When Jim Bishop from Bishopwoods Coffee hit me up to see if we wanted to try some of his coffee and review it on our site, I felt some mixed emotions. At first, I was amazed that someone would think it worthwhile to send us coffee to review. This was a first for us, and we were tremendously honored by the offer.
Shortly after accepting, a different emotion came over me- pressure. What about if the coffee wasn’t any good? Would we make something up to reciprocate his kindness? Could we get free coffee and then slap the giver in the face with a bad review if the coffee tasted terrible?
Ultimately, we decided that we would have to honor our commitment to you, and be totally transparent about any coffee we receive. How we got it, how it tastes, and if there’s anything in it for us besides free coffee. Bishopwoods Coffee ended up making it easy on us. The packaging was good and the coffee was great.
The Packaging. When the package arrived, it came the same day I received a coffee from another roaster. It showed up in a good looking box that had Bishopwoods Coffee’s logo stamped on both sides. Inside the box were two bags of coffee. The first coffee bag was matte black with a good looking company logo front and center. Above it was a sticker of the Ethiopian flag- a great touch. And beneath it was a label with clear flavor notes- the type of thing coffee drinkers want most to see. This was clearly their coffee for their customers. It was a washed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Gedeo Kochere. The second bag confused me a little because it was branded with Della Costa, not Bishopwoods. But Jim sent me an e-mail that explained it was an espresso blend that they make and package for a local cafe.
The Coffee. First up was the washed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. With flavor notes of Limoncello, Lime, Peach, and Marshmallow. What is limoncello, you ask? I didn’t know, but you likely did. It’s an Italian lemon liqueur. I’ve never tried it, but it is made with lemon zest and is usually served as a dessert drink. Bishopwoods’ Ethiopian had a clear lemon zest flavor to with flavors of lime and a nice acidity. I got a little peach flavor towards the end, but didn’t get any marshmallow. That could be the fault of my palate as well. All in all, it’s a delightful cup that stayed tasty regardless of brew method.
Next was the espresso blend. To be fair, I don’t have an espresso machine, so my ‘espresso’ is not truly espresso. I do my best with a Moka pot and use a hand frother and warm milk instead of a steamer. But I did my best to create lattes and cordatos out of the beans Jim sent us. They all tasted great. The coffee had good ‘bass’ tones- nut, chocolatey flavors with low acidity without being burnt to a crisp.
The Conclusion. Bishopwoods Coffee is doing great work with their beans. Their Ethiopian is modern cup for those third wave drinkers who prefer a more flavorful cup without cream and sugar. It has a bright acidity and is roasted to bring out the traditional flavors of the region. Their espresso blend was very good from my Moka Pot, and help up well to cream and sugar as a pour-over as well. When you add in the extra attention they out in to their packaging, it combines for a terrific coffee experience.