blog from the ceo & superbarista of phoenix coffee, home of the best baristas in cleveland, ohio

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ethiopian blueberry heavy-tones

I brought some Ethiopian Sidamo coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Portland, Oregon) home from Switzerland. Apparently someone from Stumptown had brought a whole bunch of coffee with them, and didn't need all of it, so they left the extra out on a table for folks hanging around the Barista Championship to take home. I gladly took a bag, thinking that this would for sure be interesting, since Stumptown won Roaster of the Year from Roast Magazine.

We heard a lot at the Barista Championship about the blueberry overtones of Ethiopian coffee. What's the difference between an undertone and an overtone anyway? Anne Lunell, Swedish Barista Champion, highlighted these blueberry overtones in her sig bev (signature beverage). Several baristas mentioned blueberry at the USBC. So since this seems to be such a THANG right now, I had my nose ready to smell blueberry when I opened the Stumptown bag. And smell I did. Wow. It was strong. Almost smelled like blueberry flavored coffee. And when I brewed it, same thing. Way strong on the blueberries, a little light on the actual coffee flavor. The body and acidity were so delicate, so as to make way for the blueberries, that I missed the rest of the complexity that I expect with our Ethiopians, roasted Sivetz-style. (Phoenix has a Sivetz fluid bed roaster, Stumptown must have something else). Day 2 of drinking this coffee with breakfast, and my impression was even more of the same. I was so impressed that Stumptown can bring out that blueberry flavor in that pronounced of a manner, but it was almost too much. Now I'm curious to try more of their coffees. Or at least to drink some of our Ethiopian just for comparison. We happen to have Harrar in stock right now. That's what I'll be drinking the next several days!


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