In this article you will learn:
Which coffee is wrongly called the best.
Which coffee is really the best in the world.
How to recognize such coffee and what the cupping score will tell us.
The best coffee in the world?
I will start with those who are certainly not the best in the world, even if they pretend to be them.
Civet coffee is not the best coffee in the world, nor is it the most expensive, but it undoubtedly has one of the best marketing. The principle of Civet coffee is that Civets walk on coffee trees, they are stuffed with only the best coffee cherries, and the collector just found their feces and jackpot. However, it has two problems. The first is that it assumes that the coffee trees that civets run on are the best in the world. Unfortunately, they are not. Often they are only average to below average. The second problem is that all civets are caught in cages and eat only what they pour for them (if they do not want to die of hunger). I have tasted cibet coffee on several occasions in Indonesia and I can assure you that this is definitely not the best coffee in the world. It's not even great coffee. It is at the level of commodity coffees.
The second coffee to have a reputation The best coffee in the world is Jamaica Blu Mountain. It is definitely better than civet, but it is still very far from the best coffee in the world. It is sold at relatively high prices, because the Japanese like it and they buy 90% of the crop. The rest will be bought by Americans and women so the prices of this coffee up. These coffees are almost always at the Specialty level but do not receive too high a cupping score.
And that brings me to what the best coffee in the world is. But before that, there is a bit of terminology. In order to determine whether one coffee is better than another, an objective scoring system had to be put in place. She did the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). It evaluates coffees from 0 to 100 points, while if it reaches 80 points, we speak of specialty coffee (selected coffee). Most coffee in the world is not special. More precisely, 90-95% of coffee is not speciatly - we are talking about commodity coffee.
Specialty (above 80 points) is therefore only about 5 to 10%. But if we start to see how many coffees reach over 85 points, our selection starts to shrink a lot.
We are talking about SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) cupping score. Some roasters label their coffees with a different system to make the score look better.
In wines, the scoring system is similar but also different. It is not a problem to find and buy a wine that has 100 points. It's not like that in coffee. 100 points is like a mythical unicorn, except that you've probably heard of the unicorn.
Prestigious world competitions are won by coffees that reach 92-93 points. Often, however, the prices of these coffees have been brought to infinite heights and sold at coffee auctions. At one of the auctions, in 2021, for example, a 94.7-point geisha was auctioned for $ 5661.47 per kilogram. They paid $ 256,800 for just over 43kg.
This does not mean that all coffees above 90 points cost so much, but often they are priced in the range of $ 100-500 per kilo.
The highest prices usually reach the Geisha variety - you can get more about the Geisha variety read in this article.
Varieties of Arabica
Arabica should be imagined as, for example, Vine. Vine has its varietal, such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, etc. It's the same with Arabica. Its varieties are, for example: Typica, Caturra, Catuai, Geisha, Ping Bourbon, Yellow Burbon and many others.
Robusta is a completely different branch than Arabica. And in selected coffee, we do not pay attention to it, because its sensory properties do not reach the required parameters.
The best filter and the best espresso I've ever drunk in my life was from the Geisha variety from Panama.
About how it is with the taste profiles of coffee, what tastes and aromas we can feel and how intense you can read in this article.