Where does your coffee come from?

We are all aware of high street coffee giants, Starbucks, Café Nero or Costa Coffee, who actively promote their ‘specialty blends’ for their distinctive and addictive flavor.  And, while many consumers claim to know how the ‘taste’ differs from coffee house to coffee house...few are able to explain the difference between Arabica and robusta and a Columbian bean and a Kenyan bean nor how a slight variation in blend can alter the taste profile of the coffee significantly.  At James Aimer we source our beans from over 24 countries. Our next few blogs will explore these different regions…

South America is widely regarded as one of the largest producers of coffee in the world. And whilst, the ‘every day coffee drinker’ may instinctively think of a quality Colombian blend – its tropical temperatures creating a medium/low acidity and body -Brazil is in-fact the largest producer of coffee in the South American region. Despite being the lesser of the known, the taste certainly packs a punch. With a low acidity and creamy body, oozing with caramel and chocolate notes, it is a shame the Brazilian blend doesn’t quite get the same recognition as their Colombian neighbors.

A little further north, in Central America, you will find a divergent range of flavors, thanks to differing altitudes. Nicaragua, is known for a hearty blend, whilst Guatemala coffees are much more full-bodied and bold.  Mexican beans are perfect for the dark roast lovers - Its nutty beans help to produce a sweet medium body. Whereas, the beans in Honduras help to produce a fruity and sugary taste, which are perfect for anybody with a sweet tooth.

Across the North Pacific Ocean to the lower slopes of Mount Hualalai and Mauna Loa in Hawaii, you will find the ‘superior’ tasting Kona Coffee bean.  The Kona coffee bean produces a unique light blend of coffee, which is fragrant, acidic with a fruity undertone. So, if you ever see the Hawaiian bean on the menu, give it a try and let your taste buds tingle.

Over in Africa, the flavors are just as diverse as their American counterparts.

The Kenyan beans, possess a savory/sweet characteristic with a hint of a blackcurrant flavoring and winey acidity.  These to die for beans are produced on very small quality farms, so it is no wonder the Kenyans deliver a taste like no other.

Meanwhile, in Ethiopia, there are two distinct coffee processes, which produce two distinctively different blends.  The “washed” process involves stripping the fruit after 12 hours of picking, which produces a light, floral, tea-like flavor  - perfect for anyone who prefers drier taste. However, if your move of a fruit lover, then selecting a “natural” blend, will more than likely satisfy your taste buds. The natural process maintains the flavors of the fruits, which creates a heavy and wine-like blend with a luxurious syrupy body.

So next time, you are enjoying your ‘coffee house signature’, take your time to ask the barista the source of the blend… and maybe even teach them something they don’t know!