One of the benefits of operating a company whose model is to procure coffees from a variety of sources is that I get to taste a wide variety of coffees - certainly wider than if we followed the traditional model of exclusivity. Here's a list of some of the best coffees I've tasted in 2010. For the most part, the descriptions are as they appeared on our menus throughout 2010. Most of them are no longer available.
Michicha Natural - Sidama, Ethiopia
A harmonius balance of exotic fruits, such as mango, papaya and lime with hints of lemon strawberry with a ketchup-y sweet flavor and medium body.
Imported by Samuel Demisse and roasted by Counter Culture - in the Eva Solo.
Bufcafe - Zirikana, Rwanda
From a country transforming right before us comes this wonderful coffee filled with notes of peach nectar and grapes with tart lime acididty.
Roasted by Intelligentsia - in the Eva Solo.
Honey Michicoy - Guatemala
Notes of honey & maple syrup with bing cherries, blackberries and apple rounds with buttery caramel and cocoa for a refreshing warm weather sipper.
Roasted by Barefoot Coffee - in the Chemex.
San Vicente Micro Lot - Honduras
From the famed Pena Blanca comes this exquisitely complex coffee with characters of sage, hops and citrus peel aromatics, and a lively grapefruit acidity with tingling mouthfeel and a brisk finish.
Roasted by Origins Organic Coffee - in the Cold Drip Tower.
Aida's Grand Reserve 2009 - El Salvador
Widely celebrated as our $13 cup of coffee, this one brought us to CNN.com back in April. A monster coffee filled with tropical fruit fragrances and aromas of cinnamon bun and logan berries. Medium bodied with notes of citrus, spice and raisin, with nuts and apple cider on the finish.
Roasted by Counter Culture Coffee - in the Vac Pot.
Fully Washed Yirgacheffe - Ethiopia
A great exemplar of the very best washed coffee from the Yirgacheffe region. Incredibly aromatic, full of floral notes and bergamot, and in the cup sweet limes and honey, a soft cardamom note with a light, tea-like mouthfeel.
Roasted by Square Mile Coffee - in the Vac Pot.
Finca Vista Hermosa - Guatemala
One of our favorite coffees in the world produced by Edwin Martinez, the FVH is smooth & full-bodied with flavors of caramel, brown sugar, figs, warming spices, apples and bittersweet chocolate. This coffee develops notes of juicy grapefruit as it cools.
Roasted by Barefoot Coffee - in the Eva Solo.
Coope Dota - Costa Rica
Founded in 1960 in the Terrazu region with a focus on microlot coffees, this coffee is lively and balanced with the sweetness of Rainier cherries, orange-lemon citrus body and pleasant notes of toffee and nougat on the finish.
Roasted by Ecco Caffe - in the Chemex.
Santa Barbara Estate - Brazil
Starting off with aromas of tangerine and brown sugar is this immense coffee from World Barista Champion Tim Wendelboe of Norway. Smooth with subtle flavors of blueberry oatmeal, egg custard, brown sugar and cloves that ends with a calming, buttery finish.
Roasted by Tim Wendelboe Coffee - in the Vac Pot.
Finca Kilimanjaro - El Salvador
A new arrival from Aida Batlle and her Finca Kilimanjaro demonstrates comforting aromas of spiced apple cider and vanilla that gives way to notes of strawberry and red grapes. Offered in August as part of our "A Taste of Aida" series where the guest could sample head-to-head the Kilimanjaro from Stumptown versus the Finca Mauritania from Counter Culture.
Roasted by Stumptown Coffee Roasters - in the Eva Solo.
Yirgacheffe Natural - Ethiopia
One of our most popular coffees that was offered both as a pour over and cold brew tower demonstrating bright citrus-like notes for a crisp, clean and enjoyable cup.
Roasted by Origins Organic Coffee - in the pour over & cold brew tower.
Thiriku - Nyeri, Kenya
Truth be told, I'm not really a fan of bright, acidic coffees. Give me fruit, give me nuts, give me chocolate and I'm a fan - bright, not so much. But pair this Thiriku with a strawberry tart and you begin to see possibilities with "coffee pairings." Absolutely stellar. Classically bright with full-bodied notes of citrus, honey and candied ginger comes this coffee from the foothills of Mount Kenya.
Roasted by Counter Culture - in the Chemex.
Amaro Gayo - Ethiopia
A Spro exclusive from the mind of roaster Paul Galvin - spicy and woody notes on the nose with warm graham cracker and blueberry flavors on the tongue. The coffee is a sensory sensation with notes of baking chocolate and an even finish.
Custom Roasted by Callao Coffee - in the Eva Solo.
Nigusie - Ethiopia
Beautiful aromas of grapefruit, golden raisins and black pepper start off the cup moving into flavors of graham crackers and chocolate pudding. From a wonderful small roaster in New Jersey, this cup finishes with notes of plums and dreams of fireside Christmas.
Roasted by OQ Coffee - in the Chemex.
Zone 10 - Wabi Sabi Series
A two bean blend of washed coffees delivering floral aromas with hints of plum and orange that moves to very soft and smooth notes of burnt sugar and caramel with a mellow citrus finish.
Roasted and Blended by barismo - espresso.
As it was in the beginning is now and forever shall be - perennially my favorite espresso blend, the Hines has always maintained its character of medium body, light fruitiness and notes of cacao with lingering nuttiness on the finish.
Roasted and Blended by Origins Organic Coffee - espresso.