Being an Ethiopian Commodity Exchange coffee, it's hard to have a clear story of traceability to give to customers about this coffee. A number of small farms end up pooling their lots to create a crop large enough to export in a profitable manner. These particular lots were grown around two kilometers above sea level. Initially we were shocked by how small the coffee was, but it became immediately apparent that the high altitude growing conditions had produced an extremely dense and flavorful coffee.
We have often compared our roasting style (or had our roasting style compared by others) to a Nordic style roast. While all of our coffees are generally very light, this coffee in particular has a density to it that can stand up to a high charge temperature. Using more heat than usual, we were able to ramp up the roast on the Beriti and push through the profile faster than we normally would, dropping the coffee out of the roasting drum at a lower temperature. Scott was excited about this technique; I was skeptical. Upon our first brewing and cupping of the coffee though, I have to say this cup is aces. A common trope of light roasted coffee is to say that the coffee is tea-like. The Beriti we have produced is the epitome of a tea-like coffee. The aroma is sweet and floral like dry jasmine tea. There is a delicate but chewy body to the cup, reminiscent of the oolong teas we serve at the shop (shout out to Song Tea). There is also a slight note of crisp blueberry, but the fruit note is nothing like the bombastic fruit notes in a natural processed Yirgacheffe. The subtlety of the cup would trick you into thinking it is a mild coffee. I posit that the combination of delicate flavors and the expansiveness of the floral aromatics contained within this cup make it severely complex. For those who enjoy truly grappling with a palate experience, this is a coffee for you.
As unstable as it is delicious, the Ethiopia Beriti has also been an espresso bar all star for us. For fans of the espresso and tonic beverage we make in the warmer months, the Beriti offers a sweet and juicy candy-like expression to the crisp and bitter Fever Tree tonic water we stock in the shop. For those looking for the comfort of a refreshing and summery adult beverage in the middle of the work day, but with the wherewithal to not let day drinking derail their office life, this drink is a must have. For those with simpler aesthetics in mind, the singular espresso shot of Beriti packs a powerful punch in a mere one to two ounce extraction. Big, chewy body, underpinned by sweet cocoa and bright lemony acidity are sure to make any espresso head stop and pay attention.