The New Millennium is brewing!

Superior rated coffees

Coffee is to be no longer underrated. It’s no longer that set of tin cans lining the common supermarket shelf and will likely no longer be so disrespected. Coffee is now the pride of the same connoisseur who for so many millenniums prized and cherished wines and chocolates.

Coffee is finding its own now. It’s being cautiously paired with only the desserts that are a perfect match; or the right quality chocolate that enhances just the right nuance of coffee. Coffee is a ritual, a feast in itself.

Coffee is the new millennium drink of the connoisseur of every class. Now rated for its tones, its nuances, rated for the personal qualities of the world’s beans and is sold to the highest bidder.

People have always been willing to pay a premium for what they’ve perceived as bouquet wine. Putting outstanding price tags on gourmet specialty coffee beans (an $11 billion industry) has become part of the connoisseur game.

George Howell, founder of the George Howell Coffee Company and its Terroir Coffee brand based in Acton, Mass., proclaims coffee a "noble beverage," worthy of the same respect as fine wine. And in the recent years coffee has earned its worth.

Forbes Magazine has recently rated beans at the front of the race, naming 10 of the world’s most precious coffees.

Specialty beans of the finest caliber are pure in tone, superior beans costing more than $100 per pound. Do not, dare to add a drop of cream or sugar to such a brew for the sake of losing its natural charm, the beans distinct natural sweetness and fragrance.

Champion beans are grown on world estates…small family farms at high elevations by farmers who care more for their quality than quantity. Such beans are prized for their characteristics.

According Forbe Magazine the joes that hold the highest price tags include such bean beauties as:

Kopi Luwak form Indonesia

Standing at a impressive $160 per pound, Luwak Coffee is made from coffee cherries that have been eaten by local creatures, the common palm civet, which use its keen sense of smell to select the choicest and ripest beans. The digestion process removes the flesh from the crimson Sumatran berry and the beans, supposedly sweeter as a result of having passed through the animal, are hand-collected from the jungle floor. Undeniably the most unique fermentation process for coffee beans.

Hacienda La Esmeralda from Boquete, Panama

Second in line, and standing with distinction, at $104 per pound. Hacienda La Esmeralda's Geisha coffee set an online auction record when it sold for over $50 dollars per pound, unroasted, on May 30, 2006. The coffee, which is grown in the shade of old guava trees, has been widely and enthusiastically praised for its flavor and aroma. In April, it placed first in the SCAA "Best of Panama" competition, with a score of 94.6 out of 100.

Coffee Variances

Albeit not receiving such medals of honor, all regional coffee are merited for their own uniqueness in flavor.

For every mountain that grows a boutique crop of coffee, there is a primary set of qualities noted in that region. Add to this, the weather conditions, that in itself will vary from year to year, along with the method of storing and roasting that sets these unique characteristics apart from one region to another, let alone, one cuppa joe to the next.

Take for example, a Monsoon roasted bean. Monsooned coffees are picked and then stored in open-sided warehouses and exposed to the steady, damp, salty monsoon winds. Shortly, these beans gain a flavor reminiscent of, but distinct from aged coffees. The most common monsooned coffee is Indian monsooned Malabar.

Coffee Profiling

Much akin to discerning wines, the coffee industry has defined flavor variances with words that conotate each coffee’s characteristics or personal flavor identity, allowing a coffee drinker to make a educated decisions on their roast preferences..


Related both to the roast and to variety. Similarly used to the acidity in wine, and not to acid content, an alternate expression would be "bright" or "lively." Think of it more of a sensation than a taste, and is experienced on the tip of the tongue and/or the roof of the mouth. Longer roasting lowers perceived acidity. No-acidity coffees come across overly flat, lacking a pleasant palate-cleansing aspect, with a baked or "bready" quality.

Stronger acidity can often have wine-like aspects, especially in many Kenyan coffees, which, in fact seem citrusy to the taste. The more extreme the acidity, the more it will feel astringent.

