When I look at the questions that people ask online about coffee in China, perhaps the most common is “Where can I buy the best coffee in China?” This is a reasonable question considering that there are so many roasters in the country, but it doesn’t help you with then selecting the best possible coffee for your own taste.
There are so many varieties of coffee, methods of roasting, styles of blending and preparation techniques that it can be difficult to know which one will work in a given situation. Much like red wine pairs well with certain foods and white wines pair better with others, coffee is particular about how it should be drunk. Asking which coffee is the best can sometimes miss the point.
That being said, I’m going to outline a few points below that can help you to identify the best coffee for you.
Make sure you buy your coffee beans from a reputable speciality roaster. Speciality roasters only use the highest scoring coffee beans from around the world. Starting with quality coffee beans gives us an advantage over large scale coffee roasters. Not having to feed the same large roasting machines, we are free to buy the premium speciality lots that aren’t available in large enough quantities for commercial
To tell if a roaster is reputable, take a look at some independent reviews of their coffee from around the internet. Places like CoffeeReview.com (where we were globally ranked #2 overall in 2015 and hold the highest score for a single origin Yunnan coffee) and Coffee Cantata are great to get an idea of what industry experts think of the products.
Once you have established that the roaster is qualified, make sure that they are able to provide you with a range of coffees tailored to your requirements. Coffee is very much like wine. Part of the joy of a great coffee is in the exploration. Drinking fine speciality coffee should be about variety and excitement of trying different coffees every month. in our case, we buy micro lots of coffee from China and around the world that are only occasionally available. We have to move fast to get these, but when we do, we are able to offer unique limited time experiences unique from anyone else in the industry.
I would also recommend finding a roaster who can help you select from their lineup to find the tastes that are perfect for you. ManLao River created the Coffee Personalisation Quiz which asks questions about your flavour preferences and then generates coffee selections based on what you select. In this way, you will get an amazing coffee that is not only suited to your method of brewing but also selected for your personal taste preference. Much like it is only possible to express an opinion as to whether a banana is better than an orange, preference for different types of coffee differ from person to person.
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