coffee
Alisha and I started Lake City Coffee because we couldn’t find super smooth and flavorful coffee. We searched everywhere; in our home town, while vacationing, and even online. Everything we could find tasted bitter and burnt. So, I started roasting for myself. Wow! What a difference! There was just nothing like fresh, non-burnt, coffee. I was hooked.
Today, we ship our coffee every week from one end of this country to the other. The best way for you to figure out how good our coffee is, would be to check out what our customers have to say. Just go to the top of any page on our website and select “Reviews”.
If you have any questions, please see my “Contact Us” page. I’ll get back to you tout suite (ASAP).