What coffee origin is your least favorite? - Page 4

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.

Postby EddyQ » Apr 10, 2019, 10:14 pm

Almico wrote:Of all the things that can affect the taste of coffee, I think the country where it is grown might be the least influential.

That is so true. I used to hate Kenyan coffees. My first bag from George Howell many many years ago was a light Kenyan and I almost tossed it. At that time, I was brewing with only a moka pot and this light roast did not work with that. But I now love a Kenyan brew or espresso.

To be honest, I cannot think of a coffee origin I do not like. I have not tried them all. And I have had poor coffees from many origins. So to rule out or generalize that an origin is bottom of the barrel I don't think I can do.

The worst looking green coffee I have came from Sumatra, but I like the unique bold earthiness of it once in a while. A dry tasting DP Ethiopian is tough to like, but I will make it a welcome challenge to dial in and enjoy it when I do. I have a low graded Brazil Natural that everybody seems to love. It has a fantastic coffee aroma and mild low acid flavor.

The green coffee I enjoyed the least has been a Burundi (which was likely my fault for not roasting properly a few years ago), some Kona a fellow worker gave me and some 3 year old Honduras beans I got for nothing.

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Postby TomC » Apr 11, 2019, 12:30 am

frank828 wrote:have you tried any from Hasbean? I know their old head roaster, and he had only the most positive things to say about the coffees they were getting.
From what i hear, the really great stuff is spoken for ahead of time from established buyers(like Hasbean)

I think i tried one of their "funky" naturals...i remember it being a positive experience...it was a while back though.

Haven't had their stuff yet.

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Postby drgary » Apr 11, 2019, 2:32 am

EddyQ wrote:To be honest, I cannot think of a coffee origin I do not like.

I'm not trying to be contrarian, but that's my "take" also.

I was given some sample Kenyans and really enjoyed their clarity and tea-like mouthfeel. I enjoy earthy Sumatrans, which is pretty much the opposite. I've had Guatemalans I loved and others not so much, but it could be because I didn't roast the latter too well. I like light roasts, dark roasts, and well-tuned roasts in between. I like coffees that are processed in different ways.

If there's anything I don't like, I suspect it's because there's a defect, or it's a varietal that's grown in a climate or country that isn't suitable. I've heard that Vietnam doesn't do Arabica coffees particularly well. I had one that was bland until I roasted it dark, and then it was very mild and pleasant.

I've had Robustas that taste good but the caffeine and other stimulating compounds in that coffee don't agree with me, however that's not an origin issue.

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Postby Mrbiglzwerth » Apr 12, 2019, 9:32 am

crankles wrote:Sumatra....and not because I don't like it, but for whatever reason, it gives me a stomach ache. Even blends that have it upset it. And I've got a garbage disposal for a stomach. I can eat just about anything.


I may have the same problem. Coffee generally doesn't upset my stomach but coffees from the Asian Pacific (eg Starbucks) do.


Postby malling » Apr 15, 2019, 6:59 am

I agree that country of origin isn't the best way to tell if you'll like the coffee as the coffee within a certain country can vary in its taste characteristics.

If you tastes coffee from different regions of said country you would know there can be huge differences between those regions. There is allot of things at play it's not just the variety that's grown, it's also the altitude, the soil the picking, the sorting, the processing and roasting process, everything play it's part.

Therefore I always look or ask about the variety as it will tell me more of what I can expect in combination with where it's grown and how it's processed then just knowing from which country it is from.

I never experience a country from Africa nor The Americas that where not able to produce tasty coffee. However Asia is a different story, I personally think it has something to do with the choice of variety they grow in combination of general lower altitudes, poorer quality and not at least processing methods and fermentation that give characteristics that I tend to dislike.

I really like red bourbon from Burundi, however these can be quite tricky to roast and has a very narrow window where the coffee truly shine, but if you do succeed then I found it to be some of the best coffee in recent years.

If anyone ask my opinion on Coffee from Kenya, then I'll tend to say Kenyan coffee has been on a long downward spiral, my theory is that it's main course is that SL28 and SL34 often is mixed with filler beans such as Ruiru11, one thing is certain every time I encounter filler beans it has had a problematic impact on taste and especially aftertaste and it has become quite widespread in Kenya in recent years, hence lower quality coffee.

