Two things excite me in this world: Ideas and Coffee. I want to bring you on a journey to explore them, so that we can create Amazing Coffee Experiences together.
When I am conducting coffee workshops at The Coffee Roaster Academy, one of the most common questions I get is, “What is the best coffee in the world?”, and that is a very interesting question indeed.
We seem to have an illusion of a ranking of all the coffees in the world, and yet, I think that I can actually tell you what the best coffee in the world is.
The Best Coffee in the World is the one you enjoy the most. Before you exit this page in disbelief, allow me to explain.
Making the Grade
Firstly, coffee itself is a product. It is a commodity that can be graded on a scale through a process known as cupping. There are metrics that are used on the cupping form commissioned by the Specialty Coffee Association and that includes aroma, acidity, body and balance.
A coffee that scores 80 points or more is classified as specialty grade and it is possible for coffees to score points as high as 97.
However, knowing which coffees scored the highest on the cupping scale appears more to satisfy one’s curiosity, than to genuinely impact the way we make our daily coffee decisions.
Next, the consumption of coffee is an experience in itself, and experiences are, by nature, highly personal. For the vast majority of you coffee drinkers, I am 100% certain that you will have no problems telling me about your most memorable coffee spots. You can go on and on, rambling about how the body is strong or how the taste profile transforms as the coffee cools.
At the height of these great coffee experiences, we no longer rely on objective coffee grading scores. We rely on our own individual metrics, carefully calibrated over years or even decades of coffee tasting.
Perhaps, as we embark on our own personal coffee journey, hopping from one café or local coffee shop to another, we discover more about ourselves than we discover coffees.
Here’s the thing: It does not matter whether you manage to find THE BEST coffee or not.
In fact, I don’t think you’ll even manage to finish trying every coffee in Singapore (where I’m from) or your own country, simply because there are just too many of them.
Therein lies the truth: The most beautiful part of this coffee journey is not the destination, because there isn’t one;
But rather, the fun, joy and laughter you have with your friends over coffee, the conversations you have with the baristas over coffee origins, or perhaps the serenity of sipping a brew by yourself, listening to the smooth jazz playing in the background of the café - these form the most beautiful parts of your unique coffee journey.
At the end of the day, the best out there may not be the most suitable for you, but the most suitable one is definitely the best for you.