Fantastic Coffee & Where to Find Them

6 Exotic Coffee Beans Around the World - posted on 03 June 2017 by Kenneth Chai

Preparing, processing and profiling coffee is similar to wine and tea. Ask a non-coffee drinker about coffee, and you’re certain to receive similar response as from a non-alcoholic person about wine. They all taste the same.

Yet, third wave coffee are sweeping across the globe like a plague. Speciality stores that brew the most exotic recherché single origins coffee are getting visible in trendy neighbourhoods from Seattle to Bangkok. The movement, first noticed in the 1990s, has successfully turn the most seemingly mundane commodity, into an artisanal beverage.

To learn and experience the highest form of culinary coffee appreciation, specialised coffee house employ alternative methods of brewing, such as the siphon and pour-over. As opposed to conventional espresso machines where a blend of fine coffee ground are pressurised with hot steam, the non-mechanized handmade preparation enable the appreciation of otherwise hidden subtleties of high quality coffee – the body, aroma, flavour, aftertaste, growing region etc.

Due to this phenomenon, stages of coffee production – from regional growers, family owned farms to roast houses - around the world has witnessed significant improvements due to the renewed interests in specialty coffee.

As the developing world grows wealthier, global demand and the pursuit or higher quality coffee origins appreciation will only move in one direction – up.

High quality Arabica coffee plants are predominantly grown in the ‘Bean Belt’ – an equatorial band around the globe between the tropic of Capricorn and Cancer, where soil, climate and altitude heavily affect the flavour in the end product. With ample rain and shaded sun along the mountainous regions of Central Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia, coffee grown in these area accounts for more than 90% of the world’s export.

Here are 6 of the most exotic, sought after coffee beans in the world.

Blue Bourbon (Country of Origin: Rwanda)

Bourbon coffee is considered an heirloom variety of Coffee Arabica, which Rwanda is known for because of the climate. Currently marketed exclusively by Starbucks, the Black Apron series coffee gives a hint hints of lemon, black cherry, and spiced nuts with a strong finish.

Price: USD24/lbs

Mi Esperanza (Country of Origin: Honduras)

Meaning My Hope in Spanish, Mi Esperanza is not only known for its natural characteristics which combines the flavours of fruits, nuts, chocolates and spice, but its unique sweet, non-bitter after taste.

Price: 35/lbs

Kona (Country of Origin: Hawaii, U.S.)

Cultivated on the slopes of active volcanoes (Hualalai and Mauna Loa), these premium beans are named after the Hawaiian districts that produced them. Due to the steep and rocky contours of the region, cultivating, growing and harvesting the coffee is extremely labour intensive.

In their own words, Gourmet Coffee HQ described the Kona :

"...I was greeted with a full aroma that hinted at chocolate and hazelnut... The flavor is complex, and lasts for a surprisingly long time... A second or two after the initial sip, a sweet, berry-like flavor emerged.

Price: USD35-55/lbs

Blue Mountain (Country of Origin: Jamaica)

No list of exotic coffee is complete without a mention of the Jamaican Blue Mountain. Well balanced and mild, the Blue Mountain is well known for its non-bitterness. Grown at elevations between 3000 – 5500 ft in Kingston, the beans are primarily exported to Japan and sold in its famous mini gunny sacks.

Price: USD55/lbs

St. Helena (Country of Origin: St. Helena)

Legend has it that Napoleon Bonaparte was so fascinated with the coffee’s unique floral flavour and hints of citrus, he personally tended a crop of St. Helena on the island himself. The remote location of the island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, and its demanding growing requirement made it one of the most expensive coffee in the market.

Price: USD80/lbs

Hacienda La Esmeralda (Country of Origin: Panama)

Produced in limited quantities in the shades of a specific guava trees, on the slope of Mt. Baru in Panama, Hacienda La Esmeralda is the epitome of quality and delicacy in the coffee world.

If you’re lucky, or wealthy enough to take a sip, the classic Esmeralda are known to offer a sweet and fragrant taste, with bursts of chocolate tangerine and notes of passion fruit.  Dubbed “the world’s best coffee”, it regularly snags the cupping awards around the globe.

Price: USD350/lb