Blueberry coffee? Yes, please!
The first time I remember drinking Ethiopian coffee was revelatory. I'm sure I'd had coffee sourced from Ethiopia before, but I don't recall a thing about it. Knowing me, I probably bought it because the bag was a pretty design. But no, the one I first remember was from a small roaster in Tennessee. When I opened the bag, I got a whiff of... what was that?... blueberries?!??
Why does my coffee smell like blueberries?
I checked the bag to see if it had a big "berry flavored!" sticker I'd somehow overlooked. Nope. Single origin. Ethiopia. I brewed it and tasted it black. If I hadn't known better, I would've sworn there was blueberry syrup swirled in the mug. How is this possible?
Coffee isn't coffee. Coffee is a rose.
I thought coffee was just coffee. If you want coffee to taste different, you add stuff to it, like chocolate to get a mocha. It turns out coffee is more like a rose.
A rose is a rose... except it's not. Consider for a moment how many colors of roses there are. There are petite roses and enormous roses. A rose blossoming wild in a field looks different than a cultivated English garden rose. An astute gardener could tell you the scientific names for each color and size variant between species. Coffee is like a rose. There are numerous types, called varietals, grown globally. Each carries unique flavor potentials, drawn out by the growers, processors, roasters, and finally by you and I when we brew the coffee. Who knew? (Now that you do, go impress your friends while sipping your newest brew.)
This brings us back to today's featured coffee. I present to you:
As I mentioned, Ethiopian coffees often have a delectable fruity aroma and flavor. But that's not all they're known for. Broast's head roaster, Andy, chatted with me about this one, and here's what he had to say:
[It is] delicate and complex with unmistakable berry notes. Ethiopian coffees very obviously display how special coffee can taste. We roast this coffee on the lighter side to highlight the berry notes we think define the coffee, but take care to develop the coffee enough to bring out chocolate undertones in the background of the cup.
Well said, Andy. Broast's Ethiopian is also Certified Fair Trade and Organic. It's not hard to see why Ethiopian coffees are consistently among my favorites.
Roast level: light medium
Broast's notes: berry, chocolate, sweet acidity
My notes: strong initial blueberry flavor, black plum, mild cinnamon
Cinnamon? Yes. You might also catch a hint of citrus or floral depending on your brew method and what temperature the coffee is when you drink it.
A Note On Tasting
I do want to pause to say it's okay if you drink a coffee and taste none of the things I, a roaster, or anyone else says they taste. If all you get is, "Wow! This is good!" out of a sip, that's plenty. We drink coffee for the enjoyment of it. This isn't an elite club exclusively for those with eloquent vocabularies and refined palates. While it's fun to discuss and compare what we each taste in a brew, coffee is for all of us. And with that, I raise my mug to you, fellow coffee drinker.
If you're ready to try Ethiopian coffee, click here to buy your first bag.
Once you've brewed up a mug, let us know what you think of it in the comments below!
Until next time...
Amy, Founder of Red Eye Bistro