I’m starting the week off with one of the coolest-named coffees, ever, Wush Wush, from my friends at Theodore’s Coffee Roasters in Owosso, Michigan. If you follow a lot of coffee feed on Instagram, you know Wush Wush has been all the rage this year and now we’ll get a chance to see why! Let’s dig in… TLDR post-review note – if you don’t have time to read the review, just buy this coffee. It’s that unique and that good. AMAZING!!!
THEODORE’S COFFEE ROASTERS ETHIOPIA WUSH WUSH
I’ve reviewed a lot of Theodore’s Coffee Roasters’ coffee… please check out their website and my earliest review (just use the search bar for “Theodores” and it’s the first on that pops up) for the company’s back story. Suffice to say, this is a company that knows coffee and does it justice every time they drop a batch into their roaster!
Wush Wush is a coffee variety that has been making the rounds on social media, and as you’re about to find out with my tasting notes, for a good reason. It has been described as “Gesha-like” in some circles and, like Gesha, it’s an Ethiopian varietal that takes on different life in some parts of the world where it has been replanted. Today, we’re looking at the original Ethiopian-grown Wush Wush, named after the village where this coffee grows, Wush Wush, in the Chena district, Kaffa zone, SNNPR region of southwest Ethiopia. In fact, Wush Wush isn’t that far from Gesha village. Wush Wush is also somewhat well known for its large tea plantation that employs many of the locals, too. This is a specially prepared double-washed coffee and Theodore’s gives us tasing notes of, “orange candy, molasses and very delicate flower/jasmine” along with, “blossoms of coffee flower, jasmine, wisteria and rose along with honey, orange candy, lemon and sage.”
I don’t spend much time tasting flowers (although I should), so we’ll see what I pick up on… Of course, I used my standard 1:16 pourover ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper with Kalita 185 filters. My Handground grinder was set to 3 and I used Third Wave Water in my preparation, as always.
The brew aroma and even the aroma from a cooling cup is super sugary, really leaning toward brown sugar or even molasses. For such a floral-sounding coffee, that really threw me, and expecting a caramel bomb on my palate, I was super-surprised by the lightness and delicateness of this coffee. It’s so unique how it lands on my palate and the flavors it spreads out. Inhaling the aroma more deeply, I do get more floral notes underneath that dark brown sugar sweetness and caramelization. This coffee has a medium-light body and when it hits my tongue it seems to spread quickly, like a droplet of oil on water, heading straight for the edge of my tongue and back of my tongue deeper into my throat. This coffee seems really unique in the way it disperses over my palate, for sure! That flavor that spreads is unique, too. It’s fresh and evokes a sense of “coolness” in my mind, like cucumbers or honeydew melon. It’s delicate, yet full. If I drill into the flavors more, there are flowers throughout the flavor experience from start to finish. There is almost a cucumber note to the cup, and definitely some honeydew tones in there. A bit of acidity shows up in the second half of the sip and lingers on my palate into the aftertaste. I get a bit of lemon candy and some orange water (think of squeezing an orange slice into a glass of water) in the acidity. While this is a light and delicate coffee, the acidity is quite toned down. It has a long, lingering aftertaste and I really can’t shake the descriptor of cucumber when I wait a minute or two between sips. As the cup cools I get some hints of rose when I do retronasal breathing (short exhales while agitating the coffee a little in my mouth and swallow at the same time). This coffee is supremely balanced, leaning toward sweet, but with such a light mouthfeel it isn’t cloying.
This is a wholly unique coffee experience for me, which is saying something when I consider how many different coffees I’ve had over the past couple of years. It’s light and delicate yet it lingers forever and develops on the palate. It’s complex, yet super clean and the flavors are all very structured and easy to discern rather than having a ton of flavors all squished together. At the same time, this coffee does invite a slow and thoughtful approach or you’ll miss the finer notes it has to offer. It seems so “cool” and refreshing on my palate, too, even though I’m drinking it through the same temperature range as every other coffee I review. I have never had a top Panamanian Gesha, but I suspect the experience I’m having with this Wush Wush is not unlike the epiphany others have experienced with top Geshas. This is an absolutely unique and incredibly wonderful coffee. For $19, it’s a no-brainer and I highly encourage you to pick up a bag before it’s gone!