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All About Coffee
All About Coffee

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In general, African coffee beans and those from the Middle East have well-rounded flavor, medium to full body, and a bright spark of acidity. They are often described as floral or winy.

  • Burundi. Full-bodied, acidic coffee beans of good to excellent quality.
  • Cameroon. Sweet, mellow Arabica coffee beans, good to excellent quality.
  • Ethiopia. Beans from the Djimmah region are big-bodied, with spicy, earthy flavor and pungent aftertaste. Beans from Harrar are intense and winy.
  • Kenya. Smooth, full-bodied, fragrant, and acidic. Look for Kenyan coffee beans designated with the highest "AA" rating, and those from the Chagga tribe.
  • Rwanda. Rich, acidic beans of very high quality.
  • Tanzania. Complex, mellow-tasting, winy coffee beans with good body and acidity. Look for those from Kilimanjaro and Bukoba.
  • Yemen. Outstanding Arabica coffee, often designated "Mocha" coffee beans after the now-closed Middle Eastern port of origin, with a signature chocolaty flavor.


Coffees from South America, the Caribbean, and Hawaii are known for good balance, medium body, bright acidity, and floral hints.

  • Brazil. Brazilian coffee in general has a consistent but unexceptional character that makes it a good backbone of blends. Brazilian Bourbon Santos coffee, however, is noteworthy on its own for its fine, smooth, mild flavor.
  • Colombia. Look for the two highest grades of Colombian coffee beans, Supremo and
  • Excelso. Colombian Medellin coffee is rich, full-bodied, and slightly acidic. Aged Vintage Colombian coffee is remarkably sweet, syrupy, and rich, with little acidity.
  • Costa Rica. Costa Rican coffee beans are strong, heavy-bodied, rich in flavor, and bracingly acidic.
  • Dominican Republic. Coffee marked by rich flavor and moderate acidity. Look for those from Barahona and Santo Domingo.
  • El Salvador. Look for high grown coffee beans, which have mild flavor, good body, and medium acidity.
  • Guatemala. The best beans are the high mountain varieties from Amatitlan, Antigua, and Coban, with heavy body, high acidity, and a touch of smoke or spice.
  • Haiti. Haitian coffee beans have rich, slightly sweet flavor, heavy body, and moderate acidity.
  • Hawaii. Noted for Kona coffee beans, which have excellent body, rich aroma and flavor, and hints of sweetness and spice.
  • Jamaica. Famed for Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, which is full-bodied, lightly acidic, and mellow.
  • Mexico. Look for good-quality Mexican coffee beans, noted for fragrant aroma, full body, rich flavor, and slight acidity.
  • Nicaragua. Quality high-grown coffee will be mild and moderately acidic.
  • Panama. The best Panamanian coffee is mild-flavored, full-bodied, and brightly acidic.
  • Peru. Good-flavored, with a hint of acidity.
  • Venezuela. Look for coffee beans from Cucutas and Tachiras, which are rich and slightly acidic; and coffee from Merida, with excellent flavor and light body.



  • Celebes. This Indonesian island produces Celebes Kalosi coffee beans, which are almost syrupy, full-bodied, and sharply acidic.
  • China. Coffee beans from Yunnan are full-bodied, richly flavored, and slightly sweet and acidic.
  • India. Look for full-bodied, slightly acidic Mysore coffee beans and rich yet delicate Malabar coffee.
  • Java. The best Arabica beans from this island whose name is synonymous with coffee are heavy-bodied, spicy, and mildly acidic.
  • New Guinea. Coffee beans from New Guinea have rich flavor and light body and aroma.
  • Sumatra. The best-quality Arabica coffee beans from Sumatra are full-bodied, rich, and mellow, with low acidity. Look for Sumatra Mandheling coffee, which is wonderfully syrupy.
  • Timor. Heavy-bodied coffee beans with good flavor and aroma.

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