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The ABCs of Coffee

The Search for a Great Cup of Coffee Must Consider the Type of Bean, The Country of Origin and the Roast
Sam Gugino
From the Print Edition:
Jack Nicholson, Summer 95

(continued from page 4)

Tanzania--Becoming more available now, especially in peaberry (single whole berry) form. Sharp, winy acidity with medium body.

Zimbabwe--Also coming on strong in recent years. Similar to Kenyan coffee, but with fewer winy qualities and more body.


Sumatra--Mandheling and Ankola varieties are considered among the world's finest for their deep richness, full body and long finish wrapped with just enough acidity. If you want your coffee to come howling through milk or cream, this is it. Some connoisseurs fault its consistency.

Sulawesi or Celebes--More balanced than the Sumatran coffees, with livelier acidity and slightly less body. A superb coffee.

Java--Medium body with good acidity and a creamy though somewhat short finish. When possible, seek out old Java that has been aged and exhibits greater body with sweet, rich flavor.

New Guinea--Also called Papua New Guinea, it's a less intense version of Celebes and Sumatran coffees. But according to Timothy James Castle, these "sleepers may have the potential to be among the best."


The Kona region on the big island of Hawaii produces some of the most fragrant coffee in the world. At its best, it can also be richly flavored with winy notes, moderate acidity and medium body. But it suffers from Jamaican Blue Mountainitis, with prices far beyond its worth and imitations labeled "Kona-style" and "Kona blend."


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