Columbia is filled with hybrids where the variety has robusta genes and I never found a coffee I liked when that is precent, Colombian that is used allot is a great example of a variety I just distaste and that I have never had a positive experience from. In fact over the last decade I think have experienced less than a handful of great coffee from Columbia, and every time these has been some variety of Bourbon without Colombian, Castillo and similar bad tasting varieties.


Postby false1001 » Apr 15, 2019, 4:01 pm

It sounds like a lot of this comes down to the fact that some origins have generally higher quality green standards than others. I also wonder if there's some sample bias here. The Kenyas or Ethiopias most of us drink are high quality specialty lots... I've rarely seen a commodity African discussed/posted on here, but commodity Asian/South American beans are impossible to get away from.

Another big factor could be how easy different origins are to roast... a well roasted Sumatran can be mind blowing, but it's admittedly very tricky to roast the vegetal flavors out of most Asian bean while maintaining origin flavor. On the flip side, I've also found a decent amount of Kenyans to be over the top stone fruit acid bombs with little to no complexity, but I think that might be because roasting a specialty Kenya lot light and bright is easy to do and gives high profit margins.

I think specialty Peru gets a bad rap because of the commodity trade there, similar to Brazil, but if you can find a high quality bean it can be hard to beat the raisin/banana/milk chocolate tones I get from a lot of Peru beans. Coincidentally raisins and bananas are two of my favorite foods...

Like I mentioned above, stone fruit acid bomb Kenyas have become really old to me, but I still find the odd one I enjoy. I've never had a Jamaican or Hawaiian bean that's lived up to anywhere near their price tag though. Folgers for rich people if you ask me.


Postby mdmvrockford » Apr 16, 2019, 5:27 pm

lagoon wrote:I find the Monsooned Malabar beans a bit of a hit and miss proposition.

Occasionally they are good, but most commonly I find them to impart a musty, 'barnyard' flavour which can be unpleasant.

This is a little different to the other suggestions above as it is a combination of region and the monsooning technique that produces these beans.

Monsoon Malabar.

In general I am like drGary post #33 (i.e. there is not one I really dislike). That was until I recently came across a home-roasted Monsoon Malabar. On just smelling the roasted bean I smelled some organic "green" (e.g. somewhat like peat but definitely something like pine/dark green cut grass that sat in recycle bin for 24hours). Sorry my taste vocabulary is poor and I can't described what I hate further. My "global review Siskel and Ebert scale" is two thumbs down. Two others (they are senior home-barista.com members) when smelling the roasted beans both said it looked and smelled like typical Monsoon Malabar. When I finally brewed it as espresso (64mm flat burr grinder, full manual lever espresso machine, peak 7 bar, 15 sec preinfustion, external temperature on grouphead 170F) there was definite element of "green" smell and taste. Varying brew parameters (pulled tight ristretto, regular and lungo ) all still yielded some element of that "green." Of note I HATE peat Scotches (e.g. Ardbeg Uigeadail and Douglas Laing Big Peat http://www.whiskyadvocate.com/ratings-reviews/?search=&submit=&review_id=1624) as I detest similar organic "green" which I have been told is the peat. So those who love Monsoon Malabar, good for you. Just don't offer me any :lol:

This is one professional review of a Moonsoon Malabar (NOT my roasted sample) but it too describes an organic green: there pine.
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Postby yakster » Apr 16, 2019, 5:51 pm

Monsooned Malabar, like Kopi Luwak, is more of a coffee prep or processing method than an origin.

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Postby keith023 » Apr 18, 2019, 8:57 am

I am not sure which origin but I tend to dislike the citrusy notes in very light roasts. I definitely lean more towards a northern Italian or chocolaty note when possible.


Postby mdmvrockford » Apr 18, 2019, 6:15 pm

yakster wrote:Monsooned Malabar, like Kopi Luwak, is more of a coffee prep or processing method than an origin.

The quote at beginning of my post also mentions the monsooning process ; so like you said Moonsoon Malabar is not a true origin.
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