The region a coffee bean is harvested determines the flavor profile. The three major regions are:
Central and South America - Mild and Smooth
Africa - Bright and Fragrant
Indonesia - Full Bodied and Bold
There are some coffee beans standouts. Some coffee beans well known because of the way the beans are harvested – I’m looking at you civet poop coffee.
Then there are coffees that are considered the best of the best because of flavor. The three considered the best are:
Jamaican Blue – sweet herbs, nuts, chocolate, and creamy
Kona – creamy, brown sugar, milk chocolate. and fruity
Kenyan AA – floral with hints of tropic fruit, and pleasant acidity
Dry/Natural – After the coffee cherries are picked from the tree, they are laid out to dry in the sun. The green bean is then mechanically extracted from the fruit.
Wet/Washed – The bean is immediately removed from the flesh. The bean is then washed and sits in the water to remove any remaining flesh. The beans are then dried.
Honey/Pulped – The coffee cherries’ flesh is partially removed. The remaining flesh and bean are then dried. The stage of drying that processing is halted determines intensity of flavor. These stages are identified as; yellow, red, and black. The end result is a sweeter tasting coffee. This method has become popular within the coffee community.
Anaerobic – Similar to the wet process, except no oxygen is allowed in the tanks. This allows for coffee to deliver more varied and complex flavors.
Carbonic Maceration – Similar to the anaerobic process except the cherry’s fruit stays on the bean. This gives the bean deeper flavors, often alcohol notes.