The "Grand Cru" Crew: 8 coffees above 88 points
If you're looking to fill that special spot on your menu reserved for coffees of the "Grand Cru" variety, we've put together this short list of stunners to help you make your selection. At some point our green coffee list will show coffee scores at a glance, which will be helpful in at least gauging where we think our coffees fit on a standard 110 point scale. Of course, score is only one measure of quality, and doesn't address preference in the least. Coffees of a rustic nature or with milder, more 'daily drinking' profiles might not breach the 88 point threshold, though still the preference of many coffee drinkers. So know what type of coffee you're looking for first, realizing that score only makes up one part of the entire picture.
In that spirit, this list is comprised of coffees that I think to be the 'dessert' type. No, they don't necessarily taste like cake and ice cream (though some might!). But 'dessert' in the sense that they fit the need for a crowning flavor experience. Coffees that are fruited, floral, and most definitely a step (or three) beyond our sort of 'sweet and clean' baseline coffees. In the case of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Guatemala, these are coffees that arrived in the summertime, and so we've QC'd to ensure the quality has sustained. All the coffees below are cupping extremely well, worthy of reappropriated terms such as "Grand Cru" and "microlot" (and a few actually are microlots).
I've included scores, pricing, and five descriptors for each coffee all based off of current roasts. You can link directly to the full review and ordering pages below. Without further ado, the Grand Cru Crew:
- Burundi Mutambu Station: 89.2 points - honey tangerine, tart berry, vanilla bean, raw sugar, citrus highlights
- Colombia Pavón -"Urraoenses" Microlote: 88.2 - layered sugars, plum, elderberry tea, syrupy, bodied
- Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Chele'lektu: 92 - floral, peach nectar, honey graham, herb tea, so clean
- Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Dry Process -Gedeb Asasa: 91 - burned caramel, berry, nougat, tamarind, floral
- Guatemala Xinabajul -Wilmar y Olinter: 88.5 - black tea brilliance, red apple, citrus oil, walnut, Dutch cocoa
- Guatemala Acatenango Gesha: 92.5+ - incredible jasmine florals and acidity, limeade, English Breakfast tea, so clean
- Kenya Kirinyaga Kamwangi AB: 90.5 - brilliant acidity, juicy fruits, pink grapefruit, peach, bodied
- Kenya Nyeri Gatomboya Peaberry: 90 - molasses sweetness, kumquat, coconut water, pulpy citrus, peach nectar