The Five Best Coffees in the World

Are you in search of the perfect cup of coffee? Want to know what are the best coffees in the world? Well then you will need the very best coffee beans.

They will likely come from Arabica coffee plants that are grown at extremely high elevations, and it is crucial that the coffee cherry (the fruits of the coffee plant which contain the coffee beans) are harvested at their perfect peak ripeness.

Also important is the the processing and roasting of the coffee – great care must be taken to preserve the fine tastes and aromas. Then you will be well on your way to enjoying the best coffee in the world.

Okay, Let’s Get Started: The World’s Best Coffees:

Tanzania Peaberry Coffee – Cultivated high on Mt. Kilimanjaro, this gourmet coffee is truly one of the world’s best. Known for the delicious fruit tones in its acidity, Tanzania Peaberry exhibits many subtle tastes including black currant, pineapple, citrus, coconut and chocolate, and with a wonderful sweetness in the lingering aftertaste. The complexity of this fine coffee is best revealed with a medium roast.

Sumatra Mandheling Coffee – With a full body and complex taste, this coffee is named after the people of north Sumatra called Mandailing and is grown on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The coffee is intense and very earthy exhibiting a very herbal aroma and an ample acidity for a vibrant coffee with sweet notes of chocolate and licorice. Though Mandheling is dry processed, the method includes washing the dried husk of the coffee cherry (fruit) in hot water which provides a more uniform appearance of the coffee beans than the typical dry processed coffee, and likely contributes to the coffee’s fine flavor that ranks it among the best coffee in the world. Try a Dark Roast or a Medium-Dark Roast to accentuate sweet taste and earthiness.

Old Java Coffee – Aged and monsooned, this gourmet Arabica coffee is grown on the old colonial estates located on the east end of Java Island in Indonesia. After harvest the green coffee beans (which have been milled but not yet roasted) are exposed to the region’s moist, warm air throughout the whole of the rainy season. This monsooning can be as long as three years and the result is a stronger taste and milder acidity. The coffee beans also become lighter brown in color. If you like this you will also like Old Brown Java Coffee and Old Government Coffee, two more premium gourmet coffees grown on the old colonial estates of Java and respected among the best coffees in the world.

Kenya AA Coffee – On the high plateaus of Kenya some of the world’s best coffee is cultivated nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. The finest beans are graded Kenya AA and produce a full-bodied coffee with a wonderful richness and very pleasing acidity making it one of the world’s truly exceptional premium coffees. Enjoy the delicious fragrance emanating floral tones followed by a finish revealing notes of wine and berry.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee – If you want a sophisticated coffee this is it. Silky and smooth, it will delight your palate with its complexity and rich body. The fine balance of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee has led to its nickname as the quintessential cup of coffee and clearly among the best coffees in the world. With a vibrant acidity and virtually no bitterness, this coffee is very clean with floral notes in the aroma. This is a wet processed coffee.

Notable Mentions

Coffee is a very personal, subjective experience and not everyone will share these tastes. That’s why we’ve compiled some bonus coffees to try!

Sumatra Lintong Coffee – Cultivated near Lake Toba in Sumatra, Lintong is known for its delightful sweetness along with a deep earthiness and generally very low acidity yet a complex aroma.

Ethiopian Harrar Coffee – This spectacular gourmet coffee is dry-processed with an exciting spiciness and wildness, pungent and rich. It’s grown at around 5,000 feet above sea level and harvested with care in the high mountains of Ethiopia. The Harrars exhibit notes of dry red wine with a wonderfully resonating fruity boldness, while the acidity of Ethiopian Harrars reveals floral tones. The coffee is very bright in the cup, often quite intense, and the aroma is quite heady. Delicious notes of jasmine are revealed in the lingering finish. To learn about the importance of coffee in Ethiopian culture see Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.

Guatemala Antigua Coffee – This amazing premium coffee has the fine qualities of a gourmet Guatemala coffee with a full body and the fine qualities that come from growing Arabica coffee above 4,600 feet where it thrives. Exhibiting a rich flavor and velvety quality that delights the palate, Guatemala Antigua coffee is best when you give a Dark Roast to the coffee beans as it brings out the pleasant smoky flavors in the brewed cup.

