Gourmet Coffee Brands

Everyday, people all over the world wake up to the invigorating experience of the exceptional beverage called coffee. The popularity of coffee can be judged by the fact that its consumption amounts to about a third of that of tap water in North America and Europe. Most gourmet coffee brands are beyond the reach of the common masses and are marketed exclusively to the affluent.

It includes the likes of Hacienda la Esmeralda Geisha grown in Panama which recently sold at an auction for $50.25 per pound creating a record in the process. What is it that makes a truly great cup of gourmet coffee? Is it the bean, the blend, or the roast? Actually, it’s all of these factors and many more. The price of a coffee brand is not decided just by its quality, but also by the romance or exclusivity of their origins.

Some varieties of gourmet coffees like the Guatemala coffee excel in their blend and are often referred to as gourmet blend coffee. Some coffee products stand out on account of their origins like the Hawaii coffee, Brazilian coffee, Sumatra coffee and the very famous java coffee. There are also coffee brands that supply the particularly exacting customer who has specific demands for decaffeinated, low acid coffee or kosher coffee blends. The exclusivity and quality of coffee is also influenced by the coffee roast adopted by the gourmet coffee blender. Darker roast styles are preferred by some veteran gourmet coffee connoisseurs.

The coffee market is very different today than it was half a century ago. During the early part of the past century, a few small coffee roasters managed to obtain high-quality beans for select high profile markets. But most coffee was sold in cans, and consumers were more concerned with price and consistency than taste, so premier coffee was simply blended away.

But, today after the coffee sector surged in the ’90s, great coffee beans are now making a journey directly from crop to cup. Coffee roasters buy beans directly from the farmers for a premium that encourages them to improve their growing methods and produce superior beans. The beans are carefully transported and roasted before being sold to the connoisseurs.

The most exclusive gourmet coffee brand is the Kopi Luwak from Indonesia which retails at about $160 per pound. It is mainly composed of coffee beans eaten and digested by palm civets. The palm civets use their acute sense of smell to select the best and ripest coffee beans to eat. During digestion the flesh of the coffee berries disintegrate exposing the rich beans which are then collected manually from the forest floor.

Another elite coffee brand is El Injerto from Huehuetenango, Guatemala which generated $25 per pound green at auction. This boutique lot of coffee by El Injerto, which was specially prepared for the Cup of Excellence auction won the first prize in that auction. This coffee expected to retail for more than $50 per pound, after it has gone through the roasting process.

Yauco Selecto AA from Puerto Rico is another great brand. Grown in the Yauco region represented a standard of excellence in coffee production. This coffee brand is known for its mild flavor.

It is obvious that gourmet coffee makes for a great gourmet food gift. As the so called coffee baskets and gourmet gift baskets flood the market, it is essential for a true connoisseur to know the difference between the real coffee and a meaningless ‘gourmet’ label on the packaging as a marketing gimmick. But, as with every other calling, being a true connoisseur of gourmet coffee calls for knowledge, experience and a great insatiable love for coffee.

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