The first year I got really into coffee and espresso, natural Ethiopians were all the rage, and for good reason. They were bursting with fruit, mainly blueberries, and were so rich and sweet, evening just opening the bag would fill a room with the blueberry aroma. I had a few that went as far as the banana flavored Runts candy, and I've been waiting for another crop of Ethiopians like that ever since.
So, when I saw this Halo Bariti Yirgacheffe listed on Zoka's website with descriptors of Blueberry, dried fruit, smooth, and medium acidity, I had to grab a bag. Zoka likens this coffee to a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, which I also like, so I had high hopes for this one.
Opening a bag of this coffee brought back that blueberry aroma. This coffee lived up to its descriptors with a heavy blueberry pancake like sweetness and very mild acidity. The coffee was densely sweet and smooth, and very straight forward.
I brewed cups as low as a 1 : 15 ratio, but preferred them slightly weaker than that, around a 1 : 15.5 ratio for rich sweet smooth syrup. This coffee would work well in immersion methods such as Aeropress or immersion dripper playing to its dense body.
In the V60, cups brewed cool (196*F) and fast (less than 3 minutes) tasted best and kept the pancakes forward without being too drown out in body.
As espresso, the blueberry specific flavor was slightly muted in favor of straight maple syrup, or maybe a better one would be like the dark Karo syrup flavor. There's a slight hint of roastiness in the coffee and again keeping the shots on the faster and cooler sides helped keep this in check. I preferred shots pulled at:
- 18 grams in an 18 gram VST basket
- 25 second pulls at 197*F with a target yield of 33 -36 grams.
I suspect this coffee would make a tasty berries and cream like cappuccino, BUT I ran out of milk while working through this coffee.
Available here for $19.50 for a 12 ounce bag, with free shipping over $50. This coffee might serve as the gateway drug for those that like big rich cups but haven't quite gotten the whole fruit sweetness part of it yet.