The World and the Cupping Table: 25 Years of Change at Coffee Review

Kenneth Davids in the Coffee Review lab circa 2007.


Coffee Review has been reviewing coffees and reporting in depth on the world of specialty coffee since 1997, making this our 25th year of slurping, spitting and writing. Over those 25 years, we have published reviews of thousands of coffees, tasted tens of thousands more, and produced more than 350 in-depth monthly reports on coffee growing regions, processing methods, tree varieties, and roaster issues. We were the first in the world to apply 100-point ratings to coffees (in 1997) and the first online publication to offer serious in-depth coffee reviewing and reporting. (During our early years most roasters hadn’t developed websites; we published phone numbers). You can find an account of our founding years here.

What in coffee has changed over these 25 years, particularly as seen from the perspective of our cupping table? What has not changed?

Our … Read more

An In-Depth Look at the Top 30 Coffees of 2021

Coffee Review’s list of the Top 30 Coffees of 2021 represents our ninth annual ranking of the most exciting coffees we tested over the course of the year. This annual effort supports our mission of helping consumers identify and purchase superior quality coffees and, in the process, helping drive demand and increase prices to reward farmers and roasters who invest time, passion and capital in producing high-quality coffee. The Top 30 celebrates and promotes coffee roasters, farmers, mill operators, importers, and other coffee industry professionals who make an extra effort to produce coffees that are not only superb in quality but also distinctive in character.

In 2021, we tasted more than 2,000 coffee samples and published more than 500 reviews. These reviews focus primarily on the highest-rated coffees, which are of most interest to our readers. This year, roughly one out of four of the more than 2,000 coffees … Read more

Our Love Affair with Geisha — It’s Not Just a Panama Thing Anymore

Geisha seedlings in a Chiapas, Mexico nursery. Courtesy of Kim Westerman.

The Geisha variety of Arabica is the most expensive green coffee in the world. Year after year, this sought-after variety — known for (in the hands of a good roaster) its florality, delicate fruit, integrated structure and balance — breaks new price records in the Best of Panama auction. The Panama with the highest price in 2021 was a Geisha that sold for $2,568.00 — per pound. It’s gotten stratospheric in the way that wine auctions did long ago. You can debate the relative (in)sanity of this phenomenon, but the fact is that Geisha is the darling of the specialty coffee world.

Geisha’s Migration Around The Globe

Geisha originated in the Gori Gesha Forest of Ethiopia, but made its spectacular appearance on the global specialty coffee stage in Panama, where, in 2004, a Geisha grown by the Peterson family … Read more

Coffee is one of the most popular and consumed beverages on the planet.

n my chiropractic office I get asked many questions. Usually, I am asked about how to help with musculoskeletal problems. I personally, have an interest and have studied a good bit about nutrition.Busana Muslim Many of my patients know this and will ask me questions on the subject.

Recently a patient asked me: “Is it OK if I drink coffee?” Since I drink coffee a couple times a week, I didn’t see any harm in it, but I wasn’t sure if there was a nutritional benefit, so I did some research. This article will discuss nutritional benefits of moderate coffee drinking.

Coffee is one of the most popular and consumed beverages on the planet. I found that there is quite a bit of scientific documentation on the benefits of drinking coffee. Most of the studies noted that moderate coffee drinking (one to three cups/day) was optimal. However, some showed

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Yemen Coffees: Variations on the World’s Oldest Cup Profile

Coffee typically grows on steep terraced slopes in Yemen. Courtesy of Port of Mokha.

As most readers know, Yemen is the oldest continuously cultivated coffee in the world. The Coffea arabica tree originated in Ethiopia but was first systematically cultivated and commercialized in Yemen starting in about 1500. Until European colonists got into the game about 200 years later, Yemen produced virtually all of the coffee drunk in the world.

And, surprisingly, however, much coffee production practices changed as coffee spread from Yemen to the rest of the world, Yemen has stayed with its original, ancient methods. Most Yemen coffees today are still produced almost exactly as they have been for hundreds of years: The coffee fruit is picked and laid out to dry on rooftops, the dried fruit husks are split open with millstones, and the beans are winnowed and cleaned by hand. Until recently, the only changes in … Read more