Coffee Origins

One of the main reasons I became interested in coffee was because of all the amazing locations (origins) around the world that you can explore through the flavors in each bean/cup. It's a, relatively, inexpensive way to travel the world without having to pay baggage fees and endure jet lag.

The birthplace of coffee. Coffees from Ethiopia tend to be very recognizable in flavor and aroma. There are three main growing regions in Ethiopia - Sidamo (Yirgacheffe), Harrar, and Ghimbi. Depending on the processing method used and the region it’s grown in, there’s a wide variety of flavor profiles in coffee from Ethiopia. For example, Harrar coffee is very bold and full-bodied with a dry fruitiness much like red wine along with floral aromas and hints of jasmine. Along with the general fruitiness, expect to taste hints of blueberries and apricot in the more “earthy” natural processed coffee. Washed process coffees from Ethiopia display very bright, tea-like, citrus/fruit flavors. With coffee from Ethiopia, lighter roasts are more common and allow more of the unique flavors from the origin to remain, although, a roast taken a little darker can bring out amazing chocolate and stone fruit flavors in the crema of a single origin espresso. A coworker of mine says he can picture the South African countryside, where he grew up, while drinking a cup of our Ethiopian Kedamai coffee - I can’t think of a better compliment than that!

One of my favorite places (and cuisines), coffee from Mexico is, in my opinion, extremely underrated. In doing research, so many people noted that beans from Mexico are relegated to "filler" for dark blends to add chocolate or nutty flavor notes. Mexican coffee does tend to be a little less complex and doesn't have nearly the wide variety of flavors that beans from Africa or South America have. But what it lacks in complexity, it shines in body and sweetness. In the southern Chiapas region, coffees have a syrupy, toffee-like nut flavor and almost overwhelming amount of heavy body. In Oaxaca, a bit more complexity is present - along with honey and light tea flavors, but still very full-bodied and sweet. My goal is to offer a few special Mexican single origins at key harvest times and let people fall in love with coffee from Mexico!

Brazil has long been the world's top producer of coffee for good reason: diversity. The geography is so diverse, of course the coffee produced there is too! From lush grasslands where the more common species of coffee grow to the slightly higher elevations where the real magic happens. In the mountainous regions, the coffee leans toward more delicate, fruity/floral flavors but with the traditional sweetness of a coffee from Brazil. While the lighter, more vibrant flavors are present, the clarity of those flavors are less pronounce than in coffee from Ethiopia or Kenya. For me, a Brazilian coffee from a modest 5000 foot elevation, roasted a minute or two into first crack and rested at least four days is a perfectly delightful cup that shines while piping hot and even as it's cooled to room temperature. Cuckoo has developed a relationship with Bertagna Coffee Company to provide you with the absolute best of what coffee from Brazil can be!

Often thought of as an underdog in the coffee growing regions of the world, Peru has really changed people's minds in recent years due to major improvements in the country's infrastructure that have vastly improved coffee production and worldwide distribution. Peruvian coffee is know for a crisp acidity, floral aromas and a medium body with a good deal of sweetness with more developed roast levels. There are some exceptional single origin offerings coming from the county that we will be offering throughout the year. The first is an Organic Chasqui from lots around Peru that are considered to be "the best of the best" with flavor notes of chocolate, brown spice, green apple, and lemon.

Coffee from Kenya is considered to be some of the very best in the world - their commitment to quality is unparalleled. High elevations and rich landscapes contribute to a very bright, acidic coffee. Flavor notes often include dark fruits  (blackberries and blueberries), along with dried fruits (raisins and dates) and some varieties are very wine-like in taste and aroma. Most Kenyan coffee falls into two main categories - bold and juicy or bright and tropical. processing and drying procedures are carefully controlled and monitored. Kenya has its own unique (and, in my opinion) somewhat confusing grading system and out of that system, Kenya AA, grown at elevations higher than 6,600 feet above sea level, are widely heralded as some of the most prized specialty coffee in the world.

Coming soon:

  • Colombia
  • Sumatra
  • Honduras
  • Burundi