If you are keen on the world of coffee, you have probably heard coffee lovers argue about what is better between coffee blends and single-origin coffees. Some people swear by single-origin coffees while others argue coffee blends are the best. But have you ever heard about reserve coffee? Reserve coffee is one kind of coffee that does not get the attention it deserves. What does reserve coffee mean? Is it premium like specialty coffees? Read on to find out.
What is Reserve Coffee?
Simply put, reserve coffee refers to any kind of rare coffee. It can be a single-origin coffee or a blend of rare coffees. Reserve coffee is only certified by a Master Coffee Roaster. A Master Roaster is an individual who is regarded as an expert in roasting coffee beans. He or she possesses the highest level of skills and education related to coffee roasting.
Best Reserve Coffees
Reserve coffees are only a handful. Some of the best reserve coffees include:
1. Peaberry Coffee
Essentially, a coffee cherry contains two seeds when mature. Sometimes, the cherry may only have one seed inside. In this case, the single seed becomes rounded as it matures, unlike typical coffee seeds that have two flat shapes. This single coffee bean is known as a peaberry.
A peaberry occurrence only happens about 5 to 10 percent of the time. It occurs as a natural mutation in any growing area. It can happen on either Arabica or Robusta coffee plants. Unfortunately, you cannot tell whether a coffee cherry is growing a peaberry inside until it is processed. Thus, peaberry coffee is very rare such that sorting is done by hand. Farmers use a screen that filters out larger, flat berries. Their rare nature makes them fall under the reserve coffee category.
Many people who have ever drunk peaberry reserve coffee say it is more flavorful and sweeter than regular coffee. The rounded shape and smaller size of peaberry coffee beans allow them to roll differently when roasting. As a result, roasting peaberry coffee brings out its flavors and nuances.
2. Kona Coffee
Kona coffee is among the most renowned coffees in the world. It is unique in that it is only grown in one region in the entire world, which is the Kona region of two volcanoes known as Hualalai and Mauna Loa in Hawaii.
The soil and micro-climate where in the Kona region are favorable for Kona coffee plants to thrive. The Kona region has rich volcanic soil, which is very fertile for optimal growth. Also, the western slopes of the volcanic mountains offer the coffee plants sufficient shelter.
Weather also plays a crucial role in coffee growth. The Kona Coffee Belt experiences sunny mornings and light rains in the afternoon. The balanced weather allows Kona coffee plants to thrive. The favorable soil, weather, and elevation in the Kona region result in unique, bold Kona coffee featuring vibrant flavors and aromas.
3. Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
Jamaica is known for its rich music culture, wonderfully seasoned food, and beautiful beaches. However, Jamaica Blue Mountain is not widely known. It is Jamaica’s tallest mountain and home to one of the most expensive coffees in the world.
The climatic condition in the Jamaica Blue Mountain area is cooler than most of the island as it is situated on the Eastern side. As a result, the coffee trees are exposed to North East Trade Winds that are moist. As the winds hit the coast, they rise towards the mountains. As a result, the winds generate mist and cloud cover as they rise over the higher elevation.
Besides the favorable climate, the mountains comprise 85 percent forest cover, which offers enough shade for coffee plants to thrive. Since the coffee grows in highly elevated mountains, the cherries are denser with richer flavor.
Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is harvested and categorized into different grades during processing including Grades 1, 2, and 3. Grading is done based on the quality of the beans. Grade 1 is the highest quality. It comprises the largest coffee beans with the least defects. Grade 2 is medium in size with not as many defects as Grade 3. Grade 3 has the highest number of defects and smallest in size.
Grade 1 Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is considered a reserve coffee. The beans are roasted carefully for the best-tasting coffee after brewing. It comprises rare, premium-quality coffee beans. It produces sweet and lush floral notes.
What does reserve coffee mean? As you can see, reserve coffee is any rare, premium coffee. There are a handful of reserve coffees available today, making them quite pricey. Nevertheless, their superior quality makes them worth it. If you have never tried reserve coffee before, it is a high time you did it. After all, every coffee lover wants to get the tastiest coffee possible.