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Coffee – Varieties Around The World – Part 2
There are as many beans and coffees from around the world as there are grapes and wine – and as much delight to be had in sampling them.
The Colombian is, rightly so, world-renowned. The La Esperanza from Tolima, for example, is grown at almost 6,000 feet and the effect shows. High-toned with a delicate aroma and cherry-like it has hints of milk chocolate and pipe tobacco. Who knew such a mixture could actually taste wonderful?
Of course, the world’s second largest producer has much more to offer. The Supremo makes a complex brew with vanilla notes and hints of semi-sweet chocolate. Be sure to drink hot, as it fades fast.
Hopping over to Hawaii, the hand-picked Kona comes in both medium and dark roast. The latter has a very light acid with the medium making for slightly more. But the espresso roast remains a favorite, where the minimally acidic, dark and strong character really shines.
Jetting off to Africa we find a Tanzanian Peaberry, grown on the southern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Peaberries have a distinctive shape, making a single oval bean rather than the usual pair of flat-sided beans. One consequence is a higher acidity and lighter body. Climbers of the famous mountain can find a warming cup on their way up.
And while there, take a side jaunt to the legendary home of coffee – Ethiopia. The Yirgacheffe region is home to a citrusy brew that combines ginger, orange peel and lemon that’s both tart and chocolaty.
Trekking east to India we rest to take in another famous landmark – the Monsoon Malabar. The product of three months of the well-known wet winds, the puffy yellow beans make for a pungent brew with hints of apricot. But don’t leave without sampling one of the Jumboors, with its sweet raisin tones.
Continuing east to Indonesia we find ourselves in Sumatra, long known for the product from the Lake Toba region. A light roast, the cup is sweet and flowery. The original jasmine-like coffee flower has been retained to produce an astringent cup with cherry overtones.
And while there don’t forget about the northern provinces where the traditional dark roast gives a spicy, tropical fruit brew with hints of cedar and grapefruit.
A short flight to Vietnam puts us in a position to enjoy a Robusta from Lampung. The washing-drying-polishing process makes for a woody, astringent cup that competes well with its more high-toned Arabica cousin.
On the way home, a stopover in Jamaica provides an opportunity to discover an unusual source. The Jamaican peaberry, showing its African origins is a single bean. But the effect is altogether different. Full-bodied, sweetly acid, and full of floral notes this cup comes on strong.
Weary from the journey, but satisfied and satiated, we close our book of ‘Travels Around The Globe’ then turn out the light and switch off the coffee pot. Even with all that caffeine we should have no trouble sleeping.