Kenyan coffees are as majestic as the morning African sun rising over the savannah. These are powerful bright coffees that run the gamut from lemony to peppery from blackberry fruit to winey richness. These characteristics come together in an extremely complex coffee that is truly VIBRANT. A great Kenyan is not a subtle delicate coffee but rather a coffee full of power and character.
Colombia is second only to Brazil in overall coffee production and first in quantity of Arabicas grown. The Juan Valdez ad campaign helped make Colombia the best known origin. “Supremo” is the highest grade, based on bean size. Colombian coffee has long been considered generally good, but unspectacular. Some really fine coffees, however, are produced in Colombia, mostly in the southwest part of the country.
Coffees from Sulawesi, formerly known as Celebes, come mostly from the Toraja region in the central part of this orchid-shaped island. These coffees have good body and low to medium acidity with a light woody flavor and sometimes ripe fruit undertones.
Brazil is the world’s biggest coffee producer, supplying about 30 percent of the world’s supply. Most of its coffee is commercial grade, although it does produce some good specialty coffees. Coffees are grown at altitudes of only 2,000 to 4,000 feet. The highest grade is called “Strictly Soft Bean.” Coffees tend to be mellow, pleasant, uncomplicated.
Coffees produced in India have more in common with Indonesian coffees than with coffees from Africa or the Arabian peninsula. Good Indian coffees are grown in the states of Karnatka (formerly Mysore), Kerala, and Tamilnadu (formerly Madras). In good years these coffees may contain acidity typical of Guatemalan coffee, and the full body of a good Javanese coffee.
These coffees are known for their unique spicy flavors of nutmeg, clove, cardamom, and pepper. India also produces monsoon coffees, in which the green beans have been exposed to moisture-laden monsoon winds blowing through open warehouses during India’s rainy season. This process reduces acidity and enhances sweetness, making them similar to Indonesian aged coffees.
Coffee in Zimbabwe is grown on medium-sized farms and is roughly comparable to coffee from Kenya, although Zimbabwe coffee typically has slightly less acidity. The highest quality coffee in Zimbabwe is grown in the Chipinga, or Chipinge, region. Zimbabwe AA Plus Salimba, is a historically excellent coffee from the Chipinga region of Zimbabwe. The finest coffees from Zimbabwe are balanced with rich flavor, moderate acidity, and good aftertaste.
Guatemala features several famous growing regions, including Antigua, Huehuetenango, Coban, and Atitlan. The country has countless microclimates because of its terrain. Coffees are often grown at elevations over 5,000 feet. “Strictly Hard Bean” is the highest grade, based on elevation. Great Guatemalan coffees are fruity and nuanced, and they have very good acidity.