You can measure by such terms from lowest to highest as "soft-mellow", "subtle hint of tanginess", "pleasantly tangy", bold-pique", "assertive-sharp". Examples of high acidity coffees include Kenya AA (with heavy body), Puerto Rico "Yauco Selecto Estate" (with smooth light body), and Ethiopia Longberry (with bold heavy body),. More subtle, low acidity coffees include Indian Malabar "Monsooned Voyager" (with smooth light body), Jamaican Blue Mountain (with smooth light body), Kona "Volcanic Estate" (with bold heavy body), and Sumatra Mandheling (with bold heavy body).

African originated coffees would give you the sharpest taste, with a pronounced, astringently clean, assertive, robust, strong flavor, while on the other side of the acid spectrum lies the coffees of India: spicy, earthy, unusual, distinct and complex.


Roast and variety related. Look at this as the coffee’s "Flavor Hamony Ratio". The roaster is aiming for a pleasing combination of multiple characteristics, with none overpowering. Coffees often are mixed together into "coffee blends" for just this purpose. Toning down and tuning up certain attributes for a smooth consistent flavor. In this way coffee drinkers enjoy a myriad of quality experiences, with none overpowering to the palate With coffee profiling, the ratios move along from "delicate and lean" (the India region being your most delicate), to "subtle", to "pleasingly complex", to "a great depth of flavor" and finally "perfect and complete" (the regions of Africa and the Carribean with the greatest extent of this).


Roast and variety related. Reminiscent of wine tasting, body is truly the "mouth feel" the experience of texture, viscosity or fullness on the tongue. Body develops with the degree of roast, but falls sharply with over roasted coffee. Different origins naturally have their own distinctive body as well. Interestingly certain brewing methods impart body "thickness", like coffee from a press, where fine particulates remain suspended, or espresso, which contains emulsified coffee oils. Under-extracted or underbrewed coffee will also have a defectively light body.

In regards to the preferred bean of choice, coffee aficionados tend to prefer the higher quality Robusta bean over the Arabica. Robusta beans are the mountain grown assortment, cultivated on small plantations, whereas Arabica beans would be grown in the lower altitude, being mass market varieties found commonly in the canned coffees found in supermarkets. Robusta tends to be more bitter than do arabica beans. Arabica beans have higher caffeine content than Robusta, however. Some coffee makers will mix in some Arabica into their Robusta roasts to spike the caffeine.

Coffee & Dessert pairing

Finally, to enhance a specialty coffee experience add in a perfectly paired dessert for the experience complete!

Acidic, sweet & light roasts

Pair the more delicate fruits or berries, or key lime pie, lemon merangue, or fruit tart.
Such desserts would perfectly compliment coffees that include: Brazlian, Jamaican Blue Mountain, Guatemala Antigua, or Columbian.

Evenly balanced roasts (acidity and body)

Deserving of well textured desserts like carrot cake and tiramusu. The fruity/winey notes of Ethiopian, Zambian, Tanzanian or Kenyan, can bring carrot cake to life.
For a more full body choice of coffees, such as Yemen "Mocca" or Sumatra, the smooth silkiness of cheesecake is heaven on earth.

Full bodied coffees

The heavy tones and thick qualities of this coffee make a primo match for your most decadent desserts like heavy, rich chocolate mousse, chocolate cake and ice cream. French and Italian roasts perfectly fit the bill. And don’t forget the whipped cream!

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Michelle Faber is owner of Gourmet CoffeeXpress, the "Ultimate Website Gallery",
showcasing the creme de la creme in gourmet coffees, & teas, and artisan chocolates, desserts & gifts.

Within this gallery, you can find incredibly high quality items, and many designer styled products.
Gourmet CoffeeXpress offers distinctive products for gift-giving and personal pleasure with world-class service. Blog her at Gourmet CoffeeXpress Coffeehouse Chat

Please visit Gourmet CoffeeXpress at
to explore the MOST EXTRAORDINARY coffee, chocolate & gift collections.

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