Today we wrap up our week of posts dedicated to Bluebeard Coffee Roasters. I hope you all enjoyed Daniel Nettleton’s review of the Bluebeard cafe yesterday—I certainly did; and I extend many, many thanks to him for taking the time to do that for us.
As I mentioned the other day, when Randy Levine, David Simon, Daniel Nettleton, and I inititated the Great Coffee Exchange, Nettleton’s was the only package I, unfortunately, didn’t receive. He amended the situation, though, by buying a second package of coffee and sending it along to me: the Guatemala Los Volcanes Antigua (which was fabulous).
The owner of Bluebeard, Kevin, also offered consolation by sending me a second package to review (and I extend many, many thanks to him for that).
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we are sipping the Ethiopia Kochere Yirgacheffe from Bluebeard Coffee Roasters, in Tacoma, Washington. Feel free to pull up a chair.
This coffee hails from the Kochere cooperative, which, coincidentally, consists of about 500 smallholder farmers in the Kochere region of southern Ethiopia. Kochere is part of the Gedeo Zone and is bordered East, South and West by the Oromia Region and on the North by Yirgacheffe.
The Kochere cooperative uses shared wet mills to process their coffee, where it is washed and then dried on elevated drying beds.
The Kochere micro-region has long been known as one of the best origins for fully washed southern Ethiopian coffees. The combination of very high altitude and iron-rich, acidic soil creates the ideal growing situation to produce the bright, floral Yirgacheffe profile.
origin: Kochere Beloya, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
farm: Kochere Cooperative
elevation: 1800-2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, patio dried
Whoa! The aroma when I open the package (and particularly when I start brewing the coffee) is an explosion of a blueberry bomb. Little pieces of cocoa, violet, and citrus aromatic shrapnel come hurtling out of the cup along with it.
The flavor is every bit as explosive as the aroma.
Post brew, huge flavors of chocolate and bergamot come rushing in on a sheet of silky velvet, with a honey sweetness, that coats the palate. The coffee is full-bodied and the flavor from each sip, no matter how small the sip is, expands over the tongue, really hitting the sides and back.
As it cools off, a fruity sweetness, like a geyser, erupts; cracks the surface of the chocolaty soil with a deluge of blueberry, raspberry, peach, grape, plum, melon, and nectarine. The cup retains all of its post-brew qualities too—cocoa, honey, bergamot, each sip finishing off with a smack of nuttiness.
Full body; velvety, silky mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
After trying the Ethiopia Kochere Yirgacheffe, from Bluebeard Coffee Roasters, several times, and letting Ashley, coworkers, and friends try it, the general concensus of this coffee was “Wow.” While gathering information about the Kochere Cooperative, a lot of other coffee websites said that this coffee was delicate, subtle, light, etc., but I couldn’t disagree more.
This cup featured a massive, full-bodied flavor, but, like the Guatemala Los Volcanes, it also had such great clarity and definition. Huge tastes of blueberry, berry, honey, and floral aromatics soothe the palate and excite the tastebuds all at once.
I really don’t need another one, but this week has given me another reason to be jealous of Daniel Nettleton and all my other coffee friends who live in Washington. They’ve got the great weather, the Pacific Ocean, the nature, and a roster of businesses that includes some of the most amazing coffee in the country.
I can firmly say that Bluebeard Coffee Roasters belongs on that list.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.