Where to Find the Best Coffee Beans and How You Can Tell…
So, you are on the look out for a great cup of coffee. Good for you. What is the first ingredient to a great cup of coffee? Coffee beans. We’re here to let you know where the best coffee beans come from and how you can tell …
Best Coffee Beans: Brazil
- Overall, Brazilian beans have not been regarded as high-quality and have often been used in blends.
- In Brazil, the dry method (also known as unwashed or natural) is primarily used – a process that can sometimes give the coffee an earthy (or dirty) smell and/or taste.
- Brazil mostly produces arabica beans (the dry processing method is known to lower the quality of the arabica bean).
- It is often said that the best Brazilian coffee comes from the Sao Paulo Region.
- Sweet Maria’s finds that the best Brazilian coffee comes from the Sul de Minas, Mogiana, Cerrado and Matas de Minas regions.
- Bourbon Santos (Santos is a busy port in Brazil) is a high-quality coffee from Brazil.
- In The Perfect Cup, Timothy James Castle (1991, p. 39) describes a good Brazil as “medium bodied and very mild in acidity. The best Brazils have a complex and balanced aroma and a taste and mouthfeel that is sweet and lingering. A dry spiciness that includes hints of allspice and cloves in usually a characteristic of good Brazils.”
- Brazil is out to reinvent itself (by changing its processing methods) into a country that grows high-grade specialty coffee.
- Brazil is a world leader in coffee production.
The Love of a Cow and a Bit of Coffee
So, we are going to get to the best coffee beans from India. But let’s take a look at the worst first … just because it is fun.
Here is an excerpt form Stewart Lee Allen’s The Devil’s Cup (1999, p. 81):
India produces the world’s most consistently vile cup of joe. It is never fresh-brewed but made with instant ‘flakes,’ which are boiled with milk, sugar, and nutmeg. The resulting stew is best described as a sickeningly sweet, piping-hot milkshake, the memory of which is a dark blot upon my soul. The whole thing is not only vile, it’s illogical. Tropical cuisines worldwide avoid dairy products like the plague. Here they were worshiped. How could a culture with such fine cuisine be content with such a perversion?
Well, Allen got his answer and, I have to say, the next several pages of the book gives the most beautiful, most passionate, most spiritual description of milk that I have ever come across. But I won’t tell you what that description is. Why? Because I am giving you something better – a reason to read a great book.
Best Coffee Beans: India
OK, India favors tea over coffee and when they drink coffee they prefer it instant with lots of milk. Should you do yourself a favor and stay away from Indian coffee altogether? Nonsense! In Southern India, great coffee is grown and enjoyed.
- Coffees from India are shade-grown.
- Coffee, spice, and fruit grow together on plantations in India.
- Monsooned Malabar is a top-notch coffee from India. It is called “monsooned” because it is exposed to monsoon winds (which swells the bean and makes the coffee less-acidic). Malabar is a region in Southern India.
- Timothy James Castle (author of The Perfect Cup) mentions Monsooned Malabar as one of the best that India has to offer.
- Monsooned Malabar is dry processed and is often said to have a musty flavor (common to aged and monsooned coffees).
- Monsooned Malabar is a full-bodied coffee with a spicy aroma.
- The Coffee Board of India states that India’s highest quality coffee is Mysore Nuggets.
- Mysore was the location of the Kolar Gold Fields (gold mine) and coffee plantation. This is where the name Mysore ‘Nuggets’ comes from.
- Mysore Nuggets coffee beans are arabica. This coffee is wet processed.
- Mysore Nuggets is a sweet coffee with a complex aroma and a hint of spice.
So have the best of both worlds, read a great book that speaks of the horrors of Indian coffee while drinking a great cup of coffee … from India!
We know that finding the best coffee beans can be a very personal journey, but why not start your journey where other coffee lovers have found what they consider, coffee beans that make a great cup of coffee. Maybe even the best cup of coffee you’ve ever drank.