(EDITOR’S NOTE: Remember, the coffees in this list are only coffees that I had in 2014; it is a highly subjective list and is in no way meant to be authoritative or comprehensive.)
In 2014, I cupped around 175 different coffees from about 75 different roasters. I’ve compiled my 50 favorite coffees and today I present to you, Dear Reader, my Best Coffees of 2014, numbers 30-21!
In early 2014, PERC Coffee reached out to me to do some reviews and, I’ll be honest with you—I didn’t know who PERC Coffee was. Fast forward several months later, PERC Coffee has become not only one of my favorite roasting companies in the country, but a favorite of the entire industry and certainly the blogging community, garnering rave reviews from my friends at blogging compatriots, Coffee Compass, Abandon Coffee, Purista, and the Coffee Adventures. They were even featured in one of July’s Craft Coffee boxes!
With their Costa Rica Carrizal, PERC Coffee continues to prove that they’re the best coffee roasting company in Georgia. Well—they’re the best Georgian roaster I’ve ever tasted, anyway.
They also continued to prove, with this coffee, that, even though Central America is going through really, really, really hard environmental (and sociopolitical) times, Costa Rica is consistently putting out some of the best coffees of the most recent harvest anywhere in the world. I mean, yeah, Ethiopia’s been killing it over the past year and a half, Kenya is having an amazing 2014, Rwanda’s put out some really stellar lots… But every Costa Rican coffee I’ve had over the past two months have been fantastic.
The Carrizal is classically Costa Rican, but it represents the very best of that classic profile. Dynamite coffee.
What a coffee.
The Kenya Gaturiri, from Willoughby’s Coffee, is a very refined and sweet coffee that is equally delicate as it is bombastic. While the coffee does present the palate with a voluptuous, rounded, full-figured body, the individual flavors are graceful, the mouthfeel is silky, and the overall experience is a lesson in sophistication.
From the very first sip, the Gaturiri is a decidedly special coffee, and that sentiment remains true to the very last drop.
What a coffee. Wow. The Kenya Kagumoini AB, from Coffee Mojo, is an absolutely beautiful coffee that is supple, voluptuous, dynamic, intensely flavorful, extremely sensational, and, well, downright sexy.
It lures you in with a soft and delicate aroma, then it explodes onto the palate with such ferocity that it takes you by surprise and leaves you speechless.
This is a coffee that really pops.
Burundis are special coffees; very special. When it comes to African coffees, no two regions are identical; even so, coffees from Burundi are magic. And the Burundi Kirema, from Halfwit Coffee Roasters, is magic coffee unto itself.
Beautiful, lush, juicy, and herbaceous, the Kirema does nothing short of dazzling the taste buds. It is a tremendous coffee; one that I can’t recommend highly enough.
Wow, this was a pretty wild coffee. A lot of really intense flavors all bouncing off each other with a wild kinetic energy, the Kenya Makwa, from Klatch Coffee, provides a unique tasting experience from beginning to end.
I love coffees like this. Coffees that are really complex and bursting with flavor. Coffees that don’t make any sense to my palate. Coffees that are every bit as challenging as they are rewarding.
Buzz Killer Espresso’s Ethiopia Gutiti is that coffee.
To the nth degree.
Incredibly, Spotted Cow Coffee Company made one of the fastest quality turnarounds of all time, going from a very run of the mill small town coffee roasting operation to one of the best specialty roasters in the Seattle area in less than one year. Last year, around this time, Spotted Cow was sourcing cheap coffees and over roasting them to mask their imperfections; this year, they’re sourcing really fantastic coffees that have me jumping over the moon.
All four coffees they sent me were very solid, and their Mexico Finca Nueva Linda might have been the best of the bunch.
Supersonic Coffee’s Kenya Kirangano is the epitome of coffee elegance. Its flavors are sharp, tart, and pointed and its profile is sparkling and effervescent, but it has such soft, supple, rounded edges.
Mm. Mm-mm-MM. MMM! Ooo-WEE!! MMMMMM!!! WHOA! MM! That about sums up this coffee, I think.
The Rwanda Dukunde Kawa, over the last few years, has consistently been one of my favorite coffees, but Black Oak Coffee Roasters’s take on it dazzled even me. This is a beautiful, elegant coffee that is so curvy, so supple, so voluptuous, and so vivid. It’s brimming with incredibly bright and intense flavors and each sip leaves you wanting more.
It’s just… a nearly perfect coffee. So good.
The first cup I made of Square Mile’s Burundi Buzira Kayanza was, unfortunately, tainted by the dreaded “potato defect.” Every cup after that, though…
Look, this coffee is incredible. I’m not sure what else to say. While it starts off spicy and savory, it finishes off bright, intense, wild, and tropical.
This coffee is just shy of being palate breaking. Almost a total palate overload. I’m sure it would have been were it not so damn tasty.
Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.