Let’s get through this hump day with a new coffee from a new-to-me roaster! This morning I’m taking a look at the first coffee I’m trying from Bishopwoods Coffee Roasters out of Omaha, Nebraska, and this is their Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Gedeb. It looks like this coffee has been replaced in the line-up with another Ethiopian selection, so keep your eyes peeled for this one coming back!
BISHOPWOODS ETHIOPIA YIRGACHEFFE GEDEB
When I review coffees I try to minimize my exposure to anything that may bias my opinion, including the roasters’ website and articles about them, the packaging and labeling on the bag, etc. I try to go into every coffee knowing the least amount I can, and then do my research and info gathering when I sit down to write my notes into a review. Usually that works, and sometimes it doesn’t! LOL I know almost nothing about Bishopwoods Coffee Roasters other than that Jim Bishop, presumably the owner and roaster, wanted to send me some coffee and reached out to get a couple selections into my hands. And they’re located up in Omaha, Nebraska and it looks like their coffees are carried at a couple local places and maybe do some contract roasting for restaurants and shops (like Della Costa). Hopefully I can get some more info from Jim and update this review and get it added to the next one, too! LOL My apologies! On the other hand, this does allow us to focus entirely on the coffee, so…
This morning’s selection is a coffee that looks like Bishopwoods was roasting toward late summer. Unfortunately it is not listed on their website currently (but another great-sounding Ethiopian coffee is) and hopefully that means it’s just out of rotation and not gone for good. In any case, this is Bishopwoods’ Yirgacheffe Gedeb, a washed coffee from the Gedeo Zone and coffee’s birthplace. According to Jim it has flavor notes of, “Apricot, maple syrup, lemon, jasmine.” To my eye, this coffee looked like it had a solidly medium, darker-than-I’m-used-to-for-this-origin roast level. I used my standard pourover setup for my cups, which is a 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper. Handground grinder was set to 3 and I use Third Wave Water in all my brewing.
As I was brewing this coffee, I was surprised to get a lot of floral, almost perfumed, aromas from the brew bed. It reminded me of rose oil, a little, but definitely more of a concentrated perfume than a light wafting of floral tones in the air. For a relatively darker roast on these Yirgacheffe beans, I wasn’t expecting that. That floral aroma is a little more tamed in the cup aroma, but there nonetheless. The flavors in the cup were a surprise to me, too. I was, again, expecting a darker, more roasty tone from this cup and it’s surprisingly bright and clear. A good reminder that trying to guess at a roast level based solely on visual appearance isn’t always terrible accurate in the “medium” range.
This cup has a medium-light body for me with a fairly light mouthfeel, maybe like apple juice cut with a good amount of water. After the florals in the aroma the first flavor to hit my palate is lemon (surprise, again! Now that you know this coffee is full of surprises, I’m going to stop mentioning every time I thought, “Huh, didn’t expect that!” while I drank this coffee). There is a nice bright, fresh lemon zest and lemon candy note to the acidity in this cup that I love. Right behind the lemon I get a nice peach/apricot sweetness with a little mild tartness I associate more with apricot than peach. Like the lemon acidity, this peach/apricot note is very fresh and lively. At the same time, all these fruity notes are strongly anchored by a light caramel sweetness and there is a little roastiness in the aftertaste if I let it linger for a while, even though I don’t get much in the actual flavor of the coffee. As the cup cools, the peach really comes out and if you’ve read some of my other washed Ethiopian reviews you know how much I like a peachy coffee! This year’s washed Ethiopian coffees have been really peachy and I’m digging that, a lot.
Bishopwoods did a great job with this coffee, which surprised me at every corner! I really love the bright, fruity notes in this coffee, which are really more “vibrant” than “bright” I suppose. Yes, there’s lemon acidity and peach and apricot, as well as florals, but these flavors are all coming out sweet more so than “bright” to my palate. It has the feel of a low perceived acidity coffee, even though all those notes come from various acids in the coffee. It’s always hard to explain this to people, who have been trained through macro-coffee marketing to desire a “rich, bold, low acidity” cup of coffee when in reality, they should want the right acids in the cup, as evidenced by this one! Acids give flavor to coffee and keep it from being dull and boring. In any case, this Bishopwoods Gedeb hits all the checkboxes for an easy drinking coffee… it’s sweet, has nice high end without being abrasive, balanced. A great introduction to the roasting of Jim Bishop and Bishopwoods Coffee Roasters!