I contemplated even making a list this year, but then I decided that it’s just a fun way to recap the year… Especially when we are talking about coffee here. Recapping the year in coffee makes you take a step back and look at all the coffees you’ve had, helps you focus on the ones that really made an impression and forget the ones that fell short.
20.) Bella Carmona, Guatemala from Kuma Coffee
19.)Papua New Guinea Barioda from Batdorf & Bronson
I tell you… This coffee was like crack. Jason Dominy couldn’t have said it better. Another coffee you just had to have had to understand. If it ever comes around this year, do not, and I mean do not hesitate to order some.
18.) Sumatra Aceh Takengon from Venia Coffee
I might just be as surprised as you are that a Sumatran coffee made the list. This one is pungent, heavy bodied, and oh so good. Thick and syrupy, heavy, sweet, and dirty. I think that sums this one up.
17.) Guatemala El Injerto Pandora (Pacamara) COE #1 from Velton’s Coffee
Here’s a coffee that opened slowly so I put it aside to come back to it as it neared a week old. Instead, it was closer to three weeks before I came back to it. Thankfully, the coffee still impressed me enough to make it on this years list. Sweet, juicy, and tart. Light bodied with a crisp finish. I’d love to see this come around again.
16.) Maui Yellow Caturra from Forty Weight Coffee
One of my all time favorite coffees was a home roast I did of a Maui Yellow Caturra I bought years ago. I’ll never forget that coffee ever! It was nice to see some come around in 2012. Forty Weight Coffee did a fabulous job with this coffee. Intense peanut butter aromatics and taste.
15.) Ethiopia Kochere from Case Coffee
This coffee was all over the place. Featuring citrus notes, grapes, a lemon bomb, a gigantic white tea play and an orange chocolate combination reminding me of those chocolate balls in the shape of an orange that you have to smash on the counter to open.
14.) Panama Carmen Natural from Kuma Coffee
Hey Mark! Are we sure this was just coffee and you didn’t sneak anything else into it? I was giddy writing about this coffee and especially every time I had a cup. Intense blueberry sweetness. Like drizzling blueberry syrup into your mouth. Amazing not only as a hot coffee, but as a cold brew too!
13.) Nigusse Lemma, Ethiopia from Kuma Coffee
Think sweet jam. I mean SWEET blueberry and blackberry jam. This coffee was so jam like that at times it felt a little to sweet. Not for weak either. It wasn’t all blueberries and blackberries though. A wonderful melon play came through as the cup cooled along with some cocoa hints.
12.) Abakunda Kawa, Rwanda from Ritual Coffee Roasters
It didn’t matter what method I used, this coffee came out great every time. This coffee won me over with its marshmallowy sweetness, sweet pears, creamy body and floral aromatics such as roses as it cooled. Yes I said roses.
11.) Guatemala Aguacate Amarillo from Barefoot Coffee Roasters
10.) Guatemala Huehuetenago Codech from BeanFruit Coffee
This year was a great year for BeanFruit Coffee. I had some of their coffee last year, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I really fell in love with them. This is like eating a bag of Jolly Ranchers. Sweet, juicy, and very candied-like.
9.) Guatemala El Limonar from Passion House Coffee Roasters
A big big thanks to Drew Moody for reviewing this in the first place. If it wasn’t for him I don’t think I would have bought this coffee. This coffee literally sparkled. It reminded me of drinking a sparkling soda. Very interesting coffee.
8.) It’s The Most Wonderful Blend of The Year from Ceremony Coffee
My second all time favorite holiday blend for 2012. I almost didn’t see this one either. As I described in my review, this coffee is full of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice. It carries the usual feel of a good holiday blend. Spice, nice thick body, and then before you know it the cup does a full 360 on you and brings out raspberry doughnuts, big red wine notes, juicy red plums and so much more.
7.) Rwanda Kigeyo from Gorilla Coffee
This was a fun coffee. I found the Woodneck going back and forth between a nice earthy coffee reminding me of a Sumatran to a really nice wine-like coffee. I don’t think this coffee knew what it wanted to showcase, but it was fun having each sip being completely different each time.
6.) Sumatra Lintong Dolok Sanggul from Velton’s Coffee
I was surprised that there was a second Sumatran I could call memorable in 2012. Lots of raspberries going on in this coffee with a nice balance of rustic and earthy tones. I was happy to have my expectations for this coffee been proved wrong.
My Top 5 Picks
5.) Bear Claus from Kuma Coffee
Who would have guessed that combining two Colombian coffees would results in a holiday blend full of earthiness, spice, and then as it cooled a gobstopper of fruit and chocolate. This was a first ever holiday coffee for Mark at Kuma Coffee. I am so glad I had the chance to try this wonderful coffee. I cannot wait to see if he does a holiday coffee for next year.
4.) Sumatra Tano Batak from Kuma Coffee
2012 surprised me this year when I actually came across some Sumatran coffees that really impressed me. Enough so that a few of them made the list. This Sumatran from Kuma Coffee was one of my favorites. This one was reminiscent of the usual Sumatrans, but as it cools it completely changed… Bananas, cantaloupe, raisins, strawberries… Ohh my gosh!
3.) Colombia Granja La Esperanza Geisha from Kaldi’s Coffee
If I bought any Geisha in 2012, I am glad it was this. This Colombia Granja La Esperanza from Kaldi’s was magical. This coffee carried hands down the most tasty key lime note I’ve ever tasted. I tasted a bunch of other wonderful notes, but really I just got lost in the sweetness of key lime pie.
2.) Barrel Conditioned Series #2 Mexico Santa Teresa from Ceremony Coffee
I’m probably going to kick myself in the butt for a long while for missing the first series of this Barrel Conditioned coffee, but I am just glad to have experienced the second batch. This experiment was the best idea Ceremony Coffee had. The experiment included putting green coffee in used wine barrels and waiting. The result is the final product imparting flavors from the used wine barrels in the most delightful way possible. Normally I’d wouldn’t agree with trying to change the flavor of a coffee, but this is something you’ll want to try in the new year.
1.) Collabrewation Blend from Batdorf & Bronson / Kaldi’s Coffee
A collaboration between coffee roasters. A first of its kind in the Specialty Coffee Industry. Two roasters, Batdorf & Bronson and Kaldi’s Coffee collaborating to make a blend of coffee that was just so darn good. I don’t really care much for blends, but I was curious to see what two roasters could bring to the table when combining their coffees into a blend. The end result? Hands down one of the best coffees I had in 2012.