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What is the best coffee?

Posted by Joseph Verbeek on
Solomon coffee
Taste is subjective. We talk about the best coffee in our website, but when it comes to taste, at the end what is best, is in the eye of the beholder. Many years ago someone was showing me around the Périgord in France and we stopped for lunch at this tiny hamlet on the top of a hill. We stopped at a very dark looking place that did not look much more like a barn with almost no windows. There was no signage outside. Inside there were tables and some people eating. It was a very basic restaurant without a till and hardly any lights. The owner who was obviously cooking came and recommended the snails, so I had them. I don't particularly like them but will eat them. Out came a dusty bottle of house wine that we were told matched the snails. I had a sip and did not particular like it, a dirty shiraz or so, but once I started to eat and flushed the snails away, the wine came to live and created an unforgettable memory. Best wine I ever had. The point is that I had no expectation that I would have such a wonderful culinary experience in such a humble and unfamiliar setting. With coffee it is the same. For years we tried to help coffee cultivation in the Solomon Islands. In 2016 I went there with my friend and grower Felix Marin from Peru to provide some education. The trip into the highlands is a bit of a mission without roads. When there, in primary jungle with coffee plants scattered around, we decided to make some coffee in-situ from some coffee they had dried earlier. Dehusking by hand, roasting on open fire and grinding by crushing the beans in a pot and then just pour water over the grinds. I guess the coffee was not particularly good but it was one of the most enjoyable cups of coffee I ever had. There is no best coffee. For me a coffee at 11am does not taste as nice as a coffee at 8 am and it makes a difference how I slept and what I had to eat or drink before and it makes a big difference where and with whom you are. Good coffee happens!

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