2023 has been an incredible year for coffee. I easily tried more than 370 coffees throughout the year and featured many of them through the Pull & Pour Coffee Club and reviews on this site and Instagram. With so many coffees and such a diversity of processing methods, origins, coffee varietals, roasters, and farmers, it is almost impossible to limit my favorites to a handful. In a somewhat frivolous effort though, here are my favorites from 2023 in the order I tried them.
Manhattan Coffee Roasters
I was able to try more Manhattan coffees this year than ever before and was blown away by every one I tried. This Ethiopian started the year though and was wonderfully sweet with excellent berry characteristics.
Panama Finca Hartmann Geisha Natural
I had the chance to enjoy this coffee with Nolan Hirte, owner of Proud Mary, at their Austin location in January 2023. It was one of the most incredible Panamanian coffees I’ve ever tried and I immediately bought a jar to enjoy at home (and shared some with the coffee club). The floral & fruit interplay was spectacular and the sweetness was truly unforgettable.
Asefa Daye Bensa
Jibbi Little Coffee Roasters
This anaerobically processed Ethiopian was my first experience with Jibbi Little Coffee Roasters out of Australia. This competition-quality Ethiopian came from Asefa Dukamo who has been in the top 10 at the Cup of Excellence each of the last three years. The tropical fruit notes in the cup made this a top coffee of the year for me clear notes of strawberry, banana, and mango.
Vinhal ML-16 Brazil Thermal Shock
Sumo Coffee Roasters
When I first tried this coffee, I couldn’t believe it was from Brazil. It was unlike any Brazilian coffee I had tried. It tasted like grape soda in coffee form in the best way possible. Not only was it delicious, it may have won as the most unique and unexpected coffee I tried this year.
José Martinez Pink Bourbon
Pink Bourbon is always one of my favorite varietals and this one embodied all that I love in a Pink Bourbon. It was intensely fruit-forward with sparkling acidity. It had wonderful notes of pink lemonade, mango, and berries that brought it to the top list this year.
Inmaculada Geisha Natural
Pull & Pour Coffee Club
Inmaculada coffees have been among my top list for years. This year I finally got to source, roast and feature one myself via a special release of the coffee club. This coffee was sweet, dynamic yet delicate, complex yet balanced, and had a beautiful mix of fruit and floral notes.
After experiencing the ML-16 from Sumo, I knew I had to try more of what its producer, Vinhal Estates, had to offer. They sent some samples and this Chocolate Hazelnut was my favorite. It literally was Nutella in a cup of coffee.
I loved Vinhal Estate’s coffee so much, I worked with them to help some US roasters pick up some of their green coffee, which you’ll hopefully be able to try in 2024 (stay tuned for a club offer in 2024 featuring this coffee too!)
Gesha Village Oma Anaerobic Honey
Gesha Village is another producer that has topped my list for many years. I tried a few different lot/processing options from Corvus this year (and even featured one as a special release myself). This one in particular topped my list though. It was decadent, but also very delicate. It had wonderful fruit notes, but they weren’t overpowering, yet incredibly complex.
Pull & Pour Coffee Club
Koji coffees came to the scene this year and I featured three of them in the coffee club throughout the year. They are fun, unique, and absolutely wild. This Gesha topped my list this year with its soft florals, bold tropical fruit, and umami finish.
Pepe Jijon Tyoxidator Mejorada
Jose Ignacio Jijon, a.k.a. Pepe, and his farm, Finca Soledad, have produced some of the most sought-after coffee in the world over the last two years. I had the honor to feature his Mejorada via the Tyoxidator Washed process—and it did not disappoint. The sweet lemon citrus note on the coffee was stunning.
Diego Bermudez Lychee
Sumo Coffee Roasters
Diego Bermudez’s coffees have always been some of my favorites and his “Diego Bermudez” from Manhattan topped my list in 2021. This year I was able to feature a set from Sumo that featured three thermal shock coffees with different profiles: lime, lychee, and rose. The Lychee variation with its bold tropical fruit notes won top of the list for me.
Santa Teresa Estribi Gesha Natural
Panamanian Geishans are truly some of the most special coffee you can try and I’ve been lucky enough to try quite a few through the years. My favorite changes from year to year (though this year three different ones made the top of the list). This one in particular was so special with some incredibly complex & delicate fruit and floral interplay.
Mexico COE #7
Kafiex Coffee Roasters
This Mexican Geisha placed 7th in the 2023 Mexico Cup of Excellence. The coffee was likely the best Mexican coffee I’ve yet to try and was incredibly complex & fruit-forward. Its bold fruit notes of peach, strawberry & orange made it a favorite for me.
Hacienda La Esmeralda Trapiche Washed Gesha
The final coffee on the list is yet another Panamanian Gesha. This one came from the original farm where the Gesha varietal was discovered 20 years ago. This coffee truly embodies all that I expect a Panamanian Gesha to be and every brew was coveted as I approached the end of 2023.
I could easily have added many more coffees to this list and trying to keep it to only a handful is difficult. Looking back over the last year though, it’s clear I’ve had the opportunity to try some outstanding coffees. I can’t wait to enjoy the incredible coffees that lie ahead in 2024.