drink coffee. be happy.


China Yunnan: This peninsula is growing some of the best coffee in Asia, although that is admittedly not a high benchmark.  At this time, the coffee is good -- comparable to a solid Nicaragua.  It's just normal coffee, and not especially complex or memorable.  But its coffee industry is so young!  It is only beginning to understand and build its coffee industry.  Starbucks has moved in to help, and other private groups have begun to export the initial crops.  Give this one time and see what happens.

Dominican Republic: Dominican Republic coffee is not bad, but it is boring.It is a perfect candidate for adding a flavoring to, because there is nothing to cover up.It is just coffee.Not much DR coffee is on the US market, and that which is, rarely has certifications attached and research has to be done to determine if organic and sustainable farming are practiced by the origin. However, there are always exceptions.  A really good FTO Dominican Republic is right up there with the nicest Costa Rica, and at a lower pricepoint.

Galapagos Island: Not easy to find, but it is as good or better than a fancy Kona, a third of the price, and all of it is organic.Treat it like a Kona and keep it just out of the 2nd cracks.

Hawaii: Hawaii actually grows coffee on all of their islands, not just the famous Kona.However, only the Kona is going to taste like Kona.And all of the Kona is very expensive, but only Extra Fancy grade should really be considered if you want a treat.  Iit is a washed-process coffee, but it is best roasted light – let it out before you hit the 2nd cracks.In recent years, Hawaii has had a terrible war with the Coffee Bean Borer and crop levels are very low, particularly among the organic farms.

The islands of Maui, Oahu, and Kauai produce coffees that are good in their own rights.Maui is the most organized of the three and also the most expensive.They are all good coffees, but not very good values, as they are priced considerably higher than comparative coffees from other origins.These can be roasted anywhere from verge of 2nd cracks, to a few seconds in.

Jamaica: Some of the most expensive coffee in the world, and 25 years ago it was the best coffee in the world, but these days it really isn’t, although the price just keeps climbing.There are only a handful of estates in the Blue Mountain region.I haven’t tried all of them, but I can say firsthand that Mavis Banks is severely disappointing, whereas Clydesdale Estate has a velvet chocolate delicate smooth magic to it that almost makes you think it is worth the price, until you do some math.

Puerto Rico: A very expensive washed-process coffee, and most of it is overrated. Every Puerto Rico I've ever had was way overpriced for what you get.  The coffee grown here tends to have some earthiness that detracts from the fancy island coffee profile they're trying to sell you on.  It does make remarkable espresso at medium roast levels, and is an okay drip coffee at lighter roasts. Certifications are rare, but some of the estates are reputable.  Some of the estates are growing Blue Mountain varietal, but it doesn't taste like Jamaica Blue Mountain.