As many types of wine and grapes as there are, there are just as many coffees and beans. The pleasure is in the trying.
The most renowned is the Colombian. Tolima grows the La Esperanza beans at almost 600ft above sea level. The aroma is a delicate cherry, combined with pipe tobacco and chocolate. If only it tasted that way, but of course, skip the tobacco part. The worlds second is the famous Supremo. Warming vanilla combines with hints of bittersweet chocolate, but this dies quickly and needs to be drunk hot. The handpicked Hawaiian Kona beans offer medium and dark blends. They are brilliant as an espresso roast.
On the other side of the world, on the southern side of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Tanzanian Peaberry beans offer a light bodied drink with a slightly high acidity. These beans are distinctive in shape, being slightly oval. Many a climber has been welcomed with a fresh cup as they ascend the mountain. Then, Ethiopia, the legendary birthplace of coffee, boasts a citrus flavored cup made from beans from the Yirgacheffe area. The flavor is like a combination of orange peel, lemon, ginger and chocolate. Yummy, and it is in my opinion reminiscent of famous German Christmas herbal teas.
Across to the sub-continental India, the Monsson Malabar, yellowish puffed beans brew into an apricot infused blend. The Jumboors is also another good one with its subtly sweet, raisin like flavor.
Head into Asia and find the Lake Toba area of the island of Sumatra. These beans are light, sweet and almost infused with jasmine/cherry flavor. It is quite acidic. Other provinces offer darker, spicy and fruity blends that smell of cedar and grapefruit. Nearby Vietnam grows the Lampung Robusta beans. They used the wash, dry and polish process to give an almost woody, slightly acidic brew that is more subtle than the arabica.
Far away from Asia, entering the Caribbean, the Jamaican Peaberry beans are more full-bodied, sweetishly acidic, and have slightly floral tones. They make for a pleasant, but strong drink.
Whether you are buying a cappuccino machine and want to know what types of beans and coffees you can brew in your kitchen, or you simply want a cappuccino or other coffee from your nearby coffeehouse, knowing what is available is a real treat. Even the caffeine cannot dampen a great cup of home brewed coffee, no matter where the beans originated.
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