If You Like This Coffee…
Have you visited Amazon.com lately? Like many other merchandising web sites, you’ll find that Amazon pays attention to the things you’ve looked at and bought from them, and then uses them to make recommendations of other things that you’ll like. You run into it everywhere. It may be phrased as “Other people who bought this also bought this” and “If you liked this, you’ll love this”.
Why shouldn’t the same thing work for coffee? Well, it does. If you’ve been feeling in a coffee rut, but aren’t sure what other types of coffee you might enjoy, let me make a few coffee recommendations based on coffees that you already know you like. After all, with coffee running an average of $8 to $12 a pound, why should you waste your money on coffee that you don’t like?
If you like your coffee strong and dark…
Do you prefer the French or Italian Roast version of typical supermarket coffees? French roast is typically the darkest roast available. The flavor is strong and rich, with intense coffee flavor. In fact, French and Italian roast coffees have been roasted long enough to bring out the coffee flavor above all others flavors in the coffee. If you really love intense coffee flavor in your coffee, then try:
Kenya coffees, which have a full, robust flavor with winey undertones and a solid body. Kenya coffee is characterized by high acidity, though, so if you have a sensitive stomach, you might want to go easy on the Kenyan varieties.
Yirgacheffe, an Ethiopian coffee that is rich and full-bodied, with a velvety mouth-feel, characterized by an earthy undertone. Yirgacheffe is best at a medium-dark roast, which cuts the ‘dirty’ flavor without roasting away the subtle richness that’s lost at the French roast stage.
Sumatran coffees are less acidic, and characterized by a heavy, smooth feel in the mouth that’s almost buttery. They leave a smokey aftertaste with just a hint of fruitiness.
Guatemalan coffees are richly aromatic and fragrant, and feel a bit lighter in the mouth. The end note is balanced with a hint of spiciness that makes them a bit more acidic than Yirgacheffe.
If you like your coffee light and snappy…
Light to medium roast coffees are typically brighter in flavor than dark roasts, and have a more complex melange of flavors. Full City roast is a degree of roast just between Medium and French roast, and is the roast most often recommended making espresso. If you like Dunkin Donuts regular coffee, then you’re a fan of American roasts.
Chances are that you’ll enjoy most South American coffees, which are more acidic and brighter tasting than African and Pacific Island coffees. In general:
Brazilian coffees are among the ‘freshest’ tasting coffees. They’re bright, tangy and light on the tongue.
Colombian coffees are typically heavier and smokier than Brazilian coffees, but still have a snap that’s typical of South American coffees.
Needless to say, there are always exceptions to the standard rules of thumb, and quality can vary greatly depending on the grower, growing methods and even the weather during the coffee growing season. In general, though, if you truly enjoy a coffee that was grown in a particular region, chances are excellent that you’ll like other coffees from the same region of the world.