Coffee Buzz

Once upon a time, Americans chugged 30 cent cups of coffee or whipped up the Folger’s at home and kept on moving. Then came the “coffee culture,” and biggest of all Starbucks. Now, Starbucks is moving toward 40,000 outlets and drive-thru ubiquity.

And the buzz on coffee is moving, again. Aficionados are talking like wine lovers. Treating beans like grapes and plantations like vineyards. Talking about a coffee’s “notes of maple syrup” or “hint of peaches and pecan.” We’re curious.

This hour On Point: we’re firing up the coffee machines and tasting with the pros, on coffee’s new

List of coffees tasted on the show:

Daterra Farm Special Reserve, Cerrado, Brazil
“Elusive hint of roses in the aroma. Very soft notes of pecan. Medium body, without any tang.”

La Minita Estate, Tarrazu, Costa Rica
“Full bodied, sparkling acidity. Maple syrup, nuts and a hint of peaches.”

Maria Santos’ Los Sauces Farm, Cauca, Colombia
“Honeyed burst of tangerine, ripe pomegranate and pear notes embedded in mixed nuts and chocolate.”

Mandheling, Lintong, Sumatra
“Syrupy body with notes of butterscotch and a dash of crushed autumn apples and leaves.”

Addis Ketema Cooperative, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
“Whispers of candy lemon, ripe apricot and mellow traces of ginger. Mild acidity.”

Mamuto Farm, Kirinyaga, Kenya
“Grand Cru Kenya. Huge, plush body drenched in sweet blackberry and black currant.”

Aged Sumatra Mandheling, Vintage 2002
“Notes of brandy and tawny port, fresh sweet tobaccos, roots, leather, autumn leaves and butterscotch entwine into a unique coffee experience.”


George Howell, founder of the George Howell Coffee Company and of The Coffee Connection, which he sold to Starbucks in 1994

Corby Kummer, senior editor at the Atlantic monthy and author of “The Joy of Coffee: The Essential Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying”

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