For many people, naturally processed coffees are the gateway drug into specialty coffee. Nine times out of ten, that coffee is probably from Ethiopia. Ethiopia did it first, Ethiopia does it best. The magic is in the expressiveness, boldness, and obviousness of the taste. If I were to write flavors of berries, milk chocolate, and silky mouthfeel on a bag of naturally processed Ethiopian coffee, that wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination for anyone. Consumers would brew it at home, taste exactly the same three flavor notes for the first time, and go to bed feeling like a coffee God. Bridging the gap between roaster and consumer is something a naturally processed coffee can do beautifully. That is, after all, a big part of our daily jobs as coffee professionals. So it has been an exciting week so far gearing up for the big release of one of my favorite coffees so far this year, Ethiopia Bire Forest.
Bire Forest came to us as a bit of a happy, not-so-accident a few weeks back. Gearing up for the busy fall/winter months, with an eye on the Holiday season, we were looking for some coffees that felt a bit Holiday-like. We had several coffees on the table from both Kenya and Rwanda, and one at the very end of the table from Ethiopia. The Ethiopia was obviously Bire Forest, and at the time it was not obvious to anyone cupping with me that I definitely wanted everyone to try it, and I definitely wanted to buy it. I was very obviously leading every conversation back to this shiny, shiny coffee at the edge of the table. Bire Forest is a coffee I’ve had before and absolutely loved a few years back and the depth of flavor has never left me. Greater Goods was also done buying Ethiopian coffees this year, so this coffee would have to really be a showstopper if we were to pick up another. Luckily for me (and for you, dear reader), this truly one of a kind naturally processed Ethiopian coffee is out today!
Grown in an actual coffee forest in Uraga, right outside of Guji, Bire Forest is grown at a staggering altitude of 2000-2300 meters above sea level. Coffee seeds have been sourced from these coffee forests for centuries, passed down from farmer to farmer to make up these very unique Ethiopia Heirloom varieties. Look for (and actually taste!) notes of: watermelon candy, pink taffy, and strawberry wafer. I can’t wait for you to brew this one up!