What Makes a Good Coffee?

The answer to this question depends on many factors. Coffee is very similar to wine, in the sense that its 'terroir' is essential in determining its attributes. For example the nature of the soils, how it is exposed to the sun, rainfall, altitude, how the trees are nurtured and cultivated, how it is processed – these factors all play a crucial role in how that coffee finally tastes in your cup.

As an example, coffee beans grown and picked in Sumatra, Indonesia, will produce a darker coffee, due to the soil and climatic conditions of the area. However, if the bean comes from the Galapagos Island, you will find a lighter tasting coffee bean.

What I find interesting is if you ask various people who know and like their coffee what they consider a good coffee the answers vary from 'full body and powerful aroma', to 'acidity and aromatic', to 'strong, fuller body and very aromatic', it is all about taste and smell really. At the end of the day it is very subjective, it really comes down to individual tastes, customs and habits.