In 2020, COVID-19 devastated lives and businesses, challenging the global specialty coffee community to its core. On the producing side, the pandemic added still another daunting challenge to growers facing endemic low coffee prices and an ongoing battle with leaf rust disease in Latin America. On the consuming side, roasters saw the pandemic shutter their bread-and-butter café businesses while many once-nomadic coffee lovers were forced to become at-home shoppers and brewers.
But growers, importers, roasters and retailers adapted and prevailed, often in remarkable ways. At Coffee Review, exceptional coffees continued to arrive throughout the year from an even greater range of origins than before the pandemic. Farmers and roasters deserve recognition every year, but especially in 2020.