India Monsooned Malabar Coffee – Enjoy this coffee’s spicy tastes including cardamom and nutmeg as well as clove, pepper and even delicious suggestions of tropical fruit. Why is this one of the best coffees in all of the whole wide world? Because these unique coffee beans are monsooned by leaving them in open-roof silos so they are exposed to the moist winds during monsoon season. The coffee beans exhibit a wonderful sweetness and often reveal intense loamy and woody and sensations. The monsooning also weakens (mutes) the beans‘ acidity. This is a very polarizing coffee that leaves people either loving it or hating it.

The India Monsooned Malabar coffee beans are grown in the southern part of India and this is a truly gourmet coffee respected for its mild body and acidity along with its unique taste.

Sulawesi Toraja Coffee – Expansive in its rich tastes and full body, this is a multi-dimensional coffee respected in the world of gourmet coffee. Known for its fine balance and vibrant yet low-toned acidity, Sulawesi Toraja coffee is among the most respected of Sumatran coffees and exhibits even more exciting earthiness than Java Arabica coffee. Enjoy the dark chocolate and ripe fruit notes along with a rustic sweetness that really comes out in the dark roast. This is a deep and brooding coffee is one of the world’s best in part because it benefits from the Giling Basah wet-hull method of processing that creates chaff-free green coffee beans.

Mocha Java Coffee – For centuries a respected premium gourmet Arabica coffee with a pleasing wildness and lively intensity, Mocha Java is in fact a happy accident of history – sailing ships from Java Island used to stop in the port of Mocha and the coffee beans got mixed in the hulls of the ships – read the whole story in the See the World’s Best History of Coffee.

Mocha Java combines Arabian (Yemen) Mocha coffee and Indonesian Java Arabica coffee to create the world’s most famous coffee blend. What makes it so special is that the coffees complement each other, with the Yemen Mocha providing a lively intensity and pleasant wildness and the Java providing a clean, smooth quality. The result is a smooth, clean and well-balanced yet very complex cup of brewed coffee.

Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee – Grown in Costa Rica’s interior mountains this is a complex of coffee with a body that is quite heavy along with a complex aroma. This is just one of many fine coffees of Costa Rica which are generally known for their robust flavor and crisp acidity. The country’s high-grown coffees are among the world’s best coffees and respected for having great body along with a fruity, bright acidity making the brewed coffee clean and crisp with a delightful taste.

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee – Wet processed and cultivated around 6,000 feet above sea level, this is clearly one of the world’s best coffees. With a vibrant acidity and intense, clean taste, Ethiopian Yirgacheffee is a complex coffee that reveals wonderful floral tones in the aroma and sometimes toasted coconut. Also nice is the chocolaty and sometimes nutty aftertaste. A medium-dark roast or dark roast is good for Ethiopian Yirgacheffee if you like a heavy and sweet coffee, but if you want to enhance the acidity and prefer a delicate coffee then try a medium roast.

Yemen Mocha is a wild and full-bodied dry processed coffee revealing deep, earthy tones along with a winey acidity and musky fruitiness. The taste has suggestions of sweet spice notes including cinnamon and cardamom, while the aftertaste reveals notes of chocolate. Try a Dark Roast to bring out the chocolate and fruit notes. The two primary varieties of Yemen Mocha are Sanani and Mattari. Sanani is known for its fruitiness and fine balance, while Mattari is respected for its heavy body and chocolate tones.

Costa Rica Monte Crisol – With sweet suggestions of blueberry and a silky body, Monte Crisol also offers a buttery finish and a nice crispness in its acidity. Try a Medium-Dark Roast to bring out the fruity brightness and you will appreciate why this coffee is rated among the best in the world.

Java Arabica Coffee – This is another great wet processed Arabica coffee and it is grown on the island of Java in Indonesia atop the Ijen Plateau which is about 1,400 meters above sea level and one of the world’s prime coffee growing regions. The reason that Java Arabica is considered one of the best coffees in the world is because it combines a heavy body with a relatively low to medium acidity and a flavor that may be described as rustic and with an aftertaste that is herbaceous and lingers nicely. A slight earthiness makes this coffee very interesting on the palate!

Hawaii Kona Coffee – This fine Arabica coffee is grown on the volcanic slopes of Kauaʻi in a prime growing area created by the “Kona Coffee Belt.” Kona coffee is known for its complex aroma as well as its light and delicate taste. The coffee is very well-balanced and displays a medium body and cheerful, bright acidity along with an aromatic finish.