African Coffee, like the continent, is rich in color and flavor. East African coffee has a big aroma, with a medium to heavy body, that is rich and robust. The balance is complex and it has a long finish. Because of drought in some countries like Kenya, the coffee tends to have a range of acidity that is brisk and snappy. The flavor is intense with a dry wine aftertaste.
To this day on the Ijen Plateau of East Java, there remain four Dutch Government Coffee Estates which were established in the early 18th century. They were the first colonial competition with the East African and Arabian Mochas for a share in the Mediterranean and European market. It was the Dutch from the West Indies who developed the coffee's fine green appearance by using a particular method known as W.I.B. (West Indish Bereiding), otherwise known as washed coffee or wet process. Some common traits of the Asian/Pacific Island coffees are their spiceness, richness, sweet aroma, good body and low acidity.
These specialty coffees are known to have various abbreviated rating system that define the type of beans they are, or the altitude at which the beans were grown. Some typical abbreviations are S.H.B (Strictly Hard Bean), G.H.B (Good Hard Bean), S.H.G (Strictly High Grown), H.G (High Grown), H.G.A (High Grown Atlantic). Central American coffees are respected as a good stand alone, and many make wonderful blenders for the more acidic beans.